Posted by: ourtravelingcircus | July 2, 2010

The Sound of Music tour

I owe my wanderlust to three things. First, I’m sure I got a lot of it from my dad, who always enjoys going new places and seeing new things. Second, to all the missionary presentations I saw growing up–and come to think of it, the travelogues we sometimes went to at the old Civic auditorium. And third, to The Sound of Music. I remember seeing it for the first time in fourth grade. It played on TV on a Sunday night, and it almost blew my ten-year-old mind. I went to school the next morning, and tried to get someone, anyone to talk about it with me, but none of my friends seemed to think it had rocked their worlds in the same way it did mine. I was intrigued by the story in the movie, of course, but it was much more than that. Up until that point I hadn’t realized that there were places outside the United States that I wanted to go see for myself. Since then, I’ve been incredibly blessed to be able to visit so many beautiful places in the world. Coming to this one has been a special dream come true.

Before we left, I did a lot of online reading about the Sound of Music tours and the general consensus seemed to be that this was something you could figure out on your own, and that generally, the guided tour was fairly cheesy. So I decided to try to find the places myself, using information from online. Then I got here, found out the bus schedule, and realized that there was no real way this was going work out without a car–at least, it wasn’t something that I could do in one day or without spending a good bit on bus fare. Tim, nice man that he is, told me to go ahead and do it this week. So yesterday morning I got up early, caught the 7:37 bus, and went to Salzburg.

(I can only post 5-6 pictures at a time without the connection dying, so this will be two posts.)

Thursday is market day at the church square next to the station. I hadn’t eaten much for breakfast so I bought a pastry. Then, while I waited, I wandered around the market. So many beautiful flowers! I really wish I could grow lupine in Tennessee.

Our first stop was this palace where they shot some of the exterior scenes from the movie, including the one where the kids and Maria capsize in the boat, and where the Captain and Maria sing their “Something Good” song. It’s been used as a venue for seminars for years now. Twentieth Century Fox built the gazebo for the movie, and the seminar people loved it and asked them to leave it when the company finished shooting the movie, which they were happy to do. However, in the summer time up to a dozen people a day were swimming across the lake so they could see the gazebo up close, and in 1989 the seminar people had had enough and asked that it be moved somewhere else. It’s now on the grounds of Hellbrun Palace.

Here’s the gazebo. It used to be open so you could walk inside, but several years ago an 80 year old woman was leaping from bench to bench pretending she was Liesl. She fell and broke her hip, and since that time, you aren’t able to go inside.

Here is the other house they used for exterior shots in the movie. Unfortunately you can’t get close to it and tour buses aren’t allowed to stop. It’s a children’s music school now. I thought that was appropriate. The avenue with the trees to the right is where the children rode their bikes and climbed trees, and the Captain pretended he didn’t recognize them when he drove past.

Nonnberg Abbey, where Maria was a postulant. We just drove past, didn’t stop. You’re not allowed into the abbey, but you can go into the church. If you get there in the late afternoon you can hear the nuns singing prayers.

The best part of the tour was the long ride out into the countryside. We drove around a few of the lakes that you see in the opening panoramic scenes. We stopped at this one, St. Gilgen. So beautiful. It looked very Swiss to me.



  1. That is the one thing I regret about not having a car, not being tied to the bus schedule opens up a lot of possibilities. The only regret I have from the trip really is not having spent more time at St Martin. That church from the Sound of Music is gorgeous.

  2. I’ve been on such a tour and was in the gazebo! 🙂

  3. I kinda like the idea of an 80yo woman reliving that feeling of being 16 going on 17, jumping from bench to bench in youthful euphoria. If only the consequences of her physical limitations hadn’t resulted in it being shut. Sigh.

    • Yes, but can you imagine how embarrassing it must have been to explain what happened to everyone?

  4. Ha! We did that tour too. It was cheesey, but sort of necessary while there.

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