Lonely Goatherd

We didn’t get any souvenirs in Salzburg – looking back, I am not sure why.  Sure it was all super touristy and Sound of Music-y, but why did we let that stop us??  We love the Sound of Music!

Well, in case you were feeling sad for me (and I’m guessing you were – I always feel bad for my friends who take glamorous European vacations) you don’t need to feel sad anymore.

On Friday, my mom surprised me with a gift from my Aunt Laurie.  I had put in a delicious coffee request – I’m fairly certain that outside of Antigua, Fergus Falls has the BEST coffee in the world.  But this gift bag was too light to be coffee beans.

Nope, it wasn’t.  It was the most ridiculous/awesome gift – a fluffy goat puppet that sings (in its ridiculous goat-voice) the marionette song from the Sound of Music.  It might not be from Salzburg, but it will for surely always remind me of that beautiful city.

high on a hill was a lonely goatherd...

Thanks, Laurie!  Perhaps I should be concerned that you thought of me when you saw this puppet, but I’m just going to embrace it (but not too tightly because I don’t want it to start singing again…)

p.s.  Amber tells me she is building a puppet theater and she promises me a starring role.

p.p.s.  This may not actually be true.  I may have misheard her, but I will hold out hope that she’ll be inspired by my lack of listening skills and start writing her puppet script soon!

p.p.p.s. I have a feeling this goat may find a nice home in my kindergarten classroom – out of the children’s reach of course 😉

Closure

When I think of the word closure, I think of season two of Friends, when Rachel is out on a date, forcefully/drunkenly borrows a stranger’s cell phone, and leaves Ross a message about how she now has closure.  The next morning he is checking his messages, Rachel remembers what she did the night before and jumps on his back in a desperate attempt to get the phone from him.  I love this episode – specifically the end of it, at the coffee shop, with the rain and all the locks.

surprise! this is me, jumping out from behind a hedge to surprise you with the news that this post is about Europe. New and different, right?

However, this is not a post about closure of fake tv relationships.  I’ve had some complaints lodged about the abrupt ending and lack of closure to Spinster Sister Vacation Part 2: Europa.  In efforts to help you find closure and the strength to move on from my vacation, I would like to share two things.

1: A link to the Women at Hope blog where I highlight some moments from being on holiday.  I am handing out awards like they are candy.  Click here.

2: A viewing of 12 days of vacation in 4 minutes flat.  (it is not actually 4 minutes flat.  It is four minutes and some odd seconds.  Four minutes flat just has a nice ring to it.)

I hope this helps, and that now you will be ready to move on to other things, like cupcakes, paddleboating, and fireworks.  If not, you can schedule a private viewing of the slow motion (not fast forward) version of my vacation slideshow, and I will regale you with stories you may or may not have already heard.

3.  You should read this advice.  It has nothing to do with traveling or closure.  But starting now I will strive to be as funny as this girl… amusing link

A Day of Beauty: An Ideal Last Day in Vienna

We woke up with mixed feelings about it being our last day in Vienna.  We felt like there was so much we hadn’t seen, and wondered if we would have enough time.  But I will say that everything we did today exceeded our expectations, and we had the best time.

Our first destination: Schoenbrunn Palace, where the Hapsburg Dynasty summered.  I read in a tour book that this is the only palace that comes close to rivaling Versailles.  I have never been to Versailles, but I can imagine the grandeur now that I have taken in Schoenbrunn.  For me, the highlight of this stop was the palace grounds.  There were lanes of carefully sculpted trees leading to impressive fountains or courtyards.  There were carefully sculpted flower beds filled with color, and huge regal buildings everywhere you look.  We even took in a maze and a labrynth filled with “games to play at your own risk”.  Here are some of the beautiful sights of Schoenbrunn Palace: 

One side of the main gardens at Schoenbrunn

gotta love a good hedge maze!

Sorry I didn't get the photo of Rachel after she climbed to the top of this pole. I got distracted by a panda bear that wandered by...

I am in love with these tunnels.

Did I mention that it was a little bit windy??

