Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg

As an awkward prepubescent girl, my two idols were Olivia Newton John and Julie Andrews.
Don't laugh.  What young girl didn't want to be "hopelessly devoted" Sandra Dee
or "a problem like Maria"?  

I had the soundtracks to both movies on big, black vinyl disks.
I would hide away in my room and play them over and over again dramatically acting out each song.
You know you've done it, too.  Right?  Anyone?

 Before our trip to Salzburg, I made sure to express (over and over) to TE just how important
 The Sound of Music was to my childhood.  After all of the conditioning and begging, he was sweet enough to indulge me in the cheesiest of cheesy bus tours The Original Sound of Music Tour.  We purchased tickets the night before from the hotel (37 Euros each) and were assured that we would be picked up the next morning at 9am. 

It was a Tuesday morning during off-season, so we didn't expect to be taken to a large bus and to see every seat filled.  Great minds.  It was a surprisingly young crowd. too.
The bus was clean and comfortable with a bar for beers, sodas and water.   We settled in for a four hour tour of all the local highlights from the famous movie.  

The music from the movie was played all along the way and we were encouraged to sing along, though I didn't hear anyone else.  They were probably singing under their breath like I was.  It was still early.   

Along with some really bad jokes, our guide was full of information about both the 1965 Hollywood movie and the real-life story of Maria and the von Trapp family.  Most Austrians have never  seen the movie, but it brings millions of people from all over the world to Salzburg each year. The movie is very much a Hollywood creation and wasn't even shown in Austria until recently.

The tour was one of the highlights for both of us.  TE hasn't even seen the movie and had no idea how the sites we visited fit into it, but you really don't need to know anything about the Sound of Music to enjoy the gorgeous views of Salzburg and the surrounding lake district.

Our first stop was the Leopoldskron Lake for a view of the Leopoldskron Palace.   If you know the movie, this is the lake where the children took an accidental swim.  The back of the palace was used in some of the exterior shots of the von Trapp family home.  The famous gazebo was once on these grounds, but too many people were jumping the walls to get to it, so they moved it. 

It's now on the grounds of the Schloss Hellbrunn.  Unfortunately, it's all locked up so we couldn't go in and leap from bench to bench like Liesl in the Sixteen Going On Seventeen number.  This gazebo is much too small to be the one from that scene.  It was actually shot on a film set at 20th Century-Fox Studios.

The Schloss Frohnburg Palace was the main building used in the exterior shots of the Trapp villa and is now a music university.  Along the front of the Castle is an alley lined with trees along both sides.  This was where the von Trapp children hung from the trees on their adventurous day out with Maria. 

After a few stops around the city of Salzburg, we settled back into the bus for an hour long trip out into the Lake District stopping for views along the way.  Breathtaking.  Gorgeous.  Fantastic.  Magical. There has to be more words to describe such beautiful scenery. 

We had about an hour in the lakeside town of Mondsee to visit the Mondsee Cathedral where the Captain married Maria in the movie.  The real von Trapp couple were married at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg. 

After visiting the Cathedral, we had just enough time for Schnitzel and shopping.  I've been wanting one of these beautiful Black Forest German cuckoo clocks for ages.  I think my mom had one when I was little and they're so beautiful.  On the bus ride back to Salzburg, the intro to So Long, Farewell came on.

There's a sad sort of clanging
From the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple, too
And up in the nursery
An absurd little bird
Is popping out to say cuckoo
(Cuckoo, cuckoo)

With my new little cuckoo clock resting on my lap, I might have had a moment.
I was suddenly that young girl again, completely charmed by a love story filmed in the most beautiful place and listening to music that carried me there.
Pretty special. Now I just have to figure out the best place to hang my little treasure.  

The bus dropped us off back in Salzburg right next to the Mirabell Gardens.  This was where many of the scenes from Do-Re-Mi were filmed.  Do you recognize the Pegasus Fountain and the steps from the song? 

If you are a fan of the movie, you will love this tour.  It was so much fun and exciting to see it all. 
I'm dying to watch the movie again.  It's been years since I've seen it.  

Have you seen The Sound of Music?  What's your favorite scene?


*This is not a sponsored post.  We paid full price for the tour tickets.   And as usual, all photographs are mine unless otherwise noted.  


