My inspiration for visiting Austria actually occurred when I was really young and first heard about the country through the movie, The Sound of Music. I know every song by heart and who doesn’t want to be Liesel during the gazebo scene?
From Vienna, I took a 3 hour bus ride to Salzburg which means Salt Castle. The town was known for its salt mines and at one point being the main hub of the country before Vienna became the capitol. The ride there was breathtaking. The Alps are gorgeous especially when you see their expanse as the backdrop to the many lakes in Upper Austria and Salzburg. Moon Lake is the lake featured in the film. There was a stopping point in one of the villages near Georges lake, so we got to actually get out and around to take pictures of the landscape. People come to these little villages to relax and get away from it all. The streets are tiny and there are only one or two shops and restaurants.
Upon arriving in Salzburg, our tour guide pointed out the fountain where Maria and the children sang “Do Re Mi.” Then we walked the Mirabell Gardens where the children mimic the statues. After passing a bridge full of lovers locks, we went into the old part of Salzburg. There are several churches and shops in this area but it was a Roman Catholic holiday, All Saints Day, so not many of the shops were open. Past one church, he showed us the St. Peter’s Church cemetery where the Von Trapp family hid from the Nazis before they escaped into the mountains. The guide said the movie is based on a real family, but they only had two children. I found it interesting that the scenes in the movie in and around the family home were actually located all over the new and old parts of the city. I really appreciate their creativity and vision in seeing one thing in reality and making a beautifully and well put together home in the film.
We had about two hours of free time after the tour so I decided to take the vertical train up to the castle which is cut into the mountain. The old white stone rooms feel cold, but seem to hold many secrets from the past of this city’s war efforts.
I ended my time in Salzburg walking the streets of the city and then down by the Danube River. Many of these old homes are done in the Baroque style and are breathtakingly exquisite.