We also toured the inside of the main building, seeing about 40 of the rooms.  They were naturally indescribable, but trust me when I say it was a sight worth seeing.  Our little handset audio guides helped us along our way.

Next up: the State Opera House.  Since one of the things closed in July is the Opera house, we couldn’t take in a performance, but did still absolutely love the tour.  One reason is that the Staatoper is an incredibly grand feast for your eyes.  Another reason is that we loved our tourguide.  She was so effortlessly graceful and elegant and charming.  I would like to take in some high tea with her.  Not only did we get to see the reception rooms, and also the actual auditorium where the magic happens, but we also were able to go on the stage.  Ticket prices range from around three Euro for standing room rush tickets to over two hundred Euro for the prime seats in the house.  We learned that the Opera House puts on over 50 different shows during the season, there is a show every night, and there is never the same show two nights in a row.  Impressive, no?  I can only imagine how much work that would be. 

We then went across the street and enjoyed some original Sachertorte and Wiener Melange as a true Vienna resident would do (although I’m guessing that the locals don’t often frequent the fancified café we visited).  Sachertorte is a specialty chocolate cake that originated in Vienna and Melange is a coffee drink in Austria.  It was delicious, and the waitresses wore old fashioned maid uniforms.  They were adorable.  (Although I couldn’t help but thinking that if I worked there, I would not be overly pleased with the uniform).

Sacher Torte

Wiener Melange: an Austrian Coffee

Before meandering down the shopping street – a mix of high end fashion and tourist shops – we watched the police and a pedestrian scuffle.  We found the scenario highly intriguing and wanted to know more about what was going down.  In my mind, and with my limited vocabulary, I think this guy was walking somewhere he shouldn’t have, perhaps jay walking, and the police called him out on it and then his temper rose and he refused to comply.  But who really knows what the real story is.

We stopped by the train station to get our tickets to Prague, then rested up from the busyness at the hotel before grabbing dinner.  We had a magical meal in front of the Rathaus.  There was a giant movie screen set up, and they would be showing a taped performance from the State Opera house.  The outdoor park area just beyond the provided seating area was filled with vendors offering international cuisine.  We were so happy to fine Kaessspaetzle – a German equivalent to macaroni and cheese – which my college roommate Rachel had recommended to us while we were in Munich.  It was served on real plates and we found a standing table to eat at, when the rain started.  The whole atmosphere was fun and energetic, and we were sad that we needed to pack and go to bed for our early morning trip to Prague, because we desperately wanted to stay for the full experience.  However, the sun sets ever so late here, and we could not stay up till the crack of dawn.  Selfishly, we hoped the rain would not stop so we wouldn’t feel sad about walking away.  After 14 drops, the rain subsided and we headed back to the hotel like the responsible (or just exhausted) tourists that we are.

Wienerschnitzel under a Ferris Wheel

Rachel and I were at the hotel attempting to recover from all the horrible heat along the Danube, and we needed to find some dinner.  I approached her saying, “You can say no, because I know we are tired, but…” and her response was, “Oh no…”

but turns out my idea was genius, and she thought so too.  We took the U-Bahn just a few stops away to Prater amusement park, home of the Riesenrad, the world’s oldest(?) ferris wheel.  I had also read that there were lots of food options in the area, so we kept that in mind as well.  We went on the ferris wheel and enjoyed the views of the city as it neared sunset.  I was surprised that there were little cabins you rode in, not little seats.

Wiener Riesenrad and the yellow umbrella restaurant below where we ate dinner

Then we ended up eating dinner at the restaurant below the ferris wheel, because they served a reasonably priced Wienerschnitzel, which was on our list of culinary Vienna goals.  I had intentionally not eating Wienerschnitzel in Salzburg, because I wanted to save my first experience for in Wien (Vienna) having just days ago made the connection between WIEN and WIENerschnitzel.  Upon looking at the menu, I saw that it was translated into both English and Spanish.  I also saw that in Spanish it is called Milanese, which was one of the delicious things I’d eaten in Buenos Aires, under the guidance of Miranda.  I loved it there, so I was excited to eat it again, this time in Vienna, but I also was amused that I had been so intentional about not eating it previously on our trip so my first experience would be in its home, but then to realize my first experience was a world way, in Argentina.

