Mozart and the Sound of Music.

Trip Start Oct 29, 2012
Trip End Nov 27, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Friday, November 16, 2012

A pleasant 2.5 hour train ride from Vienna and we find ourselves in the popular Austrian tourist town of Salzburg. Some 342 km west of Vienna, the town is close to the German border. A stunningly beautiful city (prettiest so far) it is of course home to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born some 300 years ago in Salzburg, he lived the first 17 years of his life in this town. We were lucky enough to visit the Mozart Museum, which in fact was his family home. Unfortunately photos/videos are not allowed inside which is a shame given the irreplaceable treasures held within. We first enter his family's music room (I want one of those) to find his actual harpsichord and first piano. Amazing to imagine Mozart sitting in this very room overlooking the central square in Salzburg, playing or composing a tune. Original manuscripts and letters with his signature is a sight to behold! A particularly touching letter he wrote of his mother' death is heartfelt indeed and puts a very human edge to this historical giant of music. A fantastic tour and so glad we were able to get here. The spirit of Mozart looms very large over not only Salzburg, but indeed all of Austria.

The cold and frost sets in about 4:30pm when it is nearly completely dark. After watching a couple of episodes of 'The Simpsons' in German (Homer sounds like an evil overlord!) we decide to venture out in search of food. Unable to get a reservation at a local Italian, we do the next best thing and walk a mile in the freezing cold to a local Japanese restaurant; what else would you eat in Salzburg? The place is packed so we go in and get a great Tepanyaki and Salmon Teriyaki. Fantastic meal. Meals always make a place memorable regardless of whether it is local cuisine or something else. This was certainly one to remember.

And so se come to the Sound of Music tour here in Salzburg and surrounding areas. We take the 3 hour tour and see filming locations for every song in the film. We climb every mountain on the way and see the buildings used in the classic musical as well as get a history on the making of the same. The highlight was Michelle singing loudly to EVERY song as it blasted over the loud-speakers. The special moment being at the end of tour with the everyone singing along to the emotional Edelweiss.

The views up in the mountains were breathtaking to say the least. Stunning picture postcard views of mountains, lakes and wooden houses dotted around. A view no photograph could ever do justice to. Our trip to Mozart's mothers birthplace (Lake Wolfgang) would rate as the prettiest town we have come across. With the early touches of snow to the area one can only begin to imagine how superb it would look in the depths of winter.

As we come to the end of Austria and move back to Germany, we marvel at the natural beauty of this country and the richness of its history. Yes the desserts were great, but to eat them for breakfast as they do was a little too much and something I will not miss about the place. How do you eat a breakfast of cakes, buns, hard rye bread, cold cuts and tomatoes in sub-freezing weather? They don't even eat toast so I guess a bacon and eggs greasy breakfast is out of the question??
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