Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 16: The Hills Are Alive

Ah... The Sound of Music. I've seen the movie a handful of times, but I've only seen the ending once. And I'm not sure I even watched the movie in its entirety when I finally saw the Van Trapp family hiding from the Nazi's as they were fleeing the country.

But even though I'm no die hard fan, I still had a desire to visit the city where the movie was filmed and the real story took place. Plus, we had an extra day to use since we only went to Prague for 1 day instead of two.

Another fact I'll disclose about myself is that oftentimes my attitude is based on the amount of food that is in my stomach. Yes, it is quite sad, but I'm usually good about satisfying its needs... which is probably why it's so hard for me to lose even 5 pounds. But that's beside the point. When we arrived in Salzburg around 11 am, not having eaten, all I was focused on was food. I'm sure I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around, but my mom's an amazing woman, and took it in stride.

So, food is what we went in search of... after we locked up our luggage, and bought tickets to see the Sound of Music musical. We ate outside at a cozy little restaurant. Sticking to the theme of the day, I ordered schnitzel with noodles, since they are one of Maria's favorite things. My mom, however, didn't play the game and had a giant meatball instead.

We walked down the main streets, filled with unique signs that hung over each shop. It's something which has been passed down since the medieval era since most people couldn't read at that time. We both really enjoyed Salzburg. It is a beautiful city, with houses built right out of the mountains, crystal clear rivers, and extremely clean streets. My favorite part of it all though, had to be the women who kept tradition alive by wearing dirndl dresses. Tourists even took part in the tradition, spending more than 700 Euros for a dress. Question is, when will they use them once they leave Salzburg? Because 700 euros is quite a lot to spend on a Halloween costume. But then again, nothing beats seeing an Asian lady in a dirndl.
We paused in front of Mozart's house, entered a cathedral which I deemed my favorite so far on the trip, and then climbed every mountain. Ok... we didn't climb EVERY mountain, but we climbed the one that lead to the famous Salzburg castle. Not feeling like paying a fee to enter the castle, we continued onward and upward until we reached a tower with bagpipe music escaping from the one window the tower had. I'm sure the city, or at least their family members, were grateful they chose the tower to practice in since it sounded like they just started learning to play the instrument.

Wanting to keep with the theme of the day, the next item on our list -after "herbal tea time"- was to see the gardens my mom said were in the movie. Although made famous through the movie, I can't seem to remember the name of the specific gardens we went to. But what I do remember is singing Edelweiss as we walked through them. We could have spent hours relaxing amongst the flowers, but then again we did have a musical to see.

And what a musical it was. Absolutely horrible. We spent as much money on that excruciating experience as we did the night before for an absolutely wonderful concert. It felt like we were back in elementary school... or Disney Land where you can see things like that for free. My mom and I grimaced throughout the whole thing, but stayed since it was later in the evening and everything besides restaurants were closed. The best part of the entire musical was when we could say "so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, GOOD BYE!"

By that point we had about 30 minutes before we had to take a bus back over to the station, so we took one last small walk around the city streets. The city is even more beautiful lit up, although hard to capture on camera at that time of night. Then we had to say good night to the city and walked onto the train to face yet another frustrating couchette experience. And to think, we were no longer in Italy...

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