Saturday, June 06, 2009

Salzburg (Day 13 - 14)

It seems that the main drama of our trip ALWAYS has to do with the train travel. We got to Prague station to catch the train through Munich to Salzburg and while on the platform our train got delayed like 3 times... I finally went up to one of the attendants to ask and see if we would be able to make our connection. Through the language barrier I pointed to my ticket and itinerary and he nodded and said, "this platform" - "will I make the connection?" - "hahahaha... no." As simple as that... why thank you kind sir. When we got onto the train finally Phoebe and I sat down in a little private room on the train. When the ticket man came by to check our passes we began speaking in Czech and pointing to what I thought was the direction of the luggage rack, so I thought he was saying something about our luggage... turns out that was not it, but we were still confused... so he just began speaking louder in Czech. haha, Just because we don't speak Czech does not mean we're deaf. Turns out he needed us to move train cars... luckily we did because later on that part of the train was no longer attached to our train... haha.
We were pretty bored on the train ride so I decided to try my hand at reading an article about the forth coming Terminator movie in Czech... I only was able to catch the proper names of the actors and the movie.

Finally when we got to the connection station we found there was a train leaving within 2 hours, so we weren't THAT late.
The hostel was great and we were alone in our 4 bed female dorm for the first night!

The second day in Salzburg was AWESOME!!!! It began as every day in Salzburg should, with the ORIGINAL Sound of Music Tour!!!!!!! My little girl fantasies came true on this trip!!!! This tour was ENTIRELY geared towards the filming sights of the movie! People pilgramage from all around the world to take this particular tour. One girl apparently watched the movie EVERY DAY TWICE A DAY and when she came on the tour, according to our tour guide she sobbed through the whole thing because it was a dream come true. Weird!!
Phoebe and I were picked up from our hostel in a grand tour bus which was completely full of huge Sound of Music fans... my people!

There was a big mural on the side of the bus of Maria and the Von Trapp children singing... but Phoebe and I thought Maria looked like she was sneezing... hense the picture below.

Our tour guides name was Peter and he was hilarious! I will tell you the entire tour was JUST like the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland... the tour guide just made dry humor cheesy jokes and everyone laughed accordingly... Phoebe and I got to use our annoying laughs on the bus. Phoebe had made her's up the night before and let me tell you I fall over laughing every time she does it. Peter also yodled... so that was AWESOME!
Our first stop on the tour was the Leopold Crown Palace which was the Palace used in the film for the Von Trapp's backyard

That is the very lake that Maria and the Children fell out of the boat into.
Unfortunately the house used as the front of the Von Trapp home was unable to be visited, but we did drive by and see the gate as well as the trees that the children hung out of in their play clothes.
the next place we got out at was my particular favorite... anyone recognize this??

They no longer allow people to go inside the gazebo because an 81 year old lady broke her hip trying to leap from one bench to the other just like Liesle.
After the gazebo it was on to a photo op in front of Nonnberg Abbey where Maria was a nun.

At this point in the tour we headed out to the Austrian countryside to see some lakes and the Alps. These were the places that were used to film the opening scenery sequences. The mountain on which Maria sang on was covered in clouds, but we did drive by and see it through the windows of the bus

Along the way Phoebe and I partook in the bus bar services. We didn't purchase alcohol, but instead we sampled the taste of an Austrian soda called Almdudler!! It is a combination of ginger ale and apple juice they say - seriously delicious!!!! Phoebe and I miss Almdudler dearly!

It was also through the countryside that the bus played the soundtrack to the Sound of Music and of course everyone on the bus sang along!!! It was magical!!
The destination of our country journey was Mondsee, which holds the Church in which they filmed the Wedding Scene of Maria and Captain Von Trapp!!!

There was an actual wedding going on inside the church, but they still allowed tourists to enter and take pictures inside (I would NOT like that if I was the bride!)
When we exited the church a VERY LOUD siren went off almost causing permanent hearing loss for Phoebe and myself... but NO ONE else seemed phased... still don't know what they was about... I was fully ready to see bomber pilots swarm over the alp mountain tops.
The town was rather charming!! So storybook picturesque

The pink building in the middle is where we had the most delicious "crisp apple strudel"

We also shopped around the gift shops filled with souvenirs such as Austrian lace, eidelweiss EVERYTHING, and all the sound of music post cards you could handle. I found an awesome pin for Phoebe to buy that said "Austria: no kangaroos". HAHAHA!
As we headed back to the bus the church bells sounded and I swear I was in the movie as the camera pans above the wedding church!! They sounded the same as in the movie!
The tour ended eventually - much to our dismay. It had been so lovely!
Other facts we learned on the tour:
- The real Maria Von Trapp died of medical conditions related to her eating too much cheese... she died how she lived - eating cheese apparently.
- Sound of Music was not a favorite among the Austrian people mainly because it wasn't released in the German language until only 10 years ago... so the whole phenomenon is lost on them
- the eidelweiss flower only grows on the sides of the highest mountains and is a token of love... so young men would climb up the highest mountains to retrieve this flower for their ladies and some in the process gave their life to the arduous task
- There is an Abraham Lincoln statue in Austria of his riding a horse and reading... what a talented man!

After the bus tour ended Phoebe and I continued our S.O.M. tour with a visit to the Mirabelle gardens where most of "Do Re Mi" was filmed.
This is my Maria-singing-the-last-note-of-Do Re Mi- pose

The fountain they dance around

After we were all Sound of Music-ed out we moved on to what Salzburg is also known for - Mozart!! It was in this city that he lived and died.
His birthplace

The museum inside his birthplace was seriously the WEIRDEST museum I have ever been in... not only was it not too impressive, but the last 3 rooms made NO SENSE AT ALL!! One of the rooms had everything upside down - the pictures, furniture, etc... another room was all back with random doors that lead no where and dresses in front of lights... So strange!
But I did however get to see Mozarts' wig and violin... so that's cool.
I also wanted to go down to the residenz fountain where Julie Andrews splashes the water on her way to the Von Trapp Family Villa... I don't know why, but that scene is so iconic for me of the movie... the fountain was however under construction, but I snuck this picture through the barriers

By this time is was raining pretty hard and we were hungry, so we had lunch as Zum Mohren, which served Italian, Indian, and Austrian food.
Phoebe and I finished out our day with some HUGE pretzel shaped donuts on the steps of the Salzburg Dome Church

and some more sights in the rain
Oversized chess board

View of the Fortress above the city

Note: when I come back to Salzburg I need to take the time to visit the largest ice cave in the world just outside the city... Phoebe and I were bummed that we didn't have enough time and money... or energy for hiking to it.


AmyKristen said...

Oh my gosh...the town is too cute. I didn't know cute towns like that really existed. How do you manage to look so cute in every picture?!?!?

NanAZ said...

Sounds like loads of fun! I remember in 5th grade our school choir did a concert with all the songs from SOM. My best friend and I would sing all the songs after school every day. What great memories!