The Hills are Alive…with the Sound of Music tour.

While we were in Vienna, we went on a bus tour of the city. They took us all over, showing us the opera house and we also saw an area that had been shelled during World War 2. They left the buildings pockmarked as a reminder of what had happened. It was quite startling, particularly as someone coming from a country where we don’t have any buildings like that.

We also went to Schonbrunn Castle, which is absolutely beautiful. I’m sure it’s stunning when all the garden is in bloom, but it was still quite a site in the snow and ice.

Schonbrunn Castle

After Vienna, we took a train to Salzburg. As we were leaving, they were deicing all the trains, chipping off the ice that had formed and would stop the trains moving. We found out that the day after we left Vienna, they had stopped trains there.

We were lucky in Salzburg that when we were there, it was their festival for Mozart’s birthday.  Mum hadn’t been able to get a room at the hotel where A and C and I were supposed to be staying, and she had a business class room at the Mercure. I ended up staying with her. It was also at this time that I started coming down with my cold. (Thank you, snow.)

We went on a tour of Salzburg in the afternoon, and it was wonderful. As well as seeing the beauty of the city, we also were taken to this great lake behind a house that had been frozen over. It felt very strange to be walking on a lake.

That lake featured again the next day in the Sound of Music tour. A while ago there was a special on TV about the Sound of Music, and the tour guide in Salzburg that you could hear speaking on that special was the exact same one A and C and I had when we went! He was hilarious and very well informed. Anyway, that lake that we had been standing on the day previously, is actually the back of the house and lake that was used in the film, the Sound of Music.

They took us back to that lake on the tour, except this time there were “Danger” signs everywhere and signs saying “Ice cracking”. A and C and I just stared at each other. Yesterday we had been wandering around on the lake!

That Lake

They took us up the beautiful mountains which were covered in snow, and they took us to this little town that they filmed the wedding scene. The town did not allow cars/buses on their roads, so the tour bus parked a little out. This is where the ice started to be a problem. C literally slipped off of the bus and landed in a pile of snow. It took us ages to get into the town itself, because you’d walk a few centimetres, slip, and either fall in the snow or right yourself and keep going. It was nuts!

Across the road from the church that the wedding scene was filmed, was a little café, which, the tour guide told us, had the best apfel strudel (apple strudel) in Salzburg. The walk up to the church was literally covered in ice, so we thought it best to have apple strudel and not end up with broken bones from walking on ice.

It was a great apple strudel.

Back in Salzburg, A and C were preparing for the next day. They were going to Swarovski World, a big shop type thing in the next town over Innsbruck, because they love Swarovski crystal. I was originally going to go, but I wanted to look at other things in Salzburg, so mum and I decided to do that while the girls went to Innsbruck.

Note on the culinary delights we were up to. We were trying hot chocolate in each European country, to see who had the best. We also were trying as many famous foods as possible. Mum and I discovered the Mercure were having wild board and other delights that I’ve blocked out of my mind, so we were visiting the local bakeries, grocery stores and fruit shops. We’d gather up fruit and cheese and bread and have it in our hotel room of an evening. This was actually really nice, because I liked looking at the little stores in the different cities and trying their foods. In fact, when we were in Vienna, we went to our first Aldi store, before they had been set up in Australia.

Another note on Mum’s hotel room. There was, and I’m not kidding, a rubber duck by the bath. Now, I have a slight obsession with rubber duckies. We have three in our bathroom – a little one dressed as a cop, another one with sunglasses and…The Salzburg Duck. As we were packing up to leave, Mum put the Salzburg Duck in her suitcase. When I gaped at her, she said “I’m sure it was there as a gift”.

Anyway, in tomorrow’s post – our travels around Old Salzburg, Mozart’s mother in law, and mum almost loses her feet to frostbite.

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  • C  On March 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

    As much as I love you (and you know I do), I’m going to have to hate you just a little bit for vising AUSTRIA! AND Doing the Sound of Music Tour.

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