Salzburg is beautiful. I was lucky enough to spend a little time there after college, while backpacking all over Europe with friends. I knew my kids would love it. Marc, too. However, skiing was the priority for Marc and Vin, and they were not willing to take any time during ski break to do anything but, well, ski. The girls and I like the ski/snowboard, but it’s not something that would keep us from seeing something as cool as Salzburg. So, off we went on a train from Flachau to Salzburg, which was just over 45 minutes away. The day was cold and rainy, but the way we look at it, that just keeps the crowds away, so it’s a good thing!
Salzbug is full of Mozart history. He is considered the son of Salzburg, and the Salzburgers are very proud. To get the girls interested, I played some of Mozart’s music and read to them a bit about his life and historical significance. We started in Mozart Square, and walked to the Salzburg Cathedral, where Mozart was baptized, where you can even see the original baptismal font. Further along, at number 9 Getreidegasse, we saw Mozart’s Geburtshaus, Mozart’s birthplace. We then walked on the Staatsbrucke across the Salzach river to Makartplatz 8, to see the Mozart residence, where the Mozart family moved in 1773. We ended our Mozart morning with lunch at, of course, Cafe Mozart, which is located near Mozart’s Geburtshaus. The food was delicious and the coffee was just what mama needed after the busy morning.
In the afternoon, we were booked for the Original Sound of Music Tour! I cannot tell you how excited the three of us were for this tour. It is one of my fondest memories of my last trip to Salzburg, and we watch the movie often in our house, so I knew my girls were going to love it. And love it, they did. They sang along to all the songs on the bus and their faces lit up at every stop as they saw the movie come to life in front of their eyes.
On the tour, you learn a lot of behind-the-scenes stories about both the movie and the real Von Trapp family. One of our favorite stories was when were were looking at the house used for the family’s home in the movie. There is a scene where Captain von Trapp is with the Baroness on the back terrace of the house, and Maria and the children come home in a rowboat in their new playclothes and all fall out of the boat. On the tour, we learned that the youngest girl, Gretl, nearly drowned during the filming of this scene. The single take was shot when Julie Andrews lost her balance by accident and fell out of the wrong side of the boat. She was supposed to fall near Gretl and carry her. Instead, little Gretl was saved by crew and was sick for days after the scene was filmed. Afterwards, the cast and crew felt so sorry for her, they spoiled her with sweets. In the final scene of the movie, Captain von Trapp was supposed to carry Gretl on his back as they walk through the Alps into neutral Switzerland to escape the Nazis. Christopher Plummer (who played the captain) refused to carry Gretl, who had put on a lot of weight due to all the sweets, so a stand-in had to be used. If you watch the final scene, you never really see the girl’s face. We thought this whole story was fantastic. Each stop on the tour has its own story! If you are ever in Salzburg, I highly recommend this tour.
The mountains, the history, Mozart and Maria…Salzburg, you are pretty awesome.