Austria Pt. 2

All right.  Here we go again.

One week ago, I was in Austria.  The first part of the adventure can be found here (or you can probably scroll down, whatever).  I already told you about the travel there, wandering around aimlessly, and the briefest touch on the trip home.  So, we are left with the afternoon tour to visit the sights of The Sound of Music.

The Sound of Music was actually the largest reason we visited Austria, and more specifically Salzburg.  As soon as I was done with my final homework assignment, (probably the last homework assignment EVER) I felt the overwhelming need to do something.  I wanted to run through open fields, scream from the mountaintops, and listen the the hills sing.  Basically, I wanted to be Julie Andrews at the top of the hill, spinning around and singing that the hills were alive.  We visited with the idea that I would actually get a chance to geek out, and spin on that hill.  However, as the sights of the movie are rather spread out, and many of them are private property, I conceded to my husband’s repeated appeals to pay for a tour.

I don’t like paying for tours anywhere.  It’s nothing against the tour guides; every tour we have ever been on has been great.  It’s informative, fun, and usually at least a little funny.  You really do learn and see things you wouldn’t have otherwise.  I just really hate paying for the tour.  It’s usually through a bigger company, and you know the tour guides are only getting a fraction of what you are paying.  I mean, yes, this current tour took us on a bus out and around, which means paying for the gas and the driver, as well as the ticket sellers, and the tour guide.  But we have seen many, many walking tours which also seem overpriced.  What extra is the money going for then?

So, I had to be talked into the tour.  But I was glad I was talked into it.  We would not have found 90% of the stuff and the other part would still have required us to drive on windy roads in the mountains through wind and snow, only to have a 50/50 chance of actually realizing what we were seeing.  Instead, we were driven around, taken to places were we could see what we wanted, and given a bunch of fun facts about the movie (which I will try to remember for you.)

The first stop was the lake behind the house.  It may not look like a lake, but underneath the thick layer of snow was a layer of ice, covering the water that Julie Andrews, and the child actors, all fell in.

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Apparently the terrace where they filmed everything was not actually the back of the house, but an exact replica built off to the side.  Because they were using a different house for the front, and doing studio filming for the inside, they couldn’t risk the house showing up in any shot.  It almost seems like a waste of location shooting to do it this way, but of course, the movie speaks for itself that way.

We also learned that the child playing the youngest Von Trapp was unable to swim.  During the scene where they all fell into the water she was supposed to have been grabbed by Julie Andrews before they went underwater.  Unfortunately, while filming the scene she actually fell into the water, and was unable to grab the child beforehand.  The little girl was of course saved and recovered, but it was quite a scare.

After this we traveled to find the current location of the gazebo.  It had one been outside the house (this one) but tourists were causing a disturbance to the conferences held in the house.  It was then moved to the other side of the lake, where we were standing, but no one maintained it while it was there.  After a time it was movie to Hellbrunn Castle.

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It didn’t look like much, just a gazebo.  We weren’t able to go in either.  Years ago a couple were recreating the “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” dance, slipped and had a foot go through a window.  It was all right, but not the highlight of the tour.

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This picture has nothing to do with The Sound of Music, and I have no idea who those people are.  I just happened to like the shot.

Just outside the castle, near where were were parked was the place where the bus stopped to let Maria off after the left the abbey.  It was nothing more than a long yellow wall, but it was still kind of cool.

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As Maria gets off the bus, she sings the song, ‘I Have Confidence.’  Most of the sights she sees as she is singing this song are no where near here, and a few of them I wanted to see, but was unable to.  What I did learn however, is during that song, the real Maria Vonn Trapp makes an appearance in the background.

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We learned there were many things the Real Maria was unhappy with.  She did not like how were husband was portrayed, more stiff than the real man had been.  This cameo was supposed to appease her.  As I learned all of the changes in the story, I am slightly surprised that that was her only complaint.

I never realized this entire story was based on a book written by the Real Maria.  It makes sense, I just never knew.  There were many things that were wrong in the movie.  In order to make things a little more appealing to audiences.  Not only were the children’s ages and genders wrong (both the oldest and the youngest were actually boys, and the oldest was in their mid/late twenties when they left) but there were actually more children.  The captain had seven children with his first wife, then he and Maria had three more children.  When they left Austria, according to our tour guide, they had nine children, with the tenth on the way.  I suppose as far at story telling goes, I can understand why these changes occurred.  I do however feel slightly lied to, and must make time to read the book later.

After this we drove by the house that had been used as the front.  There is no where to stop closer, unless you are walking so I only got a drive by shot.

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We were also only able to get a drive by of Nonnburg Abbey.  There is no where to park, and as we were told there were also 21 very strict nuns who would not let anyone inside.

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After this we drove out to Mondsee, the town where the church used in the filming of the wedding was.  The Real Maria was married in the Abbey, but for the movie, it was actually about 20-30 minutes out of the city.

We took a brief stop on a hill top where a helicopter took shots for the opening scenes over the town where Mozart’s mother was born.

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Also along this road we passed the headquarters for RedBull, which is apparently an Austrian company.  It was only a drive by, so I didn’t get a picture (and I actually care nothing about Red Bull), but the place was beautifully built.

Eventually we arrived at Mondsee, where St. Michael’s church is located.  We had a little time there, so we wandered into the church and took a few pictures.

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Afterwards we headed across the street to get some warm apple strudel.

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I tried to get a picture before ti was destroyed, but my family has their priorities when it comes to food.  Pictures for blogs is not one of them.

On our way back to the bus, I finally got my running through a field, spinning around in circles moment.  It wasn’t the hilltop from the movie, but I was going to take what I could get.

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So that was it.  That was our one day in Austria.  It was amazing, exhausting, and beautiful.  I think you can see a little bit of why I don’t always get around to posting my travels.  This was a lot, and it was all about one day!  Hopefully, this is a start of a good trend for me however. More travels, and telling more stories about them.

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