Travel

“The Sound of Music” in Salzburg

Mozart StatueThe story of the 19-year-old adventurer in me continues in Salzburg, Austria. Back in 2008, I travelled to this peaceful city for a day-trip from Munich, which is where I was staying for two nights. I had a map marked with all the places I should see and only a few hours in which to see it all. Walking around the whole city was super simple. The only problem was the freezing cold wind (it was only mid-November) and I was under-prepared for such conditions. Luckily, there were plenty of indoor attractions to keep me warm.

One of these was the Mozart Birth House (Mozarts Geburtshaus), a must-visit museum for a unique perspective of the great composer’s life. Indeed, everywhere one goes in Salzburg one is reminded of Mozart and the legacy he leaves behind. Other interior places to experience are some of Salzburg’s beautiful churches and a trip to this Austrian city would be incomplete without walking along the gorgeous shopping street of Getreidegasse. Here antique decorative shop signs adorn the street and make the shopping experience extra special.

View of Salzburg Shopping in Salzburg St. Blasius Church Getreidegasse Shopping Salzburg Streets Mozart's Birth House Mirabell Gardens Beauty Mirabell Gardens Sculpture


When one thinks of the Austrian city of Salzburg, it’s hard not to immediately burst into song! Back in the year 1965, Salzburg’s beautiful streets and vistas became the backdrop of the highly-popular film, The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. This wonderful film is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and it’s so unbelievable. Generation after generation have grown up with this film, which is based on the true story of Maria von Trapp. It’s a family classic at my home and for all lovers of music, it’s a definite must-see. Just thinking of Julie Andrews singing the opening song “The Hills are Alive” against the majestic Alps gives me goosebumps!

Courtesy: http://www.time.com

Since I’m a massive fan of this film, it was so fun to stroll around Salzburg and see where they filmed some of their most memorable scenes. There are plenty of tours available that can take you to some filming locations outside the city, including the famous Gazebo scenes and the final wedding scene. Here are some places I recognised from the film and are all located within Salzburg itself:

Mozart Bridge (Mozartsteg) 
Bridge in Salzburg

Courtesy: http://www.allaboutjulie.tumblr.com

Horse Fountain (Pferdeschwemme)
Horse Fountain

Image Courtesy of Architectural Digest

The Vine Tunnel at Mirabell Gardens
Bike Riding Scene S.O.M

Courtesy: ashagreyjoyed.tumblr.com/

Mirabell Gardens – Famous scene of Do Re Mi
Mirabell Gardens

Image courtesy of Cine Zen

In the darkest of nights, I made my way through a now illuminated Salzburg, back to the main train station and caught the next train across the border to Germany. It was one of the best day trips I’ve ever done and certainly a very memorable one.

Travel

European Stories

I find myself reminiscing about the past more and more these days. Maybe it’s because I keep seeing beautiful photos on Instagram that remind me of my own travels or maybe it’s the millions of various other channels of information such as TV travel shows, websites, newsletters and social media that keep taking me back to the time when I was young and free in Europe. Either way, I felt like writing a series of blog posts to tell my story. A story about a 19-year-old ambitious, Australian girl with a dream; to travel and discover who she is.

When I was a teenager I lived in Germany as an exchange student for 6 months. I never thought this experience would help define my life, but it has in ways that I continue to discover every day. It allowed me to experience how people in many different countries in Europe worked, played, loved and lived. As a 19-year-old visitor, I saw with my own eyes just how many bicycles there truly are in Amsterdam, felt just how cold a European winter in Munich can be, believed in fairytales again in Prague and got lost in the most narrow, beautiful streets of Florence. I enjoyed delicious Belgian chocolates in Brussels, felt the presence of Mozart over the city of Salzburg, crossed canals of picture-perfect Strasbourg in France and held up the Leaning Tower in the mandatory photo everyone simply must take in Pisa.

Travelling opened my eyes to the beauty of the world around me. I boarded overnight buses to the Czech Republic all on my own and climbed towers for picturesque views of cities from above. I engaged in the art of photography and learned about the importance of money by paying rent for the very first time in my life. Sometimes I was joined by my dad on travelling expeditions, sometimes it was just me and the wide, open road. I felt the friendliness of complete strangers when I was totally lost and saw the hardships of locals just scraping by with the clothes on their backs. It sure was an eye-opening experience.

In many ways travelling helped me find myself and grow to become an independent, mature human-being. I was forced to make my own decisions, whether it be leisurely, academic or financial. I’ll never forget the night when my friends and I were working on a group assignment until 1 am and I had the sudden urge to call my mum and tell her not to be worried about me, that I’d be home soon and that I’m safe. Then it dawned on me that I was responsible for finding my own way home in the middle of the night and apart from the people around me, I had no family to immediately rely upon. One of my team-mates fortunately lived in the same apartment block as I did so we caught the bus home together. I’m extremely close to my family and found it the hardest not having them immediately next to me, especially in moments when I’d usually rely upon them.

It would bring me so much joy to be able to re-live some of the most precious moments of my youth again by writing about them here. The human mind can only retain a certain amount of information until slowly but surely pieces of the story become blurry. I didn’t keep a diary of my time as a solo traveller, I simply didn’t have the time but I’d like to write about my solo travels in the cities of Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Strasbourg, Amsterdam and Brussels so that some day I could look back on those days and know that I TRULY lived when I was younger.

I got to experience all these places for different lengths of time and while I can’t go back to any of them unless I board a 20-something-hour flight from Melbourne, I’d love to travel to each of them again through my memories, photographs and stories on this blog and I hope you’ll join me.

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