Once we were all checked in to Villa Trapp we had to wade out into the again-raining Salzburg. It was hard to leave our cozy surprise suite, but if we were to see Salzburg we had to keep moving. Did you know that Salzburg is not only the setting for The Sound of Music.... ....but also is the birthplace of Mozart? What a musical mecca! We found and paid homage to both Mozart's childhood and adult homes. What a genius! Can you even imagine the world without Mozart?!? What I remembered most from visiting Salzburg in college were all of the Mozart chocolate balls in every shop window. And wouldn't you know, they were still there!
We stumbled onto the Mirabell Gardens. Does this photo remind you of a famous movie scene?Bingo, it was where Maria and the kids dance and march while learning "Do, Re, Mi" in the movie. They do a type of criss-cross pattern in between these statues (shot from movie above). Doesn't look quite as coordinated with just me making the motion - actually it looks kinda dorky - but hey, I tried!We found the Salzburg Cathedral and made it in just as thunder and lightening clapped and another bottom fell out. We were grateful for the shelter. And oh what a shelter it turned out to be. I don't think either of us had seen Baroque architecture in a cathedral before. It was warm and wonderful. Much more friendly and inviting than the colder, darker Gothic styles we had seen in Germany. Clearly, from the photos, we were fixated on the ceilings!And to top off our "Ode to the Sound of Music" this day we visited St. Peter's Cemetery. The scene where Rolf discovers the Von Trapps hiding behind the gravestones is modeled after this cemetery (the movie version was filmed on a Hollywood set). Finally after dodging the downpours we decided to call it a day and to head for dinner. We went to the Augustiner Braustubl, a huge 1,000-seat beer garden within the monk-run Augustiner brewery. Rick Steves described the place writing, "when it's cool you'll enjoy a historic setting with beer-sloshed and smoke-stained halls. On balmy evenings, it's like a Monet painting - but with beer breath - under chestnut trees in the garden. Local students mix with tourists eating hearty slabs of schnitzel with their fingers while children frolic on the playground kegs." It ended up being still drippy out but we found a covered patio so the whole "beer garden" feel wasn't lost and it helped to avoid the smoky beer halls. Here are Rick's instructions on how to get a beer at the Augustiner: "Pick up a half-liter or full liter mug, pay the lady, wash your mug, give Mr. Keg your receipt and empty mug, and you will be made happy." Definitely strange procedure to wash your own mug, but Kirk managed to figure it out:We slept well at Villa Trapp and I was sad to leave such a joyful spot. But the next day we set out to see more Sound of Music sites. We first drove to Leopoldskron Palace. Recognize this view from the movie?This Palace exterior is where all of the 'backyard' shots are filmed - where they fall off the boat into the water, where they drink pink lemonade, and where Maria meets the Captain when they profess their love. We were able to drive right on up to the grounds and walk around. It appeared all the tour groups had to look across the river at it, so we felt sneaky special to be on a do-it-yourself-and-hope-you-aren't trespassing tour.Remember the kids swinging from these trees in their curtain-made playclothes in the movie?Next we went to Hellbrunn Castle. This front facade was used as the front of the Captain's house in the movie. Pretty tricky to use one palace to film the front scenes and yet another for the back. In the Hellbrunn Gardens stands the famous gazebo where Rolf sings "I Am Sixteen Going on Seventeen to Liesel" and also Maria sings "Something Good." It was fun seeing the prop and imagining the fun of dancing on the benches. And at long last, to reward Connor for her patience with her mother's Sound of Music fascination, Hellbrunn had a groovy playground with probably the best view of any playground in the world. So we had to stop and soak in every bit of it since the rains had passed and the blue skies returned.Yep, Austria and Salzburg especially didn't disappoint. This country is definitely one of my "Favorite Things!"
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