My heart was blessed with the Sound of Music!

Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
Trip End Oct 19, 2007

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Where I stayed
YHA Hostel

Flag of Austria  ,
Saturday, April 28, 2007

WARNING- This entry contains musical lyrics, stories and photos from the Sound of Music. If you are not a fan, and the idea of musicals makes you feel literally ill please do not read! If you are a may find out some interesting facts you didn't now before!
Travelling from Lausanne to Salzburg on the train l travelled across the beautiful border crossing between Switzerland and back in Austria. It was a beautiful train ride from Zurich to Innsbruck where l stopped for a two hour stopover to explore this tiny town nestled between the surrounding Alps. I visited the Golden roof museum learning about Maximilian and the former dynasty in Austria before taking an hour to wander around the beautiful coloured houses within the village. I then hopped back on the train and made my way to Salzburg where l quickly checked into my YHA youth hostel and watched the 8pm premiere of The Sound of Music shown at the hostel every night.
"My heart will be blessed with the Sound of Music!" And it has been, in one of the worlds capitals of music- Salzburg! It is here in this beautiful Baroque city that the Sound of Music was set and where the real Family Von Trapp lived. Today l had fulfilled my dream- to walk in the shoes of Maria, to sing in the Alps, to sing Do Re Me while dancing through Mirabelle gardens and skipping along Salzburg and Mozart bridge. To believe that l have "Confidence in Me" as l splashed the horse fountain and set out on my new life as l closed the Abby gate behind me! I visited Nonnberg Abbey (the Abbey gate and church used in the movie and were the real Maria was a nun and where her and the captain (George) really got married (not the wedding scene in the movie)! As we were leaving l even saw a fully robbed nun closing the Abby gate- l then realised that the movie was not just Hollywood but actually did happen.
The True Story of the Von Trapp Family:
Of course the real Trap family were not so good looking and their real mother died of Scarlet fever and was actually Italian and the daughter of the man who invented the torpedo. Thus the Captain George when they married acquired even more wealth. The family lived not on the lake but on the hill overlooking Salzburg. The wife died, Maria came from the Abby to be their governess and the children conspired that she and their Dad should marry (their was no Baroness from Vienna). So indeed they did marry and they had three children together. The Captain George was asked to go serve as Captain of a German submarine and decided to go to Italy (not Switzerland) by train (not hiking across the Alps) where he had connections from his previous marriage.
Interesting Movie Facts and Behind the Scenes:
1. Richard Plummer (aka the Captain in the movie) actually detested the Sound of Music calling it "The Sound of Flem" and the children as well- who were actually in real life afraid of him. He even said about the last scene that he didn't want to carry "that fat little girl" over the mountain!!! His voice was dubbed over at the last minute as well, so he is never actually singing in the movie. He was renowned for the parties he would throw in town and how drunk he would get. The young Liesel (actually not so young) would frequent these parties.
2. Julie Andrews had a one year old baby in Salzburg with her during filming.
3. Liesel was in real life 22 years old (not 15 going on 16) and to look younger she had to put on weight for the role and was seen eating a lot of Strudel around Salzburg. She also twisted her ankle in the Gazebo scene yet continued to dance with a bandaged ankle (which was later edited out).
4. Fredrich had to have his hair dyed blonde
5. Martha's teeth came out producing a whistling sound when she sang.
6. The Von Trapps Villa in the movies lake side location and scenes from the balcony, lake and gazebo all took place in the Leopoldskron Palace, but the Palaces façade was too grand for a Villa so they digitally put in the Frohnburg Palaces exterior behind the lakeside views which also served as the front of the Villa where Maria arrives and races down the driveway and the family push the car out of the drive.
7. Kurt nearly falls of the steps at Mirabelle gardens
8. The actual Cathedral where they get married in the movie is Mondsee Cathedral not the Abby where the real Maria got married
9. St Peters cemetery is the inspiration behind the Abbys cemetery scenes however the St Peters tombstones do not have room to hide behind and the whole scene was a Hollywood set.
So that's all the knowledge l got from my four hour Sound of Music tour which took us in a mini van blasting the tunes from the Sound of Music as we sang and travelled to St Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang- the scenery and lakes shown in the beginning of the film. While on the way to these two stunning Austrian lake side locations we stopped and picked Edelweiss (not the real thing as it is a very rare flower that only blooms in the high alps)- but rather a weed look alike as well as other beautiful wildflowers flowering and covering the lake district fields. It was beautiful weather and the Alps looked stunning all day. The Mirabelle gardens tulips were in full bloom, the lakes were transparent and reflecting the surrounding Alps and the city was alive with Mozart look alike buskers, quartets and bands playing in the streets, fountains around ever corner and horse carriages clip clopping down ever street!!! Even if you are not a fan of this movie Salzburg is still a stunning city to visit. I ate the most enormous apple, cinnamon and sugar Bretzel in the Old Town while earlier in the day l had been sitting beside the crystal clear Lake St. Gilgen licking my tiramisu ice-cream.
After the tour ended me and my new Brazillen/German friend spent the day after the tour following Maria's footsteps, visiting the Mozart haus along the way- where he lived until he was 17 years old. I felt unbelievably privileged to view his original manuscripts penned by the childhood prodigy and genius who could compose music before he could write and who composed his first song when he was four year old! Viewing his piano was thrilling enough! It seemed as though l was in the city of music. Everywhere we went we heard music or where singing sound of music songs ourselves. As we were sitting below the castle, up upon the hill overlooking Salzburg we even heard the organ in the castle strike up and play for us as we watched the sunset over this place of dreams! This city filled with café haus dwellers, cyclists, greenery (Salzburg was elected by its citizens to be a green city), sun bakers beside its lovely river has captured my heart.
I am writing this as l am watching the sound of music for the second time at my hostel in 24 hours. We are watching the scene where the children come to the Abby to find Maria and are locked out. We were also locked out at the very same gate by a Nun today! Was too cliché!
Iam sitting her watching one of my all time favourite movies, drinking a complimentary Eidelweiss cocktail (not sure whats in it buts its good!) listening to Climb Every Mountain....till you find your dream! What is my dream- am l living it? Am l following it? I almost feel like Maria at times (minus the romance) while au pairing in Switzerland. I have literally bought music and singing into the house and Chloe is almost identical looking to Gretel that its scary- they even stamp their feet in the same way! The girls even put me through some pretty similar trials they put Maria through at the beginning of the movie! Ok so lam no Nun, but there are some similarities!
After my overnight train was delayed for 4 hours and l was stranded at Salzburg station until 3am (not a night l wish to remember) l had plenty of time to reminisce on my wonderful weekend full of dreams being fulfilled, beautiful Austrian city's (Salzburg and Innsbruck) and the beginning of me finding my dream and working out my favourite things!

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