I’m in Salzburg for “The sound of music”

“The hills are alive with the sound of music, with songs they have sung for a thousand years, the hill feel my heart with the sound of music…” probably millions millions people around the globe know this song by heart, and whenever I hear it, it brought me back to my sweet childhood moment when I first saw the movie. I was just 8 or 9 year old, my cousin who is older than me, took me to the theatre for the  movie, when “The end” appeared on the screen, I asked my cousin to go home first as I want to stay, to watch the film one more time again! And that was “The sound of music” or in French “La mélodie du bonheur“. I was the only little boy with very few others in a huge, of course, empty, dark theatre hall.

I don’t remember what could tie me to the seat, keep me staying for another seance, no any fear to be left alone in the dark hall. Now, I’m still wondering why my cousin could dare leaving me there alone, as my mother knew, my cousin could be in big trouble!

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The entrance gate of the Nonnburg Abbey where Maria has been living as young nun

Being a young boy, I quickly fall in love with everything, every details in this movie – I love free-spirited Maria, I love a serious, demanding captain-father with his 7 beautiful children, I love Maria’s nuns, I love all songs and even the town where these people were living…

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Von Trapp family mansion…we were not allowed to get closer, photo from our bus

“The sound of music” seemed nicely take me to a beautiful world, like a fairy tale where the sound of beautiful songs could be heard everywhere – on the hills, around the town, in the park, on the trees, along the roads..and a free-spirited Maria, lovely children deeply mesmerized me. With that feeling, emotion I’m so happy to visit Salzburg for the first time in 2015, in order to see those places that have been filmed in the movie.

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Von Trapp backyard was filmed at Leopoldskron Palace garden, lake view, one of the luxury hotels now in Salzburg.

I’d love to see the Von Trapp beautiful house with garden, with gazebo, the backyard with a romantic lake, I’d love to see the park where the kids performed “Do Re Mi” on the steps, I’d love to explore the old town, where probably for the first time, Maria took children out to the market, on a horse-drawn carriage or go up to the hills where the kids learn to sing lovely songs!

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Mirabell Palace and its garden in 2015
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Mirabell gardens where song “Do Re Mi” steps was filmed with Pegasus Fountain right behind

Summer 2015 was extremely hot in Salzburg, nearly 40ºC in the peak afternoon, unbearable even for me, who came from a tropical part of the world, I had to cancel my day trip to Vienna, my room in small old hotel without aircon, only a small electric fan, at night I had to open the window to catch the fresh air, but I was happy to live in the world of The Sound of Music!

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Wandering in the park next to Mirabell Palace I found this alley, also was filmed in the movie

The first morning I spent sometime wandering around the old town and just by chance found the abbey and the cemetery where the Von Trapp family was hiding from Nazis… It was a nice morning walk uphill when the air still cool. Next morning I decided to book a tour “The sound of music” at 45 Euros. The sale kiosk right in the center, not far from Mirabell Palace.

Our guide tour is an English man married with an Austrian, moved to Salzburg for more than decade. He was seriously funny in the way he shared some stories behind the scene. He also mentioned the time, back to 1964,  when the moved was filmed in Salzburg the crew got many problems – from the weather to the people in Salzburg. It was raining all the time and the locals seemed not happy when Hollywood made their story a movie…

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Von Trapp kids were dancing around the Fountain in the park next to Mirabell Palace in 1964
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and the park with fountain now in 2015

Or about the actor – Christopher Plummer – captain Von Trapp, was about to turn down the role or during the filming in Salzburg, the actor demanded to stay in different hotel, higher class, he almost got drunk every night, or the actor denied to carry “his” littlest girl Gretl – because she gained weight during filming, the director had to find a stunt-double. In the final shot, when the family crossed the border, the girl Von Trapp carried on his back was actually stunt-double.

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The famous gazebo where Captain Von Trapp kissed Maria for the first time

Or the house where the von Trapp familly lived – the gate when Maria was hesitating to open, and the lakefront terrace in the backyard are not in the same location. At both places we were not allowed to get closer, we see the front house from the bus and the lakefront terrace where the kids rode the boat, from the other side of the lake. Or the hills where Maria took the kids actually not in Austria…

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Von Trapp kids were dancing on the bridge over the river Salzach

and here the cemetery where the Von Trapp family was hiding from Nazis and during that crucial moment, Liesl , the oldest daughter realized her first love, the young man Rolfe, was hesitating to raise the alarm long enough to allow the Von Trapp family time to flee…

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This cemetery right in the old town and actually not far from my place…I found it just by chance
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Our tour guide from UK but settled down in Salzburg for long, he shared with us many things
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Mondsee – wedding chapel where Captain Von Trapp married Maria

The tour bus still took us out of the city to Mondsee – the wedding chapel where Captain Von Trapp married Maria, it’s quite far, I had quite a lot of time there to walk around the small town and realized Mondsee like a vacation small town next to the lake with many activities in the water!

Time to say goodbye to Salzburg, a beautiful town, the birthplace of the wonderful musical movie “The Sound of Music”. I will never forget those moments when I, likely, came back to my childhood to enjoy the sounds, the images and the moment of happiness of living back to the past. No any other version of Sound of Music would be able to capture my feelings like this…It stays with me, forever!

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