River Cruise Day 7

River Cruise Day 7 Excursion to Salzburg/Sound of Music         Rainy/misty then fine

We had an early start this morning – the boat pulled in to Aschach to drop off the people going on an excursion to Salzburg.  We woke to discover that it was raining and very misty/foggy – we can’t complain because the weather has been really kind to us.

Our bus picked us up at 7.45am and our adventure began.  We drove through the beautiful Austrian countryside to Mondsee, where they used the church for the scene where Maria, from The Sound of Music, gets married. 

Our Austrian guide, Barbra, took us for a walking tour of the town to the Basilica.  The church is absolutely beautiful and the altar, used in the movie, is Renaissance from the 1620s.  We had time to have a stroll around the town and take photos of the beautiful lake.  We saw a funeral procession with the mourners dressed in traditional Austrian clothing, with the coffin carried by a horse drawn carriage and the mourners marching to the beat of a drummer, heading through the town to the Basilica.

Barbra showed us where the scene at the beginning of the movie was shot, where the helicopter flies over a church in the countryside and past the rocky outcrop of the mountains.

We drove through Fuschl where they also have a beautiful lake and where Red Bull is made.

Barbra explained to us that although Mozart was born in Salzburg, he only spent a third of his time there, a third in Vienna and a third travelling around, and eventually moved to Vienna.

When we reached Salzburg, our first stop, after Jos, (pronounced Yose) the bus driver dropped us off, was to the Mirabelle Gardens, where some of the movie was made – Maria and the children sing Do Re Mi coming down the stairs and also around the fountain.

The gardens are beautiful and they employ 15 gardeners full time and have over 40,000 plants.

From there we walked into the town centre, crossing the Salzach River, which is a greenish blue colour because of the limestone upriver.

Barbra took us on a walking tour, giving us lots of information, with her lovely sense of humour and her obvious pride in her country and Salzburg in particular.  We also had plenty of time to explore on our own after she had finished the official part of the tour.

We saw Mozart’s birthplace, Dopler’s birthplace, the Festival house which seats 5,200 people, we walked up to the Fortress and we saw St Peter’s Monastery, with the courtyard of the Franciscan Monks – they still have 24 left there – and the cemetery. 

We also saw the place at the back of the Festival House where the scene for the movie was shot, where they all got into the cars after they gave their little concert.

We met up with Barbra and Jos at 3.15 and made our way to Vilshofen where the boat was meeting us.  Once again we drove through such beautiful countryside! 

Barbra also showed us where Silent Night was performed for the first time, on our way back too.

While we were off exploring the beautiful countryside and visiting Mondsee and Salzburg, the Artistry continued her journey along the river, stopping at Passau for a short visit – Passau is on the Austrian and Czech border – and those people who were still on board, went for a short walking tour.

Listening to our Austrian guide, Barbra, speaking German to our driver, Jos, absolutely thrilled Sandy to bits – she could have listened to them for hours!

We were both delighted to be back in Austria, seeing the mist hanging on the mountains, the brilliant green of the fields and the houses with their flowering window boxes, just as we had remembered them from our last trip in 2005.  It was just like walking back in time for us and brought back so many wonderful memories of our previous visit and how excited we had been when we first saw Sandy’s mother’s home country and had an opportunity to spend time with her Austrian family.

2 Responses to “River Cruise Day 7”

  1. Janet says:

    We loved Salzburg too! So are you getting to spend much time on the boat just watching the world go by? Or is it really busy like on our Greek Cruise?

    It’s gorgeous weather here today, so might do one of the walks from our book.
    Lots of love
    Janno xoxo

  2. Maria Hughes says:

    I have just enjoyed reading your last three days blog,and the photos are absolutely beautiful – bringing back happy memories of our time in Salzburg and other areas of beautiful Austria and Germany. All fine here – keep on having a wonderful time, much love from all in Leeton xxxx

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