On our way to Vienna, we had passed through the city of Salzburg (where The Sound of Music was filmed) and decided that we wanted to visit it at some point. Shortly after our arrival in Vienna, we planned a trip to this famous city.
Salzburg sits in the middle of Austria, right next to Germany’s southern border, and is about a 2 hour train ride west of Vienna. We arrived at the train station early in the morning so that we could make the most of our visit in Salzburg.
One of the first things that we noticed upon arrival is the castle on top of a hill above the city, as seen in the featured picture. It is called Fortress Hohensalzburg, and is one of the largest existing 11th century fortress complexes in Europe (it was originally built in 1077 but was officially completed around 1500).
It was built to protect the prince bishops of those times from getting attacked. Since it is set on top of a steep, cone-shaped hill, it made it difficult for people to reach it, and obviously gave rulers an assurance of safety (view source here). Nowadays, you can either hike up the hill or ride a small train-like cart (that’s what we did). Talk about going back in time!
Enough with castles! We wanted to see as many of the film locations for The Sound of Music as we could. The first place we visited was St. Peter’s cemetery, which is the oldest cemetery in Salzburg, going back to the year 700 (view source here). One of the last scenes of the Sound of music is when the von Trapp’s are hiding from the Nazis in what appears to be St. Peter’s Cemetery. Unfortunately, it was just a Hollywood set that was designed to look like the graveyard. We didn’t know this when we visited it.
We also went to see The Abbey where several scenes with the Nuns, Maria, and the children were filmed.
But our favorite spot that we visited was when we stood on the steps where the ending of Do-Re-Mi took place.
Castles and movie locations aside, we also officially hiked in the alps for the first time. To sum them up in one phrase: they are breathtaking. I felt like singing with Maria, “The hills are alive with the sound of music!” I think this was truly the time when we began to fall in love with Europe.
The Alps were everything we had ever imagined: misty, all shades of green, rolling hills, old cottages and sheep settled in the mountainside…
Salzburg was more than we ever imagined, and I did not even include everything that we did and saw, but rest assured, we will visit again someday.