The day of my Sound of Music tour dawned a bit overcast but warm still. There were 7 of us on the minibus – 3 New Yorkers (lucky b**tards) and a lady from India with her 2 daughters. Our guide was very informative but despite being in the itinerary we didn’t go around the Mirabell Gardens – I guess they assume everyone’s done that already. Our 1st port of call was Hellbrun Palace where the Gazebo is situated. On the way we passed Nonnberg Abbey and the train station where the Von Trapps made their escape to Italy from and the original Von Trapp house – it’s now a B&B – sadly we didn’t stop at either to take photo’s. The gazebo looked exactly the same as it did when I was 12, only now it’s locked and you can’t re-enact Liesl and Rolf dancing around to ‘I am 16 going on 17’. I count myself lucky that I managed to do that nearly 30 years ago and somewhere is a photo which I must dig out and treasure. Next stop was the Palace of Leopoldskron – the rear facade was used as the terrace in the film and the lake is where Maria and the children fell out of the boat.
We passed by another house used as an outside facade. This one was recognisable as the courtyard and gate where they pushed the car out of on the night of their escape only to be stopped by the Nazi’s – again we didn’t stop (grrr). We drove out to Lake Fuschul which was featured in the opening credits ( I must watch the film again) then onto Lake Wolfgang where the steam railway that Maria and the children rode on was based. Our last stop was Lake Mondsee (Moon Lake). The church here was used for the wedding scenes as they weren’t allowed to use the inside of the real abbey. The interior was the most stunning I have ever seen in any church. There are 7 altars all very OTT and done in black and gold but totally stunning. Slightly un-nerving was the 5 skeletons behind glass on the main altar – I’m pretty sure they were real.
I’m spending 1 more day in Salzburg so I can visit the Abbey myself and take photos and maybe the graveyard if I can (where they hid). Today was All Saints day where people visit their dead relatives graves. Bit difficult that one for me but being in Salzburg and seeing the SOM sites was as close as I’d get to Ma and Pa. As they played the soundtrack on the way home I had a lump in my throat. Only 2 films have that effect on me – this one and Star Wars so it can’t be bad.