|Salzburg has been one of the
student favorites on every one of the Germany/ Austria trips we have taken.
Perhaps it's because we've always been there on the weekend (when many stores
are closed) and they have not had time to pay the outrageously high prices
for all the Mozart souvenirs in every shop on every street. Instead, we've
usually seen Salzburg from a broader perspective, admiring its overall beauty
without having to see too many of the blemishes that its commercialism brings.
||The Hohensalzburg Fortress
looms high above the city and can (usually) be reached by funicular. However,
the funicular is closed for annual repairs for two weeks in November and
on almost every trip, we have had to walk to the top. The fortress was begun
in 1077 and was built for the ruling Archbishops. My favorite of the ruling
archbishops is Wolf Dietrich--what a great name! Tours are available in English
at the Hohensalzburg. In the off-season, we are usually among a very small
group, and the tour guides can get much more personal. On this trip, we were
not able to get the funicular and we had to take the walking path that winds
back and forth up the face of the cliff until it reaches the top. Students
love taking the pathway to the top; teachers (especially old ones) hate it.
But once there, the effort is really worth it. You not only get the tour of
the fortress; you're also treated to what is probably the best view in the
|"The Sound of Music Tour"
provides a relatively inexpensive way to see the countryside in the Salzkammergut.
Most Salzburgers don't care much about the movie, but for the Americans
who have seen it, riding through the countryside, listening to "Do, a deer...,"
and spotting all the familiar sights, the tour turns out to be a lot of
fun. Most of the students in the group on this trip had had a music teacher
in elementary school who was a S.O.M. fan, so they easily knew all the words
to all the songs. Some of us, though, were forced to make up our own lyrics.
Do you recognize the "Von Trapp home" in the photo at the right?
||On "The Sound of Music" tour,
a small tour bus will pick you up at your hotel and first drive you to some
of the familiar sights in the city. St. Peter's Churchyard is one of the first
stops, for example. Since these are such small groups, the guide will likely
fashion the tour to suit the desires of the group. If you'd like to see and
hear more about the city, for example, some of the countryside can be shortened.
For our trip, we decided we wanted to see as much of the Salzkammergut as
possible. After driving through the mountains around Salzburg, we descended
to the lakes to visit St. Gilgen and then Mondsee. The Mondsee Church (in
the photo to the left) was used for interior shots of the wedding in the movie.
In the movie, the young Maria and Captain von Trapp marry and rush away from
the Nazis just in the nick of time before World War II breaks out. In real
life, they married in the 1920's and she was pregnant with their 10th child
when they left Austria.
|Salzburg, Mozart's home, remains
today one of the great musical cities of the world. The summer music festival
attracts musicians and fans from around the world. And on almost any night
of the year, the tourist can find three or four concerts from which to choose.
Don't worry about taking special clothes to dress from the concert; although
some in the crowd may be dressed in tuxedos and gowns, others will be in jeans.