Saturday, April 11, 2009


Tuesday, April 7
Tuesday we went to Salzburg, Austria. It's only about a 2 hour train ride from Munich. There's a train ticket available where a group of up to 5 people can travel in one German state for a day for 28 Euro (less than $40). Since Salzburg is the first stop on the other side of Bavaria's border, it is included in the area one can travel in with this ticket.

Our intital plan was to go on the Sound of Music tour, being huge fans of the movie. Unfortunately with our cheap train ticket we couldn't leave Munich until after 9 a.m. so if we'd gone on the S of M tour we wouldn't have had time to do much else in Salzburg. We agreed that exploring on our own would be a better choice. We did see alot of the sights where the movie was filmed and I will refer to Maria and/or the children in this blog.

Our first stop was Mirabell Gardens. If you look at my Flickr photos you can see some of the gardens with Salzburg's castle in the background. The flowers are pansies in orange and purple. The photo was taken from the stairs where Maria and the children sing the Do-Re-Mi song. Also at Mirabell is the tunnel they run through, the fountain they run around and the little dwarf statue that Gretl stands next to.

We then crossed the Salzach River into the older area of Salzburg. We walked down Getreidegasse, a busy pedestrian-only shopping street, and saw Mozart's birthplace. Jana and Caroline weren't interested in going in it, so we didn't. We visited Mozartplatz, and then went to Residenzplatz to see the fountain where Maria splashes when she sings, "I Have Confidence". Unfortunately the fountain is under repair and was covered in a huge wooden case. The scene in the movie where the Nazis march into the square and there is a large building in the background decorated with the Nazi flag was also filmed at Residenzplatz.

Adjacent to the Residenzplatz is the Domplatz, where the beautiful Salzburg cathedral sits. It, too, is under construction. We bought a couple of large pretzels to share here for lunch. THen we went into the cathedral. It was heavily damaged during WW2, but was rebuilt in the 1950s and is quite beautiful today. The crypt was open, so we went down there too. Since the church was rebuilt in the 50s, the crypt isn't very creepy. When we left the cathedral there was a man cutting silhouettes. We had Caroline's done. My mother has a silhouette of her as a child and me as a child, so now we have 3 generations of silhouettes.

Next it was time to visit Hohensalzburg (the castle) so we took the funicular up the mountain. It was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day in the upper 60s. We will be coming home from Germany with a start on our summer tans! The view from the castle was fantastic. On one side you can see the Alps, and the opposite side is a view of the beautiful city of Salzburg. We looked inside the castle at some museum areas for a while then went outside into the courtyard of the castle. If I were able to time-travel I would like to go back to the 14th or 15th century to experience life inside a castle's walls. After a snack we went back inside the castle for a very interesting audio tour.

Back down in the city we went to the Sankt Peter Cemetery and Catacombs. This cemetery was the inspiration for the cemetery scene in S of M when the Von Trapps are hiding from the Nazis at the convent. We then came to the Festspielhaus auditorium where the Von Trapp family sang before escaping Salzburg. We couldn't go inside.

We continued our walk back to Getreidegasse and started looking for somewhere to eat. This area of Salzburg is particularly expensive, so we crossed the river and found a restaurant on the way to the train station. We got on the 7:18 p.m. train and were back in Munich at 9:18 p.m. We were exhausted from all the travel and walking--my pedometer read 9.82 miles!

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