  1. I did this tour several years ago, and the whole experience was charming and connected me with all those times I had seen the movie as a young girl. Still love the movie even today!

  2. Oh we have such similar thoughts at times. No laughing here, Olivia Newton John was a favourite too, loved Grease and the movie Xanadu, I used to rollerskate around our driveway listening to the record. The Sound of Music has been the theme to my life. Julie Andrews is the best. I also did the Sound of Music tour (back in 1989) although ours wasn't the Original tour and the music wasn't from the movie, but still the same songs, just different artists (was very disappointed). I love your photo's.

  3. those pictures look lovely! i so wish i could travel right now as well :)

  4. Oh, so much gorgeousness, thank you! :)

  5. You took me right back to my childhood, and I think I still know all the words to all the songs! Gorgeous photos :)

  6. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Selena! I just shared your blog with all my facebook peeps.

  7. love love this post! I have a similar love affair with both Julie Andrews and Olivia Newton John as well and though I've made it to Austria, I've never made it to Salzburg and the Sound of Music tour. What fun. Thanks for bringing back great memories of the impact this movie had on me as a child growing up in Pakistan. First movie I ever saw (and there weren't many more until I was a lot older)

  8. Oh this looks so wonderful! The Sound of Music was defo the film of my youth too! and I would love to do this tour! Glad it lived up to expectations! I have to say Liesel's '16 going on 17' is a bit of a classic...but also my other favourite bit is when Gretel is singing the song with the whole family at the party and she falls asleep! My sisters and I used to reinact that song and I was always Gretel!

  9. I can't believe you actually got a cuckoo clock! *envious*

    It sounds like such a fun trip, even in winter. Bit disappointing about the gazebo, but there ya go. I used to work for a movie magazine and when you started researching locations for movies you realised how experiencing the joy of a film via tourism is so complicated, and how few "locations" were actually where they claimed. Sounds like this one was an utter delight.

  10. Oh the pictures are gorgeous. This is on my bucket list and I can't wait to go! I could watch that movie over and over! Thanks for stopping by my blog, your's is great.

  11. This is so cute! I love that it took you back to your childhood, and it's so good to have those moments no matter our age! Glad you were able to experience this and Matt enjoyed it just as much! x

  12. The first film my parents ever took me to was The Sound of Music. Mum says I sat through the whole thing without shuffling and I was only three at the time.
    We are considering Austria for this summer so might have to put this on my list!

  13. THANK YOU for blogging about this! I'm going to Salzburg next month and me &the girls are wanting to see the Sound of Music sights and have been umming and arrr-ing over which way is best to do it. i'll definitely be showing them these photos.

    Lauren xx

  14. Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for stopping by. You are going to LOVE Salzburg! And how can anyone resist The Sound of Music? Have a great time. Can't wait to see your blog posts.

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  19. My Mum and I just did the tour today and we had a fabulous time. We had a brilliant tour guide (extremely funny man) who kept us laughing and singing throughout the tour.

    By the way it is disappointing that you can't go inside the gazebo but we were told it's closed now because an 80+ year old fell and broke her hip whilst trying to skip over the seats:) I guess people of all ages forget themselves when it comes to this movie.

    I also can't wait to go home and watch the movie again. Will have to dust it off as it's been a long time.

  20. It was such a fun and nostalgic day. I would love to take my Mom! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!! xoxo

  21. Found this post on Casey's blog and I LOVE It!!! I was obsessed with the Sound of Music when I was younger and I made my best friend and sister watch it with me then act it out with me ... yeah, it happened. This is definitely top 5 on my bucket list!

  22. Oh! I just saw this blog and I am very jealous :P I need to do this tour also! I was raised with The Sound of Music and I know all the songs and most of the time I sing along while watching it (and I do not even know that I do that until my sister or my friends point that out!)... I need to make my fiancee watch it too :P He know how much I love it so he said we need to find a perfect time as he is not fond of musicals... and he would really like to love it (for me!) :) What can I say... my fav is the So Long, Farewell song (I used to stage it with my friends, for Christmas) and of course Edelweiss (which always makes me cry...) :) Great post Selena :*
    Yours truly,
    The LadyBug

  23. It looks like you guys had a great time on the tour (oh and went during perfect almost-no-tourist) season! I loved the tour when I went on it too! :D


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