I never in my life thought I would dedicate an entire blog to a musical...
Our one full day in Salzburg was unexpectedly pleasant! Despite the cold drizzle, and the fact that I lost my one and only scarf, we saw a ton of country and learned way more Austrian history than we ever imagined we would.
I guess that I could stay that this wonderful day started two days ago when we skeptically agreed to a "Sound of Music Tour" of Salzburg. Despite the fact that it sounded absolutely corny, the reviews were great and the tour involved a drive out to the Salzkammergut Lake District . Both Nick and I were starting to get exhausted from trying to see so much in such a short amount of time, so seeing the Austrian countryside from the windows of a tour bus actually sounded quite nice. We found two promising options. The first was a company called Panorama Tours. The description of their tour included comfortable seats on a fancy bus, a visit to the Austrian salt mines, and a few hours in the quaint lakeside town of Hallstatt. The other option was called Bob's Special Tours, and that's
about all we knew...other than the fact that the company preferred to drive cramped nine-person VW vans. I suppose you can probably take a gander as to which one we chose...?
The shiny, red Panorama tour bus came to pick up a group of sight-seers from our hostel about twenty minutes before Bob's showed up to meet us. The tour guide was a skinny woman in a tight black pencil skirt and heels, carrying a clipboard and looking frantic. After spending fifteen minutes trying to herd a large group out of the hostel (constantly counting heads and often losing one or two tourists in the process), the big red bus finally took off from the parking lot. Not before a long, curly-haired man with a backpack and a goofy smiled ran up to greet us, however. The clipboard lady didn't look to happy to see him, but man he was sure happy to see us. This was our Austrian tour guide (who we half-expected to be a big American dude in a Hawaiian t-shirt), named Jurgen. Perfect!
Our tour started off exploring the old town of Salzburg, passing by many places where Julie Andrews and the movie versions
S.O.M. scene when the Von Trapp children and Maria fall out of the boat. Apparently the actress that played Gretyl was so scared of water that she vomited on Julie Andrews after the scene was over.
of the Von Trapp children once sang. We also learned about the real Von Trapp family, and got to see the convent where Maria and the Captain were married. The tour also took us to the early residences of Mozart, and finally out into the resort-like lake towns where many of the city folk retreat to during their vacations. Being able to see so much in one day, without the foot pain of walking, was worth every single penny.
Tomorrow might be a toughie. Although it wasn't in the original plan, we've heard so many great things about Munich during our trip that we decided to try and work it in somehow. I think we're going to catch the earliest train from Salzburg to Munich (under 2 hours), hang out for as long as we can, then catch last train to Prague (6 hours). Hopefully this will be our last extensive train ride for the rest of the trip.
Only 15 days left!!
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