The Hills Are Alive!

Monday, October 17, 2016
Salzburg, Austrian Alps, Austria
Today was the day of the Fraulein Maria Bike Tour. It's meant to cover areas that were filmed in the movie. Apparently, 300,000 people visit Salzburg a year because of SOM. And I admit, it was part of the appeal for me. So, today's blog won't mean a whole lot if you haven't seen the movie or don't like the movie. :)
 I woke up and had a fabulous breakfast at Pension Katrin . I really love this place. It's small, but Sandra is always present and can't do enough for her guests. The breakfast consisted of the typical yogurt, muesli, cheese, meat, breads, cucumbers, tomatoes. I wonder what foreigners coming to America think of our hotel breakfasts that have the waffle machine, crappy bagels, juices from a machine, and Little Debbie danishes. I don't know, maybe they think they are awesome, but I prefer the Euro version. 
We met at the Mirabellplatz for the bike tour. I took the same bus as yesterday to our meeting place. The bikes were sturdy and nice, and our tour guide, Sharron, was born in Israel but has mainly lived in England. There were 12 of us, which was nice because I imagine Bike tours can't be with too many people. We started in Salzburg and checked out the Horses Bath. This is seen briefly as Maria and the kids are in the carriage during Do Re Mi. Next, we saw a gate that Rolf stands in front of gate when Liesl is all into him, but he ignores her because he's all into Hitler at that point . We also saw the back door to the Festival Hall, where the Von Trapp family did perform. We saw the fountain where Maria takes a drink in Residentplatz. This is the same square and building where the Nazis are marching after the wedding of Maria and Georg. Apparently the Salzburg residents were not crazy about having swastikas hung everywhere, because this movie was filmed not that long after the war (1965). Can you blame them ?
We then biked into the country and the scenery was stunning. Sharron also turned SOM tunes on with her mini speaker. It was frankly pretty awesome. We saw the lake where Maria and the kids fell in the water, as well as the back of the balcony where those scenes were filmed, formerly a palace (Palace Leopold). The front of the house is now a university music building, and is different from the palace (now a hotel) on the lake. The house is still yellow, and back in the day, yellow symbolized wealth. They had to add product to make the paint yellow, And so it was expensive to have houses yellow. We saw the big gate (open) and where they pushed the car when trying to escape, as well as the side of the house where Maria does heel clicks during the 'Confidence' song . Finally, we saw the Gazebo, which is now permanently locked because idiots were skipping on the benches and falling. One woman broke her hip and tried suing her city, so the mayor was like, yeah, enough of this nonsense. Lock it up ! In reality, two gazebos were built - the one we saw and another one where the dancing occurred, and just half of it was built. The original gazebo was too small for dancing and all the cameras. Charmian Carr's character of Liesl slipped when filming "16 Going on 17" and had to have her foot bandaged after it went through a gazebo window. 
Most of the indoor scenes for the movie were filmed in Hollywood. Tre crew was only supposed to be in Salzburg for 6 weeks, but because it rained so much, it was extended to 12. The scene with Maria on the hill was filmed near Untersberg, which was saw, but she twirled on the German part of it. Also, the helicopter getting overhead shots kept knocking her over with its power. And it was cold. So even though in the movie she looked happy twirling, most likely filming that scene kind of sucked . At the time, this land was owned by a farmer. 
We rode past the Nonnberg Abbey, where exterior shots were filmed, but we couldn't get up close. Ironically, the real Maria and Georg were the only couple to ever get married in the Abbey. How cool is that ?? The Abbey in the neighboring town of Mondsee is where the interior of the wedding was filmed. (By the way, there are 49 Churches in the city of Salzburg, and 48 are Catholic). 
Finally, we saw the Mirabell Gardens, where much of the dancing in Do RE Mi happened. I thought it was a great tour, and it was nice to bike outside in the fresh air. I really felt like Maria ! 
I ended the day resting and buying a new charger for my camera, as apparently I left it in Maribor. Doh! The camera shop was only 5 Minutes from my pension, and then I had a nice Italian dinner at a restaurant close to the pension. This also meant locals and not any tourists. 

Also posted are two videos on YouTube from the Bike Tour, that are kind of humorous. We had music playing from the soundtrack, and it was a lot of fun.
It was a great day and the weather cooperated. Tomorrow's plans will depend on the weather, as I've heard it's supposed to rain. 
Thanks for reading,
 Auf Wiedersehen,


Scott B

The people behind you on the steps think you're weird.