Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Eine Kleine Do-Re-Mi (Salzburg Part I)

The best part of my Spring Break by far was Salzburg, Austria; the birthplace of Mozart and the location of The Sound of Music. We didn’t know exactly what to expect upon coming here and were beyond pleasantly surprised. We were very happy to leave Vienna and catch a train across Austria. Luckily, we were able to get a really cheap train for only 23 Euros and it was the nicest train I’ve ever been on. There were couch-like seats that we could pretty much lay down on for the 3 hour ride. The views from the Austrian countryside only added to how great the ride was. 

Day 1
When we first got to Salzburg I was completely taken back by the mountains that are visible in the distance in nearly every direction. To see the town we did our own walking tour with a good old-fashioned map. We went to a bakery, bought some candy, and continued to be amazed by the picturesque views. Our hostel was a nice mix between the home-like hostel we stayed at in Prague and the hotel-like hostel we stayed at in Vienna. To our great pleasure, the hostel showed The Sound of Music movie every night in the living room area. Of course, we went and watched it. I forgot how many great songs that movie had in it. For dinner we ate at a super-trendy (almost too trendy) sushi place. The food was good but we felt slightly too un-cool to be eating there.

Day 2
The next day we embarked on our Sound of Music tour, unsure of how it would be. On our way there we sat with a Canadian couple who truly were the epitome of an “opposites attract” couple. That really set the tone for the entire tour. Overall, the tour was awesome! We saw the recreated gazebo from the “I am 16 Going on 17” part of the film. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside because a 90-year-old woman once fell in it and broke her hip while trying to recreate the scene were Liesel jumps from bench to bench singing. Poor lady, she tried. Instead, we worked with what we had and made a video of me running around the outside of the gazebo while Val and Katie sand the “I am 20 Going On 21” version of the song:
During the tour we also saw other scenes from the movie, such as one of the houses used as the Von Trapp house, the convent, the church, the cemetery, and the garden. Here are some pictures:

Our hostel
Mirabell Gardens 

The Mirabell Garden scene from the movie

The Von Trapp House
Gazebo scene 



The church where Maria got married
Inside the church
Hot chocolate!
Apple strudel
 The best part of this tour was that Peter, our lovely tour guide, put on The Sound of Music soundtrack while we drove around in our minivan bus. During the break on our tour we were brought to St. Gilgens and Mondsee; two beautiful areas that are honeymoon worthy. For me, breathtaking is an understatement. If I hadn’t gone to this place myself I wouldn’t believe it was real. We sat outside at a quaint café next to the church used in the Sound of Music movie and had some hot chocolate and apple strudel.
When we got back to our hostel we were surpised to find that we had our first roommate while traveling abroad: a young Asian boy named Ping. He barely spoke English but was very sweet.

That night we went to an Irish pub (in Austria, I know, we completely failed to embrace the Austrian culture) called Shamrock. Here, we got beer called Edelweiss and watched a live band perform. It was funny to watch the band read the English words off of a piece of paper and mess a few of them up occasionally.

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