A Few of My Favorite Things. In Austria, Visiting the Set of The Sound of MusicAug 29th, 2011 | By Peachy G. Concepcion | Category: Adventure, Austria
By Peachy G. Concepcion. Photography by Peachy G. Concepcion
Editors Note: Traveling with a big group is a challenge but if your itinerary is well planned out, then you’ve won half the battle. Case in point is the trip of Peachy Concepcion, who planned a most entertaining trip to Austria. This is another guest post from an entry in her travel journal.
We had finally checked in at at our hotel in Salzburg, Austria. We had been traveling most of the day from Hallstatt (also in Austria). We had done the Sound of Music tour on our way from Hallstatt to Salzburg. It had been a long day so far. All 29 of us had been placed on the same floor and our rooms were side by side down a long hall. Almost the entire clan from my husband’s side were part of a family European trip for the summer. Salzburg was our fourth stop. Together, we were 19 adults, 5 teens and 5 small children. Quite a sight to behold wherever we went! On most nights, I could hear the kids running up and down the hallway going into each other’s rooms. As I peeked into one of the rooms this one evening, I found all the kids on the bed together watching television. What were they watching? What else? The Sound of Music! After all, Salzburg is the land of this all time favorite movie.
The hotel had a dedicated 24 hour channel just for the movie! It was also the only English channel on the television which meant all our sets were constantly on THE one movie. All day, the film looped over and over. Interestingly enough, none of us ever tired of catching a scene or two here and there. Even the teen-agers were enjoying the movie. By the end of the two days we could all recite all the lines and sing all the songs. And of course, how could one ever get tired of seeing Christopher Plummer as the Captain. The Hollywood bad boy of that era was just so handsome! The younger kids were so excited to see all the places that they had seen on the tour that same day. Whereas throughout the tour they had not been too thrilled or interested in the places we were touring, seeing them now in the movie excited them and I could hear them shouting and pointing every time a place they knew appeared.
The exterior and interior of Mondsee Cathedral (click to enlarge)
We had first gone to Mondsee Cathedral where the Captain and Maria had gotten married. The church seemed so much smaller than the grand wedding scene the movie had shown but beautiful nonetheless. After, we crossed a street lane lined with trees that looked the same as the ones the Von Trapp children had climbed as the Captain and the Baroness had driven by in their car.
Next we were off Hellbrunn Palace to see the famous gazebo featured in the “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” song and of course the “Something Good” song. The gazebo was originally located at the Leopoldskron Palace gardens when they filmed the movie but was ultimately relocated to this spot so that fans could come and see it. Funny how when I first watched the movie, I was so young that I could only dream of being 16 going on 17 someday. How I wanted to have my own gazebo with a young man dancing with me! I think all of us, at one point in our lives wished to be Liezl! Yet now, I was old enough to note that it was the other gazebo scene that I loved more. After all, that was where the Captain proposed to Maria, right? Romance at it’s finest. The gazebo now sat in a little corner of the castle grounds across a wonderful park. We were all a little bit disappointed by how small it looked and that it was kept locked. None of us girls got the chance to hop across the gazebo benches or even just go inside for a picture. In fact, the park across was so cool, filled with so many things for the kids to do that they did not even give the gazebo a second glance! They were off and running to play in the park!
Our last stop for the first day was Leopoldskron Palace . This was the fictional Von Trapp mansion. We could only see it from across Lake Leopoldskron . This is the same lake where Maria and the children had fallen off their canoe when they saw the Captain on the terrace. I could see the terrace clearly from where we were. The same terrace where the baroness drank pink lemonade as the Captain announced their engagement to his kids. I could also see the famous balcony where the Captain and the Baroness had that memorable break-up scene. I could almost here the Baroness saying, “…and somewhere out there is a young lady that will never be a nun.”
The next day, we walked over to the Mirabell Gardens where the iconic scenes of the Do-Re-Mi songs were filmed. Mirabell is a beautifully manicured garden filled with rose bushes and green lawns. The steps where the Von Trapp children hopped up and down with each note of the song sat at one end of the gardens leading up to Rose Hill. Across the steps was the Pegasus fountain where the children skipped around as they sang. To the left of the fountain was the vine arbor the children sped through on their bikes. It really felt like we had stepped inside the Sound of Music movie world, set and stage.
I, for one, could not have been more thrilled. The Sound of Music had long been one of my all time favorite movies. I had shared that love with my three children and at one point or another in their lives, they had loved the movie as well. They had grown up singing “My Favorite Things” and “Do-Re-Mi.” They had yodeled along with me when “The Lonely Goatherd” came on. They spun around with me in the garden singing, “The hills are alive with the sound of music…” just as Julie Andrews had done on that Austrian mountainside, long, long ago.
Salzburg was the shortest stop in our European journey, just two days. But those two days were packed with amazing memories tied to songs we sang in our childhood. For days after we left Salzburg, I would hear many of the kids in our group humming some of the songs from the movie. I would hear my little daughter singing, “So long, Farewell..” while she was in the shower. These were the songs we had all grown up with, songs that continue to live for over 45 years.
This is a testament to magnificent songwriting. It is a testament to the enduring impact of this one amazing movie and musical. Kinda makes you want to watch it all over again, right?