Sunday we went back to Salzburg, stopping for coffee at a beautiful Alpine Lake in between. Our mission in Salzburg was “Sound of Music” immersion. As mentioned elsewhere, we booked a “Bob’s Tour.”
The beauty of such organized tours is that you see and learn things you could not possibly do on your own. And WHAT is seen and learned varies from person to person. So, for Liz, This special 4-hour “Sound of Music extravaganza” included the Von Trapp house — both of them as the front of the castle was a different house than the back. And the inside was somewhere else entirely (Hollywood, actually). Also the pavilion, the Abbey gate and lane leading to the Von Trapp Castle, The roadside trees (w/o kids in upholstery), WEDDING CHURCH (omg). Also, some personal stories behind the movie. For example, there was a SCUBA DIVER under the boat for the scene where Julie and the kids fall out.
For me the tour was also full of highlights. The Red Bull World Headquarters, a REAL Adelweiss flower (in a souvenir shop), actual apple strudel with Vanilla ice cream and SO MUCH MORE. I also came away with some very valuable insight and historical perspective. I believe that Red Bull was actually INVENTED to make Julie Andrews and all those precocious kids so, so… PERKY. In fact, had the Von Trapps not carried the secret of Red Bull with them to Switzerland (which, BTW is several hundred KM from Salzburg, NOT just over the hill – that is Germany), WWII could have ended very differently. The tour guide could not (would not) refute this.
After the SOM, we needed to decompress. SO naturally we went to the Augustiner Monastery, where the Monks make beer. In HUGE quantities. There are at least 6 halls (each of which can seat at least 300 people family style – and they were quite crowded) for you to sit and drink…and food stands making all manner of sausage, Schnitzel, etc. Brigitta was our designated driver for the trip back to Linz. The rest of us supported the monks, financially if not philosophically.
Today we are leaving Linz and our friends Brigitta and Herman. We head back to Paris…stopping tonight in Strasbourg. We are READY to leave Austria.
Here is how I know we have FULLY absorbed Austrian Culture: Liz is doing Sudoku in German!