It was a delicious meal, accompanied by a delicious wine from the Wachau Valley, which we had just lazily drifted through earlier in the day.  Here I am, the picture of class: Wine and Wienerschnitzel under a Ferris Wheel.  

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Rick Steves told us to go cruising down the Danube and biking along the way.  He made it look so easy.  Then we tried to figure out the logistics, and well, let’s just say it was a logistical nightmare involving hours of fruitless research.

it all looks so effortless... why isn't it??

We took the train the Melk (mostly easy enough, once we asked at information and were told we would need to change trains, and once the train ticket checker guy told us that the tiny little single car was indeed our next ride).  We, as usual, took the scenic route, walking through Viennese campgrounds trying to find where we could buy ship tickets and rent bikes.  Once we FINALLY found it, the really nice rental girl gave us the student prices!  Win!

the abbey in Melk

We circled around a little shack that had posters of bicyclists on it to try and figure out if it was a place we could rent a bike.  Then we felt nervous and so we went back to ask our friend at the ship tickets.  She said that yes indeed they did rent out bikes at that odd little shed (my words, not hers).  So we headed back over there, and a woman who I thought was just a customer of the little food stand, put down her sewing and rented us some bicycles. 

We set out down the Danube. At first it all was going swimmingly.  The trail was relatively flat, the view of the Danube was lovely; there was even a castle in the distance.  Then suddenly, things took a turn for the worse.  We encountered a giant hill of death.  We thought we would never arrive at the top of it.  I was excited to go downhill on the other side of it.  But then I realized we would be turning around at some point and would have to go up any hill we went down.  This spelled trouble, because basically the whole next leg of the trip was downhill.  Yikes!

We stopped for a picnic lunch along the Danube, gazing out at some vineyards.  It was quite lovely.  Then we prayed for strength to go back, because all we could think of was all the hills we went down, and how we were feeling a bit tired.  Well, prayer works – we only had one giant hill to go up, and then the rest of the ride was a breeze!  We were ultra confused that we did not go uphill most of the way.  It was such a pleasant bike ride!  And we had fun bells on our bikes.  So when other bikers weren’t around (we didn’t want to confuse them and make them think we were passing them) we rung our little bells to our hearts’ content.  Thanks Rick Steves.  I’m sorry for saying mean things about you earlier in the day when we were feeling so lost.

the site of our picnic

After dropping off our bikes, we walked to Tom’s Eis Café on the Main Street in Melk, and sat outside under an umbrella, enjoying some lemon ice cream (sherbet?  Italian ice? It is hard to say.  But lemon ice cream doesn’t sound that great when you call it ice cream) and preparing for the boating portion of our day.  It was a little tricky to order.  I knew that I wanted Zitrone Eis, but did not see just scoops of ice cream on the menu.  After some German, some English, some sad looks, and some smiles, we figured it out and we enjoyed a refreshing treat.

PTL for lemony refreshment.

The boat cruise along the Wachau valley was so incredibly beautiful.  The only downside is that the sun was blazing hot at this point in the day.  We figured out that despite the sun, it was actually quite lovely on the roof deck of the boat, because there was a strong breeze when the boat was moving.  The scenery was heavenly.  We were in a valley, with rolling hills on their side, lined with vineyards, old churches and tiny villages.  I MAY have taken a few pictures 🙂

gorgeous vineyards and small towns in the Wachau Valley

love the Wachau Valley. Pretty.

We arrived in Krems and immediately set out in the wrong direction.  After a miserable tour in the Bermuda Triangle of our trip, we broke free from the Krems University of Applied Sciences and made our way to the picturesque town.  At this point though, we were so miserably hot, we had nothing in us to give toward meandering through cute shops, and mostly just wanted to go home to our air conditioned hotel room.

the adorableness that is Krems. We wanted so badly for it to be a magical place of adorable meandering. Such potential. Such heat. This is the most half-hearted photo I've ever taken. Slowly, in monotone: "I guess I should take a picture. That street is cute."

