Germany and Austria--November '94
Salzburg and the Countryside

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. Salzburg
Path to Hohensalzburg 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 region.
"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? Sound of Music Scene
Mondsee Church 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. Salzburg Concert Hall

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