Monday, June 22, 2015

The European Trip, Day 16 - Sound of Music Bicycle Tour

Martha and I are both big fans of the movie "Sound of Music" with Julie Andrews, and we've watched it many times.  In fact, we took the "Sound of Music" bus tour during our honeymoon nearly 20 years ago.

Today, we brought the Things along, so they could share in the experience.  This time though, we were going to ride bicycles provided by this touring outfit which takes you around to several of the movie's filming locations.

Cool Bikes eh?

"Cool Breeze"

It's a popular tour.  We rode off, riding single file behind our guide, Bob.  He's an ex-pat from South Carolina who ended up in Salzburg going on five years now, married a local girl and everything.  He claimed that tours that are generated by "The Sound of Music" account for nearly 70% of the tourist dollars brought into Salzburg!

I drew the bicycle called Gretl, Martha had the one called Martha (two of the Von Trapp daughters from the movie), Miles got Maria and Patrick ended up on the bicycle named Charmain, the actress that played Liesl.

Off we went, riding single file, braving the traffic in the Altstadt or Old City of Salzburg.  I was a bit nervous but it all ended up well, none of us four had any issues or crashes.  I will say I didn't like how narrow some of the spots we rode at were, with cars within a foot of us.  Oh well.

One of the first stops was just one of the bridges spanning the river that crosses through Salzburg:

Horse fountain/murals that Maria and the kids ride by on a carriage

Next pictured stop was the fountain at which Maria, in the movie, had splashed some water onto the horse statue that was spraying out water:

Another pictured stop was the gate of the nunnery where the Von Trapp children went to seek Maria after she'd left them:

The nuns have had the bell ringer removed, too many tourists
ringing the darn thing as they came upon this location.

The view of Salzburg from the Nunnery's location

 The back side of the Von Trapp house, in the movie
the Hohensalzburg Fortress shows up....

We finally made it out of the Altstadt and it was easier riding down park trails and bike paths that weren't full of people.

One of the trails bordered a large field, which provided us with this view of the fortress:

Festung Hohensalzburg

We next rode over to the "Front side" of the Von Trapp house, now university property.

Martha stands along the wall which Maria skipped by as
she neared the Von Trapp home on her first day as their governess.

Leaving the house, we rode our bicycles down a long path which was used in the film to show Maria and the kids bicycling between two rows of trees.  We would end up at a water park which is, since 1990, the site of the Gazebo used in the movie.

The gazebo was built for the movie, it wasn't an existing location when they filmed the movie and it was left behind by MGM.  The guide told us the thing had been moved ten times, and now is locked to prevent tourists from trying to re-enact the dance scene between Liesl and Rolf; there'd been too many injuries you see.

We made our way back to Maribelle Platz and soon were headed to Fussen/Schwangau for tomorrow's itinerary.

The Sound of Music cow.


Andy & Laura said...

Another Sound of Music fan here! Loved this post. Salzburg is one city that is definitely on my bucket list. It just seems to have a certain old world charm that I would like to one day experience.

I saw the picture in a post from a few days ago of the place where Mozart was baptized. Is his birth home open for tours? He is one of my favorite classical composers.

Have enjoyed Austria with you guys. Am looking forward to Germany.

SonjaM said...

It takes an acquired taste to like the Sound of Music, and while Roland would cringe at the sight and sound of it, I loved it from the first moment I watched it as a kid when on a visit with my relatives who lived close to London back then.
Thanks for the memories.

Trobairitz said...

Great pictures, but I must confess, I've never seen the Sound of Music.

agent713 said...

Love it. We did the bus tour and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

redlegsrides said...

Laura and Andy, his birth home was a bit of a distance from Salzburg per Martha's memory but we do believe it's open for visitors.

SonjaM, glad I could bring up happy memories for you with this sound of music blog post.

Trobairiz, never seen the Sound of Music? I'd heard of people like that....a rare species. ;) Thanks for your comments.

agent713, glad you liked it. I think I prefer it over the bus tour which is what we did almost 20 years ago.

Unknown said...

How did you book this bike tour? My family and I are interested in a smaller tour, without busses. This tour sounds like the best fit for us.

Martha said...

Hi Lorna Vu
I booked the tour on the website,
Google fräulein Maria's bicycle tour
A reservation holds your place and you pay cash on the day of the tour. That is good in that if the weather is not good or your plans change, you aren't out any $ but it is well worth the cost!