Overall, I would give the day 3.7 stars out of 5.  The high points were really high, but the low points were really low.

Breakfast of Champions

So, like I said yesterday, we were deprived of dinner last night, and we went to bed hungry and sad – I mean, there are only so many granola bars a person can eat trying to keep hunger away.  Well, today made it all worth it.

Our little breakfast nook...

This morning when we got up, we headed over to the Schloss (palace) and headed for the Venetian Mirror Room which was used in the Sound of Music.  Unfortunately, they were cleaning in there, so we had our breakfast in a different, equally magnificent ballroom.  There were high ceilings, huge windows looking out toward the lake and mountains, and a breakfast spread like I’ve never seen.

the spread

breakfast, lunch, and dinner

There were breads and hard rolls, cold cut meats, and cheeses, veggies and fancy cheese spread, fresh fruit, dried fruit, yogurt, nutella, hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, and a variety of juices and coffee.  Did I mention the coffee had real sugar cubes to drop in?  No packets of sugar here!  I loaded up my plate like I had never eaten before.  (Mind you, this is also my lunch you are looking at).  Rachel told me she would cut me off if I tried to go back for anything else.  Is it my fault that we hadn’t eaten since our pilfered sandwiches for an early lunch yesterday?  Or that it all looks so scrumptious?  Or that we were getting on a train and there was no way to know where we would find our next meal in our new city?

After eating at our fancy table, we took the opportunity to poke around and see more rooms in the castle.  We LOVED the library.  It was filled with old books and tiny spiral staircases that led to the balcony, filled with even more books.  I updated my blog, and then we continued on our way.

oh, just doing a little blogging (now you see why my posts are not up to date with our current day of travel... it is easy to get behind when you blog on a typewriter)

At one point, Rachel pretty much had to drag me away from the Castle grounds because I couldn’t stop looking at it or snapping pictures of it.  Prettiest place ever.  I could just sit for hours taking it all in.  Of course, I didn’t.  I took it in for maximum 15 minutes, because it is time to call a taxi so we can get on a train to Vienna: destination 2.5 of our trip (the .5 is for Munich, because we were barely there).

I held on tightly to the horse statue while Rachel tried to drag me away from the beautiful grounds. Then she reminded me Vienna was waiting for us, and I went willingly...

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd

When I watched the Sound of Music in the past, I always found the Marionette scene rather random.  However, as it turns out, this area of the world is known for their Marionette Theaters, and the one in Salzburg is apparently the best in the world.  So obviously we deemed it necessary to attend a show there. 

I had no idea what to expect, but knew it would be fairly ridiculous.  The theater itself was very small (but still ornate and old) and had a cute little stage area up front.  Every moment of the show was delightful… and a bit bizarre, but in the most engaging way possible.

Picture puppets of all the Von Trapp characters swooping through the air, jumping and frolicking, and overacting (as you can imagine a puppet must do in order to convey emotion) all while speeding through a slightly abridged version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical. 

Now add in a life size character of Mother Superior at the Abbey, who looks like she could squash a marionette at will because she is so giant in comparison, but even though she is a real person, she doesn’t actual speak her own lines, and moves her hands as if she were a puppet.  Totally weirded me out.

a little hard to see, i hope this doesn't hurt your eyes. But you can kind of make out the giant Mother Superior on the right...

The only thing were a bit sad about is that they didn’t do the Lonely Goatherd song from the original production.  Because what could be better than marionettes putting on a marionette show?  But wait!  Don’t be alarmed!  The show concluded with a curtain call of that song, showing the hands of the puppeteers controlling their marionettes dancing and singing that song.  Yes, our marionette dreams have been fulfilled.

I would definitely recommend this show to a friend.

And don’t even worry – since the original production was in English, this version is as well.

