Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Salzburg: The Hills are Alive!

The kids have been introduced to the Sound of Music by their godmother, a big fan. It's pretty appropriate as we live in the Alps. We all now occasionally burst into Sound of Music song when we catch a glimpse of the Alps. Capitalizing on this musical energy, we took the kids to Salzburg, famous for many things, including Mozart, but for us it was all Sound of Music all the time.
The train ride from Munich to Salzburg is less than two hours, and happens to pass through a station with the only Dunkin Donuts in Munich. So easy, we are already planning a return visit. From the Salzburg train station, we walked into the Old Town, marveling at the baroque architecture and all the tourists! Phil managed to pull together a picnic dinner along the Salzach River, us and a bunch of college kids. Our kids might be a little jaded when it comes time for their own collegiate European tour but they’ll survive. Salzburg is worth the return visit, be next month, next year or next decade.
We signed up for the The Original Sound of Music Tour, and despite being a fan, the four to five hour tour time caused me some concern. All unfounded. The tour was great. First, we went around to movie sights in Salzburg; ie. the wall Julie Andrews walked along as she was dropped off at the Van Trapp house, the bridge where the kids ran across in the curtain costumes, the Nonnberg Abbey, where the real Maria Von Trapp served. We visited the gazebo, famous for “I’m sixteen, going on seventeen.” We were told we could no longer go inside as an elderly tourist jumped up on the benches to dance and sing and fell, breaking her hip. Our tour guide assured she was recovered!
After the city sights, we drove out to through the Lake District, absolutely beautiful snow topped peaks, green countryside and alpine lakes. We visited the church in Mondsee where the Sound of Music wedding took place. We ate apple pastries, outside in the sun, admiring the church from a street side café. Walking around on the inside, the church was all soaring ceilings and stunning stain glass. It was easy to see why the movie crew picked this church for the Hollywood wedding despite it being a good forty minutes outside of Salzburg,
On the ride home, our Austrian guide put the movie on a screen and encouraged us all to sing along. We did. We concluded the tour with our guide singing a knock off song about getting a beer,  to the tune of “Doe a deer, a female deer.” Our family all looked at Royce. She stood up, walked to the front of the bus and took the mic. She sang a great round of her Girl Scout knock off version about getting Twinkies. The international audience did not know what Twinkies were but they got the tune and the enthusiasm and gave her a rousing round of applause. Our own little Julie Andrews moment.


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