I wanted to name one of my sons Wolfgang Amadeus, and I’ve wanted to twirl in the Alps like Maria from the Sound of Music. So, to say that I am excited to be in Salzburg, Austria is an understatement. Here we are in the birthplace of both Mozart and the Von Trappe family singers. Yipee!
With a little less oomph than Maria as she sang about courage, Kevin and I arrived at the gates of the Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron. Being a Sunday not all the buses were running, so we had to make our way through the town on feet still sore from our long walk. As soon as we walked into the beautiful Leopoldskron grounds the weight of our backpacks lightened.
Our room on the third floor looked out towards Hohensalzburg Fortress (the city’s landmark castle) and the gardens.
It was here in these gardens and on this lake that the boat scene from The Sound of Music were filmed. Instead of children in playclothes made of curtains, goslings swam.
The character Max was based on a former owner of the house, Max Reinhardt, co-founder of the Salzburg Festival. The house, really a castle was built in 1736. Count Leopold even built the lake.
The Rococo rooms are gilded and glitzy, full of the wow factor. Max’s library was dreamy.
Although they did not film inside, it’s rooms inspired the Hollywood set. Speigelsaal, a mirrored room, was the inspiration for the ballroom.
We could only afford a one night stay, but we had time to pedal bikes around the lake before saying goodbye.
The next two nights we stayed at a Seminary Guesthouse in the middle of the Old Town and started to decipher the intricate city bus schedule. We also got a visitor’s card that gave us free entry to most of the tourist attractions.
We took a cruise on the Salzach River on the boat Amadeus. We found out Salzburg was a prominent historical city because of the nearby salt mines. The mansions on the river bank give testament to how wealthy the city became from the salt trade. The captain drove to the tune of Mozart at the end of the tour.
We had a lot of fun at Hellbrun Palace. It’s 400 year old trick fountains are still pretty amazing.
To cap off the first full day we rushed to take the last cable car ride up Mt. Untersberg, which is mentioned in The Sound of Music. We could see really far. It was overcast. I wonder if we could’ve seen the curvature of the earth on a clear day.
On the final day we woke to the Seminary bells and set out to take a funicular up to Hohensalzburg Fortress. We got there before the lines and waited in the shade. It’s hot here. I can ‘t tell you how hot because they use Celsius and I haven’t figured out how to translate that into Fahrenheit.
Of course we had to stop at Mozart’s Birthplace. Actually, we’d been in it’s basement the night before but didn’t realize it! You see, most of the grocery stores had closed early on Sunday, but there was one that was open until 7pm. We were too busy pushing our way through the congested nooks and crannies of the store to look around. When we got outside we noticed people looking up at the building and taking pictures. “What are they doing?” ” Oh…We just bought sodas and sandwiches at Mozart’s house! ”
The finale of our Austrian trip had to be a Sound of Music bus tour through Salzburg and the countryside. We saw so many places that the movie seemed to come to life.