OK, so Salzburg isn’t in Bavaria, but it’s too late to change the title of this series, so apologies. I’m gonna circle back to the end of our time in Garmisch-Partenkirchen later, but I think more people are interested in hearing about the Sound of Music! By more people I mean at least one person. Um, if you’ve never watched the Sound of Music, I apologize for all the references you will miss. Nice pictures, though?
So we made an e-mail reservation with Fraulein Maria’s Bicycle Tours. We received no compensation from them, I’m just gonna review them for anyone interested. We did receive a 2 Euro discount (dropping the price to 24pp) for having Rick Steve’s guide, borrowed from our local library.
The tour met and began at Mirabelle Gardens, which is a 5 minute walk from our hotel, the Crowne Plaza Salzburg. The bikes were decent, we got baskets with pictures of the sights where filming was done (or where Hollywood drew inspiration), and we were told we can break out in song whenever we’d like. Oh and the tourguide was playing a Jambox of Sound of Music songs the entire time we were riding. Wonderful!
Our tour guide, Franciska, was very friendly and knowledgeable about the movie and the town of Salzburg. The bike tour is a nice way to tour the town without having to get on a bus (and major non Sound of Music sights are pointed out). Don’t expect a ton of cycling, it’s more like bike five minutes, stop, rinse, repeat. Towards the end you go on some nice 20 minute stretches but those are the exception not the norm. It’s also mostly flat, there’s one large hill but almost everyone walked up that.
So, what sights do you see? You start out at Mirabelle Gardens (Do-re-mi), visit the area they filmed the music festival (Edelweiss), the fountain Julie Andrews splashes around in, and then take a break near the inspiration for the cemetery where the family hid.
After that, you make your way up to the nunnery which offers some great views of Salzburg’s surroundings including the mountain they supposedly escaped over (Climb Every Mountain). After some twirling around in a meadow, you visit the house facade (front and back) used in filming, plus the lake the kids jumped into. The last sight is the gazebo (16 going on 17), which was made in Hollywood but then donated to Salzburg. There are a few other smaller sights and connections to the movie as well.
We really enjoyed the tour. It was hot, but not overbearing, and I personally appreciated the nice easy ride.
I really like the city of Salzburg as well. Yesterday, coinciding with our arrival, the Salzburg Music Festival began. I don’t know if it’s because of that, but as we were biking around I heard people practicing all sorts of classical music – violin, opera, piano, etc. I’d love to come back when M is old enough to appreciate a concert (and old enough to bike the tour, she stayed with her grandparents this morning and supposedly had a blast at the Toy Museum).
After the tour and lunch with the family, Jess and I checked out Mozart’s birthplace and museum. Must visit for fans of classical music. No pictures allowed of the antiques, but we did sneak a few of the computer that played his Fantasy and Sonata in C minor while highlighting the music. Oldie but a goodie!
Final Thoughts (with special Sound of Music spoiler section for those who care) Salzburg is beautiful and I wouldn’t have minded staying here for more than a couple of days. It would have been nice to go to a concert but that’s just not feasible with M at this point. Thus far, this area of Europe has moved pretty close to the top of our list of “places to come back when she is old enough.” I’ll catch up on our last days in GaPa, do a food post, and have some other random thoughts as this whirlwind trip continues! Now, I wanted to leave this part to the end – you probably figured, but Hollywood took a lot of liberties with the Sound of Music. Here is a list of what I picked up, I don’t remember anything and can’t vouch 100% for the veracity, but I think most of these are true. SPOILER ALERT. If you don’t want your world SHATTERED, stop reading!
SPOILER ALERT: SOUND OF MUSIC TRUTH BOMBS
– Christopher Plummer hated being in the movie and drank all the time AND was drunk during the ballroom scene
– In real life, Captain Von Trapp was the nicer one, Maria was the one with more of a temper
– Speaking of which, Maria was just convinced by her nun peeps that marrying the Captain was the right thing to do. She didn’t learn to love him until later! What? Is love real?
– All the kids names were wrong. Oh and BY THE WAY I got the ROLF bike. I mean come on, I get the bike of the dumb kid who joins the Nazis? Why is his name even on a bike he’s the worst.
– And speaking of Rolf, this isn’t a spoiler to anyone who pays attention, but the overall message of 16 going on 17 is pretty messed up and would not stand in this day and age (but it’s so catchy!)
– The mountain they show the family climbing at the end of the movie leads into Germany not Switzerland – oops
– The family didn’t sneak out after a festival, they just took a train
– Oh, and the movie isn’t even shown EVER in Germany or Austria EVER!
Yes, that sentence required two evers. Alright, I think I’ve blown your mind enough. Or bored you to tears. Sound of Music!
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