Sunday, June 20, 2010

Salzburg 2010

Lots of starts and stops  lately – some memories turn out to be just too personal to put in a blog, you know? I think its time to fast-forward to recent events.  If  that triggers other memories, I'll get back to them.....

I fulfilled an almost-life-long dream last week (life-long, in regards to my daughters’ lives.) I finally took them to see Salzburg. The city holds meaning for me way beyond the Sound of Music. I’ve now been there four times, although 20 years passed between the second and third visits. My father would have been pleased, I think. He died before my girls were born, and I’ve always been sad that they never got to know each other.

It was a quick trip. We were in Germany for two weeks visiting Holger -- also Jessie and Savannah’s first visit there -- so we took the train from Munich to Salzburg just for the day. It’s so hard to cram everything in – and we didn’t want to cram. We weren’t there to just be American tourists – 10 cities in as many days. This is just a starter trip, with many more to come. So we decided the Salzburg visit would be treated as such. We stuck to what we could get to on foot from the Hauptbahnhof.

I had a plan – take them the same route I took my first time – by the International Youth Hotel where I'd stayed with Hope, Heather and Ellen and two years later, with Katie, to the market at St. Andrew’s Church across from Schloss Mirabell, across the river to the Öesterreichischer Hof, where my parents stayed on their visit, to the Alte Stadt (old city). I mapped it out in my mind – get out of the Hauptbahnhof and turn left, walk to Paracelsustrasse , go right, the International Youth Hotel would be there… Except I hadn’t counted on so much renovation…

We arrived in at the station, completely under construction. I was lost. I pretended I knew where I was going. 15 minutes later as the girls informed me we’d just made a huge circle, I gave up and reluctantly admitted I had no idea where to go. Savannah pointed out the information booth. We went in, got directions….and a map…. and set out again. Jessie took charge of the map. I gave up on finding the International Youth Hotel. It was hot and humid – unusual for Salzburg, and there were more important things than my trip down memory lane. Plus, I reminded myself, this was a scouting trip. I toyed with taking them on the Sound of Music Tour –but an afternoon on a bus was not what we had in mind, after a morning on the train. I thought about taking them to Aigen to see my father's house. We all agreed –next time! The rest, we could see on foot.

Once we got past the new construction, things started to look familiar. There was St. Andrews Church and the market, in full swing. Drinks all around, and cross the street to Mirabell Gardens , where scenes from the Do-Re-Mi sequence were shot. Recognize anything?

We crossed the river. Last time I was here, my mother asked me if I went into the Öesterreichischer Hof? Honestly, it never even occurred to me to go inside a hotel where I was not a guest. So this time, we went in. It’s now the Hotel Sacher Salzburg, having been acquired by the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Still, it was the same building, and very elegant. I felt out-of-place and oh so American just walking into the lobby. The original plan, just have coffee and cake in the restaurant. Not happening - we were waaaaaay underdressed. The man at the reception desk “ Kann ich sie Hilfe?” (Can I help you?) Flustered, my resolve to use my newly acquired German flew right out the window. “Um, nein, Danke. My parents stayed here years ago…. I just wanted to see it.” I thought about coming right out with it “my father, Rupert von Trapp, used to stay here when he visited Salzburg.” Couldn’t do it. Not sure why…

So then – on to the next destination.. the Alte Stadt (old city). All the way, I pointed out other Sound of Music spots to the girls, in addition to Mozart’s birthplace.

We rode up the funicular and took an audio tour of the Festung, and then visited some of the museums within the fortress, the Salzburger Marionettentheater museum among them. Among the recent productions is, you guessed it, The Sound of Music. I wondered about the Lonely Goatherd scene – marionettes playing with marionettes –a bit ironic, don’t you think? They had those cutouts where you stick your face in and take a photo. There was a nice British couple who offered to take our photo, if we would take theirs. Sure, I said, wondering what they would do if they knew a real von Trapp had taken their photo at this spot. But neither the girls nor I offered the information. It was more fun to fly under the radar and keep it to ourselves.

Lunch at the top, then made our way back down to tour through the churches. Jessie and Savannah were awed by splendor of these cathedrals, especially when you consider the period of time when they were constructed. As for me, I was just pleased that they could appreciate all of this at age 16.

By evening, we were ready to return to Munich – slept most of the way… already thinking about what we’ll visit NEXT time…


  1. The gazebo... next time!

  2. Judy Monte CapronJune 20, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    Looks like a great trip! Someday, hopefully, I'll make it there, too!

  3. That's so cool. Maybe the British couple will read this blog, lol.

    I don't know if you read the IMBd boards or not and if you want to stay far away from them, I understand, but this one person is being crazy: I tried to set him/her straight, but he/she persisted. It would be funny to have them corrected by a family member, ha ha. But if you totally don't want to that's understandable. I realize a lot of SOM music is fictional but he/she is way off.

  4. Hi Rebekah - Thanks for the tip. I wonder where he/she gets his/hers information? It's always interesting to me when people make statements that have no basis! I'm torn as to whether it's worth getting involved, but I appreciate your efforts! I'll give it some thought. In any case, you're inspiring a new blog post. Stay tuned. I've been kind of lazy lately! Thanks for all your comments! Cheers! Francoise