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31: The hills are alive...

all seasons in one day 32 °C
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Today was very much my “Sound of Music” Day. Started the day by taking the Sound of Music tour through Salzburg to see the main sites from the film. I was joined by another lady from the hostel, Allison, who is a budding soprano singer who had come to Salzburg to see the opera.

Tour started at the Mirabelle gardens. The Mirabelle is probably about two city blocks full of the most beautifully manicured gardens. The Mirabelle was also the site of the famous “Doe, Ray, Me” part of the movie. Allison and I wandered around for a good half an hour before boarding the bus for our first stop which was the Hellbronn Palace to see the place where the front of the Von Trapp mansion as well as the tree lined street and the glass gazebo. Took some pickies before moving onwards to see another mansion which was the back of the Von Trapp mansion. Many of the outside shots were taken using this mansion you can see the lake (that the children boated on, and fell out of) as well as the patio that was used by the Baron and Baroness for their afternoon tea.

From the lakeside manor we moved into the lake district to see some really beautifully aqua blue lakes as well as the church where Maria and Cpt Von Trapp were married. Our tour guide actually gave us parts of the real story of the Von Trapp’s and not that surprisingly there are differences between the Hollywood version and the real version. In the movie Cpt Von Trapp had 7 children, with the eldest being a girl. In actuality he did have 7 children but the eldest was a boy! In the movie Maria was hired to look after all 7 children, in reality she was hired to look after one of the children who was recuperating from scarlet fever. In the movie Cpt Von Trapp is planning to marry a Baroness, in reality he was planning to marry a Princess. Maria and the Captain weren’t married in the church we saw today but were married in the convent that Maria came from (the convent Nonneburg was actually used in the picture in the opening scenes). They also had two children of their own before they escaped Austria and had another child once they were in America. I didn’t realise either but they actually left Austria by taking the train to Italy and then hiking over the Italian Alps into Switzerland before departing for America! Disappointingly we did not go and see the “hill” where the opening scenes are shot.. I was really hoping for the chance to do the twirl and sing “the hills are alive….”---- (although after hearing Allison sing I really wasn’t too keen to open up my voice box…)

At the conclusion of the tour, Allison and I decided to go up to the fortress above Salzburg to have a look over the city. The fortress was built in the 1500s to defend the city. Today the fortress is really just a shell of a building with a small museum dedicated to aspects of the fortress. The view from the hill was worth the trip though! We decided to walk back down the hill and see the Nonneburg Cloister on our way (its on the same hill as the fortress- just a little lower down the hill)

Most of the cloister is off limits to the public but we were able to enter the chapel where Maria and the Captain were married (and where Maria was planning to become a nun). Allison and I were pleasantly surprised to enter the cool enclosure of the chapel and hear the nun’s chanting their prayer. We spent at least 10 min just soaking up the peace that the chanting evoked. We later realised that the nuns were praying for the dead soul of one of their nuns who had passed away the day previously. Regardless of the reason for their praying it was a very peaceful twenty minutes within the cloister.

By now we were both fairly hot and hanging out for a rest so we went hunting a nice cool spot to sit down and have an ice cream. What we instead found was the most scrumptious strawberry sundae. We thought we were buying a chocolate sundae but were very surprised when out came this strawberry delight. Luckily we had agreed to share.. we would have struggled to eat one each!

Whilst we were eating I was busy learning about operas. Allison has been studying opera all of her life (25+ years) and is hoping to attend a prestigious Opera school in Italy next year as a soloist Soprano. I didn’t realise but August is the Salzburg Festival which means every day there are at least 2 operas playing. And of course they are Mozart’s operas as Salzburg is the home of Mozart.

Not long after our delicious sundae I left Allison as she was heading off to the opera to see one of Mozart’s operas (and it wasn’t one I had heard of before nor was it one with a simple name that I could remember) and I headed off to see if I could find some sort of open air music. I am still quite flummoxed but Salzburg does not appear to have any real outdoor concerts.. I mean this is the home of Mozart you would at least expect to see some buskers plying their wares or some in one of the squares I would have thought there would be some sort of quartet playing.. All I found was an “Omm-pah-pah” band playing in the Mirabelle! No Mozart in site!

After a very tasty wurst and potato salad I headed back to the hostel in time to watch the Sound of Music (as it plays every night at the hostel at 8pm). What a great way to end a very perfect Sound of Music day!

Posted by weary_feet 09:57 Archived in Austria

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