Rachel suspiciously eating trail mix in the back. This is what we are reduced to when dinner catastrophe strikes.

p.s.   i promise that tomorrow soon you will get to start hearing about Vienna… being that we are now officially in Prague.  I just have so much to tell you!

SInce I don't get to teach summer school, I have decided to try my hand at being a puppet for my summer job.

Did you know Hall means Salt in Celtic?

We do, because every single tour guide we talked to told us that tidbit at least twice, if not thrice.  We were taken on a personal salt mine tour by Markos – our tourguide from Bob’s.  While we were once again in a taxi-van instead of the orange tour van, Markos at least seemed a little more legit.  He took us to Hallein, a city on Duerrnberg (a mountain near the German border).  Hallein means a Salt City, just like Hallstatt did.  Oh the Celts and their “hall” meaning “salt.”  It will be the one fact I remember from this trip, since we heard it approximately 207 times. 

Upon our arrive at the Salt Mines, we bought out tickets and spent a few minutes wandering the Celtic Village outside the mine entrance.  Salt has been mined here for over 2000 years.  Even though there is still salt to be mined, it was discovered that the mine was more profitable solely as a tourist attraction.  Once we entered the tour, our first stop was to put on a set of white coveralls over our clothes; very attractive.  Actually, a bit creepy to see all these people dressed in white herded together.  And hard to keep track of Rachel, since when we got separated she looked just like everyone else in the dimly lit mine.

the green is the seat of the train that we rode into and out of the mine

It was really quite amazing in the mine.  I’ve never been in anything like it.  We took this train in, where everyone straddled a green bench and was careful not to lean in either direction, lest they fall off or bump their head.  We got off the train and walked 1 km into the mine, stopping along the way to watch overly dramatized movies teaching us the history of salt mining in Hallein via conversation between Arch Bishop Wolf Dietrich, who owned all the mining rights back in the day, and Jakob from Duerrnberg, who apparently was clumsy and burned down half of Salzburg once upon a time.  There was fighting, seduction, greed, death, and salt. What more do you need in a movie?  Oh, and it was divided into three cliffhangers that we watched at various stops throughout our walk.

at the bottom of the first slide

98% of the mine was rock walls with minimal beam support - not the wood paneling that I apparently chose to photograph to represent out time in the mine.

The tunnels we walked down were just like you imagine – narrow, curved tunnels, and a bit muddy.  We walked on the tracks and it was quite dimly lit, especially when someone was tall and blocked the light for a stretch.  We also went down two wooden slides.  You go down in groups of 2 or 3 and sit with your legs on either side of two wooden beams.  Then you lean back, put your feet up, and enjoy the ride.  It was SO fun!  I think that one slide was 27m and the other was around 42 m long.

We also went on a slow boat ride across a tiny lake in the mountain.  There was a trippy light show and psychedelic music playing on our journey.  Crazy sauce.

trippy ride across a subterranean lake

After much learning and much journeying, we took the train back out into the light of day.  It was a really neat experience!  Definitely a trip highlight!  And I was glad to be safely outside the mountain again.  They say, “Glueck Auf” which basically means “good luck coming out of the mountain again” – success!

A Comedy of Errors Runs into a Giant Nun

or

A Hitch hiker’s Guide to Salzburg

Our strictly Itineraried Day:

  • tour a salt mine with Bob’s Special Tours
  • Picnic lunch pilfered from breakfast and joined by some fresh fruit from a stand in the city
  • Make our ticket reservations and go check in at our new hotel
  • Take in the grandeur of our hotel grounds
  • Visit the Hellbrunn Palace
  • Go home and change for dinner and the marionette show
  • See the marionette version of The Sound of Music (theater at its finest)

Our actual day:

Today started out perfectly.  We had breakfast in the hidden gardens, and packed a secretive lunch of a hard roll, cold cuts, and cheese in ziplock bags we brought for such occasion.  Then we headed out front and waited for our Bob’s tour van to pick us up.  And we waited.  And we waited.  And we waited for 35 minutes (to be fair, they give a 30 minute window in which they might arrive).

