If you were to ask me about my favorite place in Europe, well it has to be Salzburg. Austria was not one of the countries I traveled 30 years ago and I am glad my daughter made arrangements for Salzburg. Knowing the Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg, I knew I just had to visit these places that were part of the film.
“The hills are alive with the sound of music…” is so much a part of my childhood memories ever since I first saw the “Sound of Music” movie in 1966. I was nine years old watching a movie for the first time. The movie fascinated me simply because I came from a family of seven siblings where music played a huge part of my childhood. Years later as a mother, I often played the soundtrack as we drove the hilly road to Baguio. My two girls also loved this timeless classic.
From the time I arrived at Motel One Salzburg Mirabell, I fell in love with this city. What a spectacular view of Salzach River. As I lulled myself to sleep that night, all I could see were the city lights, and cars passing through the bridge. The next day, my husband took a short walk by the river with cyclists in the bicycle path. I was excited to visit the Mirabell Palace and Gardens where part of the Do-re-mi song was sung. My daughter insisted that we visit the gardens before the tourists arrive.
The walk to Mirabell gardens was spectacular. I don’t know how else to describe it.
True enough, we arrived at the gate and got a photo op right by the Do Re Mi steps.
Behind it is a unicorn.
The gardens were just so lovely.
This is the spot where the children turned around the Pegasus Fountain. Of course , I had to stand by there and feel the moment.
It was quite 15 minute walk to the Mirabell garden and I did not want to get tired. Here we are at our favorite spot, the bench and just enjoying the sunny , yet cool weather and the landscape. Today Mirabell Palace houses the offices of Salzburg’s mayor and the municipal council.
There are lot to see in the Mirabell palace grounds. There is a central fountain, Dwarf garden, the Green Archway, Statues of the 17th Century fencers.
The locations where the Sound of Music was shot are all over Salzburg so getting the Hop on Hop Off tour was an opportunity to enjoy a wonderful ride with the breathtaking view of the city.
The Hop on Hop Off City Tour is only 16 Euros. You may also check out other Sound of Music tours. Their coaches offer headsets for every seat and give you an informative commentary available in 7 languages. The 12 hop on hop off stops allowed me to get on and off as often as I wanted to.
By the afternoon, tourists soon arrive . It was a good thing that as early birds, we got good shots.
We hopped off at the Schloss Leopoldskron. This is the façade facing the lake that represented the von Trapp residence. The lake looked beautiful in this clear sunny day that even the clouds’s reflection is seen on the waters.
The next stop I chose was the Schloss Hellbrun where the Sound of Music pavilion is now located.
If you grew up with the Sound of Music, one of the most famous and romantic scenes was filmed in this pavilion: ‘I am 16 going on 17’
There is a signage by the gate. It says that the pavilion was “used in 1964 in a scene in the film ‘The Sound of Music’…
The pavilion was presented to the city of Salzburg as a gift at the end of the filming. In 1991, the city council decided to restore the pavilion and to show it publicly in the Hellbrunn Palace Park.
This is not the original location of the pavilion as filmed in the Sound of Music.
There other sights that I got to pass by like the Frohnburg Palace where the courtyard and main front were used as a backdrop.
I just had to share this moment with my siblings with a postcard. It’s been more than 49 years and still the music is cherished by the old and young generation. The Sound of Music soundtrack will always be a childhood comfort.