Salzburg and the Sound of Music Tour - Friday, 6/3

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We drove through the beautiful Austrian Alps from Hallstatt to Salzburg to spend the morning in Salzburg before our Sound of Music Tour began at 2:00 that afternoon. The drive was nothing short of spectacular! Incredible steep mountains, rock cliffs, with beautiful streams and many mountain lakes on the drive. The lakes are anywhere from 1 to 10 miles long, usually about a half mile across, situated in the bottom of the valley between two ranges of mountains. Here are some pictures taken from the car on the drive through the mountains from Hallstatt to Salzburg

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When we arrived in Salzburg, we parked near the center of the old part of the city, where our tour would start. Then we proceeded to walk the streets and see as many sights as we could before 2:00. The city blocks are mostly old, high, multi-story buildings all connected together. The street between the buildings is mostly brick and only about 15 feet across. There were so many souvenir shops and craftsman shops to look through and see classic Austrian craftsmanship.

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After browsing several of these shops, we proceeded to the city square. There are vendors of souvenirs, collectors items, food, etc. in tents all around the square. There are also musicians playing for tips, horse-drawn carriage rides, and, of course, the church bells that sound just like the Sound of Music movie bells. AFter leaving the square we walked through a old section of the city where Salzburg's oldest bakery was still baking and serving bread. They have been in business since about 1700. They have a stream-fed water wheel that provides electricity for a grindstone that grinds their flour.

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This section leads to an old church and churchyard (St. Peter Abbey Garden, at the base of Hohensalzburg Fortress). The churchyard is a large square garden in the center, surrounded by walls connected to the wall of the garden and, on one side, to the church. These walls are separated into small, steel-gated crypts or burial areas that contain family grave markers of all the family members whose remains are contained in the crypt. They are apparently cremated remains. Sometimes the urns are sitting out, sometimes they are apparently buried. They crypts are very-well kept. They are clean, all the grave markers in good condition and surrounded by plants, flowers, candles, etc. The steel gates look like the ones in the Sound of Music scene where the Nazi's are searching for the Von Trapp family hidden at the back of a garden area. This church is just below the Fortress of Salzburg, on a mountain at the center of the city. The fortress is built into the rock walls of the cliffs and on top of them. It was first built about 700 A.D. and was added to from that time on. People still live in apartments in the Fortress.

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Back to the square

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Walking the streets of Salzburg, headed to the start of the Sound of Music Tour

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After several hours of looking and shopping and eating snacks (an Austrian giant pretzel that was easily large enough to feed the six of us!), we started back for the tour. We stopped for lunch at the Mozart Cafe (Mozart was born and lived in Salzburg) and were served by Albert, who, upon learning that we were from Texas, asked that we say, "Hello" to Chuck Norris and to invite him to have free Austrian Strudle and coffee at the cafe. I told him I would pass that on to Chuck as soon as I saw him! From there we walked through a beautiful open court area where the bells of Salzburg sound just as beautiful as they do in the Sound of Music scenes where you hear them in the background.

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When we arrived at the tour starting area, we boarded our bus and headed out on the tour. The movie was actual shot all over and around Salzburg and the tour took you to several of the places where major scenes of the movie were filmed. We saw the back of the Manor where most of the backyard scenes were shot. You could see the lake and the small dock where Maria and the kids fell out of the boat.

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The fortress

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Then we went to another part of the city where the Gazebo scenes were filmed. The Gazebo was actual created by the film makers and they left it in Austria as a gift. Then we saw the mansion where all the scenes viewing the front of the Von Trapp home were filmed.

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The roof top of the actual abbey where the abbey scenes were filmed
(no one is allowed in)

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Ride to the area where the wedding and outdoor hillside scenes were filmed

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The peak where "The Eagle's Nest" is (Hitler's Bavarian Alps get-away)

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Then, we headed out into the hill sides to the small town of Mondsee, where the lane of trees the kids are climbing in was filmed. It was in some of the meadows of this area where the meadow scenes of the movie were filmed. Also, the church where the wedding was filmed was Saint Michael's Basilica in Mondsee. This beautiful church was built in the 15th century. We ate a small supper snack at a cafe in Mondsee and headed back to Salzburg.

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The church where the wedding was filmed

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Walk back through Mondsee to board the tour bus

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Arriving back in Salzburg, we walked through the Mirabelle Gardens behind the Mirabell Palace in the center of Salzburg. This is where the scenes of the kids singing after their picnic was filmed, including the fountain that they danced around singing "Do Re Mi".

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Back at the resort for a quick swim in the pool at the end of the day!

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