Then Galinda pulled up in her Bob’s van (we were relieved to not take Hans’ special taxi today) and she said, “you can go this afternoon?” and we said, “um, WHAT?!”  that does not fit in with our scheduled itinerary.  After some pleading and begging and crying (or just some polite conversation) Galinda decided to let us join her Sound of Music tour up until they reach Leopoldskrohn Schloss (the mansion/castle in which we are staying), at which point she would drop us off.  Thanks Galinda!  You’re the best!

When we arrived at the lake to view the castle/back façade of the Von Trapp family home, Galinda asked us how we liked her compared to Hans.  I immediately said, “you are much better” and then we told her that while Hans did share some bits of Sound of Music folklore with us, he seemed somewhat disinterested in the Sound of Music and had a lot more to say about Salzburg’s history.  While that was interesting, we just would have like more Julie Andrew’s anecdotes.

For example, today we learned that Christopher Plummer (Captain von Trapp) complained that Gretl was too heavy to carry to Switzerland over the mountain, and requested a stunt double for her.  And we saw the hotel Liesl stayed in.  And that the real Maria came onto the set and demanded to be a part of the decision making to involve more truth and sadness.  The director said, “I love you Maria, but film making is my business.”  Denied.  We also learned about the movie Knight and Day being filmed in Salzburg, and saw the “hotel” Tom and Cameron stayed in, AND Galinda watched them film a scene where Tom Cruise did his own stunt diving into the Salzsach River that runs through Salzburg.  Afterwards, he waved at the people gathered watching the filming.  She said, “I think he especially waved at me.  Can you imagine, Tom Cruise, waving at ME?”  now repeat that in an adorable German accent.  Loved it.  And it seemed like something I would say to a tour group. Or just to my friends, since I am not actually a tour guide.

Continuing on with our day, we arrived at our hotel around 10:20 and dropped our stuff off in our room.  Turns out the “servants quarters” that we are staying in are in the adjacent building to the main house.  And we were expecting minimalistic accommodations.  Turns out our room is SOOO cute.  We love it.  It is decorated in white and silver and purple.  We wandered the grounds, took fun pictures, and then headed to the Hop On, Hop Off bus.  Based on what that man at reception told us when he gave us our complimentary tickets, we assumed this was some sort of shuttle that would take us to the Line 25 bus, which we could take to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) to get our seat reservations.  We hopped on said bus, but the driver didn’t care so much about our tickets that reception gave us.  He even offered us headphones.  At this point we were very confused, but put on the headphones.  We noticed it had a retractable roof. Then some calming classical music came on, and then a pleasant voice began narrating the journey for us.  The hop on man drove right past our bus stop, and so we took the free ride all the way to Hellbrunn Palace (sight of the gazebo, and more importantly, the trick fountains).

this is my, "what is going on - i am very suspicious of our situation" face

Let’s talk about the trick fountains.  First off, the archbishop who built this palace had no bedrooms in the floorplan – he merely used it to entertain.  Secondly, he had this incredible area of the garden filled with trick fountains (wasserspiel).   We were so stressed the whole time because we were not in the mood to get wet.  We had lots more photos to take during the day and didn’t want to go with the wet dog look.  Walking on edge, we kept a careful eye on where the path was wet, and where the tour guide was at all times.  We were pretty successful.  We were misted upon as we left through an archway of fountains.  It was beautiful!

looking down toward the first trick fountain - a table where the Arch Bishop would entertain his guests and then attack them with water spraying up from the seats around surround the table. Apparently it was good manners to stay seated until your host got up, so his guests were screwed...

Then we caught the line 25 bus to go to the train station and get to those reservations finally.  Then we decided that perhaps we were going to run out of time, and once we finally got oriented to the city and the bus route, we opted to just go straight to Bob’s Special Tours.  Turns out we were going in another taxi van, but this one was a Mercedes Benz (first Mercedes minivan I’ve been in) and it was driven by Markos, who was much less awkward than Hans.

