One of my top bucket list items was finally marked off and it was everything I had hoped AND MORE! I grew up watching the Sound of Music, singing all the songs, and reinacting scenes with my sister. It's my all time favorite movie so seeing all the places where the movie was filmed was so incredible. I also couldn't miss out on the opportunity to reinact some of my favorite scenes. I owe William a special shout-out, not just for willingly coming along, but for following me around to find scenes from the movie and filming my singing and dancing when I looked like a crazy person on the streets of Salzburg. I made him watch the movie a few years ago and he fell asleep. Old musicals are not his thing, but he cheerfully came along. (Although he did start falling asleep on the bus ride home. LOL)
I was originally very worried because the weather leading up the the tour was terrible. Lots of rain, gray clouds, and storms. Although the day ended up being dark and dreary, the rain came before and after the tour... A blessing!
Here is a 2 minute video of my Sound of Music reenactments on the tour... Enjoy all the cheesiness! :)
Salzburg Panorama Tours
The tour we chose to do was through Panorama Tours... So glad we did it this way! When we originally got to Salzburg, it was so much smaller than I thought and we accidentally stumbled upon many of the movie scene locations without even trying. It would have been totally possible to drive to the locations on our own but the entire experience through Panorama was incredible. We had the sweetest Austrian woman guiding our tour, playing the songs on the bus, giving us tons of facts about the movie and Austria in general, and she sang and danced down the bus isle. It was incredible! The most heartbreaking fact I learned on the tour was that Christopher Plummer (Captain von Trapp didn't actually sing in the movie)!!!
The stops we made along the tour were: -Mirabell Garden (& Pegasus Fountain) - Maria and the children are singing part of the "Do-Re-Mi" song here -Nonnberg Convent - The Abbey where Maria lived before living with the VonTrapp's -Schloss Leopoldskron - The house where the Trapp family lived -The famous gazebo where Liesl and Rolf sing "16 going on 17" and where Marie and the Captain kiss -St. Michael Basilica - where the wedding scene was filmed
We also drove by many of the places where Marie and/or the children filmed singing scenes.
The tour we chose was 4 hours. There are around 300,000 people from all around the world who visit Salzburg each year specifically to see the Sound of Music landmarks.
Here is the garden where Maria and the children end the Do-Re-Mi song... They filmed many running and dancing scenes here.
The fountain the children walked around
This is right in front of the steps where Marie sings the extremely high note at the end of Do-Re-Mi
These statues are also featured in the "Do-Re-Mi" song with Maria and the children
Some fun facts about the Gazebo... People were injured trying to recreate the scene where Rolf and Liesl run on the benches, so they had to close it off.
This Gazebo used to be in the location of the big white house along the lake but it had to be moved. The house is now a hotel and they didn't want dozens of people at the hotel every day just to see the Gazebo. It was moved to the Hellbrunn Palace.
This specific gazebo was given as a gift to Salzburg after filming.
During filming, it rained too much in Salzburg and the filming was delayed. In order to save money from the time they lost, a lot of the rooms were copied and filmed in California. This Gazebo was also remade in CA into a bigger version for the actual scene of Liesl and Rolf dancing in it.
The palace where the Gazebo was later moved to was also beautiful
Here is the location where the outdoor house scenes were filmed. This wasn't the actual house you see in the movie, (the house in the movie is yellow) but all the scenes with the Gazebo, garden, and lake were here.
This is the yellow house you see in the movie. The front is shown when the Captain and Maria get back from their honeymoon and when Marie first walks up to the house to meet the family for the first time. We drove by it, but didn't stop.
Fun fact: If you look super close in the scene where the Captain and Maria are fighting after the children fall out of the boat into the lake, you'll notice that the Captain is standing in front of the lake (where the real house at the lake is white), but Maria is standing in front of this yellow house). The white house is never actually shown in the movie, just the outdoor landscaping. So they didn't actually film those scenes together.
St. Michael Basilica
Here is the church where the wedding scene of Captain von Trapp and Maria was filmed. It was much smaller than it seems in the movie. Very beautifully decorated and designed. I also learned on the tour that the real life wedding was actually at the Nonnberg Abbey where Maria was a nun.
I took this picture at the back of the church. You can see it isn't as big as they make it seem in the movie.
This is the Abbey where the real life Marie was living as a nun. They were actually able to film movie scenes here as well. (Marie leaving to meet the family, the children attempting to visit Marie after she left them.) Their real life wedding was here and it is still a fully functioning Abbey today. Unfortunately, we didn't get to actually see it up close.
Here is the bridge where the children run across in their "curtain clothes"
If you've been wanting to go on the Sound of Music tour.... MAKE IT HAPPEN! It is SO worth it. You'll have the BEST time!
Here are some other fun facts I learned on the tour:
The song "My Favorite Things" has a line that says "Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles" and apparently schnitzel and noodles are a terrible pairing in Austria, but they needed the song to rhyme.
Christopher Plummer was mad about doing the final movie scene of the family climbing through the mountains. He didn't want to carry any of the kids and wasn't a fan of working with children in general. Also in real life, they didn't leave Austria by way of the mountains. (Another dramatic movie scene)
Maria and the Captain didn't leave Austria until many years into their marriage, although for dramatic affect, they leave right after their wedding in the movie. They also had a few children of their own and ended up settling in Vermont USA
This is the place where the wedding scene was filmed. (St. Michael Basilica) It's about a 30 minute drive outside of Salzburg... The cutest little town with beautiful colored buildings!
Lots of food tents were opened.
Our yummy lunch ... Sausage, baguette, and a spicy sauce
The Hills are Alive.....
Here are other random photos from the tour... Driving through the mountains...
Here is the Red Bull headquarters. The founder is the richest man in Austria.
Salzburg Austria, The City
When we weren't on the tour, we were enjoying the city of Salzburg. It's a beautiful city surrounded by mountains and overlooked by a castle. It is also the birth place of Mozart. It was a huge change from Venice, the place we visited before Salzburg. The buildings seem much newer than other European buildings... The streets were extremely clean. It reminded me a lot of Switzerland. The only complaint I have about Salzburg was the food.... Totally not a fan. I'll share more on that below.
There were lots of Motzart shops around the city
The von Trapp outdoor filming house
When Will and I travel, we almost always try eating local food, specifically made and well-known in the place we're in. Salzburg was no different. We chose a restaurant and once we got to the menu, nothing sounded good to me at all. Most of the choices were some type of lamb or sausage. I ended up choosing calf with a potato salad... None of which I enjoyed, which is one of the only times in my life where I'm struggling to finish a meal. The meat wasn't good and the potatoes were soaked in vinegar. Will wasn't a fan of his meal either... I ordered apple strudel for dessert, hoping it would at least finish off my meal positively, and I knew it was popular in Salzburg, but I was disappointed as well. Anyway, now I've gone on too long about the food I didn't like. The sausages we ate on the Sound of Music tour made up for it because they were delicious! I guess I can't enjoy ALL foreign food.