Three Cities, two countries, one weekend.
On October 7-9, I took a whirlwind trip through Budapest, Vienna, and Salzburg. This post will focus on day three: Salzburg.
Salzburg, the fourth largest city in Austria, has two major claims to fame. In 1756, it became the birthplace of the famed classical composer, Mozart. Then, many years later, the Von Trapp Family Singers put the city on pop culture’s map. The Sound of Music, as a book, stage show, and movie, told the world the harrowing story of how this family of musicians escaped the Nazi regime, captivating the hearts and imaginations of millions. Having loved the movie and its songs since I was a kid, I was so excited to learn that we would have the opportunity to take a “Sound of Music tour” while in Salzburg. We got to see so many of the movie’s filming sites, plus the real places that the Von Trapp family lived, and some breathtaking sites of the Austrian alpine countryside.
Our bus arrived in Salzburg from Vienna just in time for lunch, so we stopped by a little cafe for a quick bite to eat (and an apple strudel!). Then, it was time to meet our guide for the tour. She was a delightful woman, clearly in love with her job. That was the first sign that it would be a good afternoon.
Our first stop was the Mirabell Garden, located on a beautiful palace complex once owned by Austrian imperial emperors. The palace was originally built in 1606, and was opened to the public by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1854. Then, in the 1960s, it was used to film parts of the movie – most notably two scenes featuring “Do Re Mi” and “I have confidence.” Nowadays, it’s home to the famous gazebo, though during filming the gazebo was located elsewhere. The city of Salzburg had to move the gazebo because it was originally on private property, and too many tourists were trespassing to go see it. Now it is open to the public!
Then, we got back on the bus. We drove by the yellow house that the film crews used for the front of the house, and then we passed the neighborhood where the real Von Trap family lived. Then, we headed to the beautiful lakeside Leopoldskron Palace. This sprawling palace’s exterior was used as the Von Trapp’s backyard in the movie. Now that its time in the spotlight has passed, it is a successful hotel/bed and breakfast.
We took some time at the lake to stop and appreciate the view. It was so nice to just take in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery. The way that the clouds reflected in the water reminded me of a certain lake back in Syracuse, where the water is so still that the trees and sky are always reflected like a mirror.
Then, it was back on the bus, this time bound for a destination outside of the city. Had to see if the hills really are alive, after all!
Then, we headed to a lakeside village that looked like it was straight out of someone’s tabletop Christmas village setup. There, we got to see the church used in filming Maria and the Captain’s wedding, and had some free time to explore. My friends and I walked around the town before picking up a slice of cake each to eat by Lake Mondsee.
What a weekend! It was a definitely busy one, and definitely one I’ll never forget. I’m so grateful to have seen all that I was able to and to have experienced the different cultures that I did.
‘Til next time, Austria!
Gelato Count: 34