The BBA tour of The Sound of Music sites of Salzburg

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September 18th 2009
Published: September 20th 2009
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Friday 18th September
The BBA tour of The Sound of Music sites of Salzburg
We are going to do our own tour of The Sound of Music sites in Salzburg for several reasons,the principal one being that the 4 hour guided tour costs an arm and a leg and hadn’t received good reviews in recent TripAdvisor entries and we would also be restricted to the time of the tour.And as Gretchen would like to revive her hair colour and get a tidy up we will also be looking for a hairdresser for her and she will be spending a couple of hours being made glamorous again(not that she has never been glamorous of course)
So with another hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs plus chipped up left over potatoes from the roast chicken last night we head off on the 25km drive to Salzburg to get the day under way.
Finding a carpark was easy as the road we took into the city led us directly to two options both of which were underground in huge chambers chiselled out of the hard rock.We ended up parking in space #542 and there were still heaps of other parks not used which showed the size of the cavern that was the car park.
The information office in Mozartplatz was very helpful giving us a map of the city and also one of the surrounding area drawing in where the sites for scenes used from The Sound of Music had been shot.The first,the Mozart walking bridge was just a short distance away and it was here that Maria ran along the bank of the River Salzach and crossed the bridge singing,if we remember right,”Doh a Deer....”.The fast flowing river was an icy blue colour revealing that its source was not that far away in that mountains and was being fed by melting snow.
That took us to the other side of the wide river and down it to the Mirabell Gardens a truly beautiful spot with brightly coloured summer blooms neatly laid out in plots making it a beautiful scene.Here also is Schloss Mirabell built in 1606 with Greek statues all around and now very popular for weddings.So much so that at 10.30am on a Friday there were two wedding parties in the grounds from weddings that had just been concluded.Many of the guests were in traditional Austrian clothes.The bride and groom from one of the wedding parties released two doves before the guests released a whole flock to follow.We struggle to remember the songs actually set in the gardens and will need to review them on the film when we get home!!
With the older part of Salzburg set in quite a narrow valley the view from the gardens up towards the fortress on a hill above the old city and then onto the mountains in the distance is very attractive and you can look at it for several minutes and always see something you missed as your eyes pass across the river between the high banks.
We then made our way back to the other side of the river again.The old city is very compact so it doesn’t take long to cover it from end to end.
After we crossed one of the numerous pedestrian bridges Gretchen spied a hair salon that looked classy and she went in to see if she could get an appointment.Yes,they could take her straight away so the BBA tour of The Sound of Music sites went on hold for a couple of hours.
Meanwhile I strolled the riverbank walk,took in some people watching in the warm sunny conditions and listened to the MP3 player to while away the time.
An hour and 40 minutes later Gretchen was out from what she termed the classiest salon she had been in and looking all glamorous again.
After a bite to eat sitting on the riverbank we recommenced the BBA Sound of Music tour by heading to the Stift Nonnberg,the abbey where Maria starts out as a nun and where a couple of the early songs in the film were set including the most well known from the movie “Climb Every Mountain”.The place has a look about it that it is no longer used as an abbey although not because it was untidy but there was just no one around.
Next we headed down the hill to St Peters church where the exciting scenes towards the end of the movie were set when the Captain,his children and his new wife Maria were hiding from the Gestapo after leaving the stage of the festival before heading over the mountains to Switzerland.The graves and headstones locked behind bars were as you see them in the movie and bought it all to life as we wandered around the cemetery.The church itself is pretty spectacular too with ornate painting on the walls and ceilings and very grand interior.It was interesting to note that locals are still being buried in what appeared to be a full cemetery as a couple of recent graves bore 2009 as a date on them and as yet did not have a formal headstone.
We returned to RR in the underground car park set into the rock face of the hill and took the road out to the suburbs and the schloss that served as the Captains home together with large lake in front of it.You can’t really see an awful lot as the place is privately owned and doesn’t allow tourists or Sound of Music fanatics either,even if they have come all the way from New Zealand to live it!!!
We could have gone on to look for the park also out in the suburbs where the gazebo used in the movie is now located but we decided instead to head further out of town and travel to St Gilgren and Mondsee.About 5km from St Gilgren,a very picturesque lake surrounded by high mountains,we came across a short queue of cars travelling slowly behind a local farmer driving his huge tractor and towing a trailer with cows on board and nowhere to get past without risking ones life.It has really amazed us in both in the UK and Europe how farmers are allowed to travel at such slow speeds holding up traffic on the roads.We have seen some very close misses as cars take risks to get past on blind corners and crests of a hill.Today was no different and Audi drivers seem to take the biggest risks!!
After a stop to take photos we pushed onto nearby Mondsee which is also located on a lake although not quite so picturesque as St Gilgren.
It is here at Mondsee that the church used in the wedding between Captain Von Trapp and Maria was filmed .Even at 5.15pm ,just 45 minutes before the church was to close to sightseers,the place was busy.The interior of the church is very photogenic with huge statues and carvings as well as paintings and a lavish alter.
So we had seen all the sites the guided tour would have taken us to and probably spent a bit more time in some of them than we would have had we been on the tour and we had done it in our own time and just for the cost of a bit of diesel.
The road home took us back through Salzburg which slowed our progress down a bit but we were still home in B-G before it was dark for our chicken salad and a rather nice bottle of rose.
It had been a great day out reliving one of our favourite musicals, The Sound of Music,and keeping within the BBA budget(Gretchen put her trip to the hair salon on her credit card and hasn’t revealed how much her colour and cut at the classy place came to!!)

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Mondsee churchMondsee church
Mondsee church

Where the Captain and Maria were married in the movie

21st September 2009

So there was no Aryan Rolf lurking around in the church cemetery? *lol*
21st September 2009

Where is the sound track
A pity you did not add your "wonderful" singing voices to this blog. It would have really brought it to life. I could then really imagine you two as Maria and Captain von Trapp frollicking through the Mirabell Gardens and over the bridge. Talked to a teacher at school today about Lake Bled. Her daughter had attended a family wedding at the church on the island just over a week ago. Thought it was the most beautiful place in the world. The groom had to carry the bride from the boat up to the church - a local village tradition. The bride had been dieting for a week or two for the occasion.

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