Thursday, May 31, 2012

Big day in Salzburg

Thursday May 31st
We really had a fun day and the weather cooperated. I think Salzburg gets some rain almost daily but it doesn't last long and doesn't seem to interfere with activities.

We don't have WiFi at our little pension, so we have been out of touch since arriving.

We would be a good advertisement for bike tours. We went on another one this morning, called Fraulein Maria's Bicycle Tours. The Sound of Music (S.O.M.) is their speciality, but you bike through the old city and a good deal of really pretty countryside while seeing some sights where the movie was filmed.

Two completely different homes were used for the front and back of the Baron's home. Fun hearing behind-the-scenes stories and about the Von Trapp family and the filming. People in town who didn't realize a movie was being made got upset and scared when they shot the Nazi scenes in a square.

Mozart, Haydn, and "Sound of Music" really put Salzburg on the map. Again, good bikes, comfortable seats, fun people and a very nice leader. Much smaller operation than in Paris though and not as organized. There were 26 people in our group and only one leader.

Right next to the bike shop are the famous Mirabel Schloss (palace) and Gardens. (It was built for the mistress of the Archbishop-Prince Wolf Dietrich...she bore 15 children, was exiled when Wolfie was jailed in the fortress.) The flowers, designs and fountains are spectacular. Maria and the Von Trapp children danced around in here. We will have to rent the movie!

We then went to the residence of Mozart. He lived here from age 17. The audio guide gave a fascinating insight to his life and works. At each stop you would hear an excerpt from his many pieces. What a prodigy !

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at the fortress high above the city. First, we took a funicular to the top, known as Hohensalzburg, for a look down at the city. Then dinner, again with great views and very good food, including a special Mozart dessert called a Variation. After a leisurely dinner, we walked up no less than 150 steps to a concert in the Golden Hall. They have different chamber orchestras each evening. Again, a large dose of Mozart. They take their music here very seriously. A very fun and interesting day.

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