He took us to the Salt Mine, which perhaps will get it’s own post, and afterwards we went to a cute little town.  However, it was pouring rain and so we sat under an awning at an adorable café and drank cappochinos and shared sachertorte and strawberry torte.  Delicious!  On the way back to Salzburg, we went drove along the Koenigsee River (which flows out of the cleanest lake in Austria) and learned that a fishing license in Austria costs 300 Euro.  Yikes! 

Markos was kind enough to drop us off at the train station, where we finally got those reservations, and then we attempted to grab a quick bite of dinner before seeing the Marionette theater show of the Sound of Music.  I think this perplexingly amazingly intriguingly ridiculously awesome experience also deserves its own post, but I will say that a full sized person came out as the Mother Superior Nun, but she moved as if she were a puppet.  It was disturbing to say the least.  But all in all a one of a kind experience that I would totally recommend to a friend.

So there you have it – the day that went nothing like we planned, but other than the dinner complete fiasco which I don’t even want to talk about, it was wonderful!  We felt like hitch hikers because we were riding so many random things today that we were not completely sure we actually had tickets for most of them.  It was all very confusing.  But surprisingly enough, we got where we needed to go!  AND it rained all afternoon, when we’d planned to be out at the palace in the gardens, but those things were rescheduled to the morning, and during the rain we were primarily 600 deep into the mountainside on a salt mine tour.  I’m thinking God consulted the weatherman, and then rearranged things with our Bob’s Tour so that we would have the best day possible.  Thanks!

Touring the Sounds of Music.

The day started out in the best way possible.  We got ready to the Sound of Music Soundtrack, then headed downstairs to the breakfast room, where the most delicious traditional German breakfast buffet awaited us.  We feasted on hard rolls with jam and with nutella, hard boiled eggs nestled in their special hard boiled egg plates, and juice.  Tomorrow we will take advantage of the meat and cheese options to pack a lunch to go 🙂  We braved the incredibly fancy coffee machine, and came out caffeinated winners.

Then we awkwardly sat on the curb while waiting for our tour guide to pick us up.  He was a chatty fellow, full of historical information.  He really liked talking about various arch bishops and their girlyfriends, and didn’t as much like talking about the Sound of Music.  Thankfully we’d read a lot in the tour books, so we were still able to fully appreciate all the moments of the day.

So, without further ado, I present to you:

The Sound of Music Tour of Salzburg

At the beginning of the movie, Maria is spinning around on a meadow that we drove past, but did not get to stop and take a picture of.  It was lovely, and quite a ways up on the mountainside.

Then she is at this abbey with the little red top: (In real life though, she was a school teacher.  We have a lot in common). 

Then she is off to the Von Trapp family home.  She has confidence while she walks past this fountain, and the next fountain, and this other fountain, and the down a row of trees to the front facade of the house. 

During family dinner, Liesl sneaks away to be with Rolf and they frolic in this gazebo.  Maria and the Captain later kiss here.  In the movie it is on their backyard property.  In reality it is at Hellbrunn Palace, quite a ways away. 

Later, the Captain heads to Vienna and Maria teaches the children to sing in the aforementioned meadow, they cross a bridge to Mirabell Gardens, where they skip through this tunnel, dance around this fountain, and jump and sing on these steps. 

Captain Von Trapp and the Baroness arrive home just in time to see them fall out of the canoe in back of the family home. 

Soon the Captain and Maria gaze into one another’s eyes while dancing and realize they are in love.  Goodbye Baroness, hello wedding.  At this church.  Down this aisle.  (I may have quietly song How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria while walking slowly and bride-like down this aisle) 

The family then escapes by pushing their car out the front drive, performing at the theater, and then climbing every mountain.  Or more specifically, this mountain.  Which is also interesting because in the movie this mountain leads to Switzerland.  Look at a map.  Yep – geographically not happening.  This mountain actually leads to Germany, so I’m glad that they didn’t actually escape that way in real life.  In real life, their home was on the other end of Salzburg and there was a train station in back of it that they escaped via train. 

The End!  It is like you were here with me to experience it all!  Fun!