“YOODLE-HE-HOO!” yelled a dirndl-clad lady on a motorbike, careening down the slim avenue wherein my tour institution had accumulated. We had been status outdoor Nonnberg Abbey, one of the oldest convents in the global, where the actual Maria von Trapp turned into married in 1927. I wasn’t wearing conventional Alpine clothing, but I form of wanted I was—we have been, in spite of everything, on “ Fräulein Maria’s Bicycle tour.”
Maximum American site visitors to Salzburg can have had the title music from “The Sound of tune” pop into their heads sooner or later for the duration of their ride. Stare out over the city’s Baroque center and surrounding mountains, and it’s tough no longer to reflexively suppose “The hills are alive…” but in my case, I was really listening to it—a tinny, condensed version of the tune, emanating from a Bluetooth speaker inside the front basket of a traveller’s rental bicycle.
My friends and I were in Salzburg for the weekend, eager to explore Mozart’s birthplace and the massive, medieval Hohensalzburg castle. We completely supposed to visit the Museum der Moderne, built dramatically into a cliff-face, and the ornate Residenz Palace, in which Salzburg’s Prince Archbishops resided for masses of years. Admittedly, although, we more often than not desired to look where Maria and the Captain got hitched.
In a city where each cafe, kebab save and chocolate bar seems to display Mozart’s portrait, another type of musical tourism has quietly (or occasionally pretty loudly) taken root. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The Sound of song” premiered on Broadway in 1959, then filmed in Salzburg—where the Von Trapp circle of relatives lived before fleeing to Italy—inside the spring of 1964. Because the film’s 1965 optimum, lovers have sought out the places in which Maria tapped her heels and strummed her guitar—and excursion operators were satisfied to steer the way. Guiding corporation landscape takes visitors round in a bus on “The authentic Sound of track tour,” a 4-hour immersion that promises to make Julie Andrews’s revel in gambling Maria relatable. Every other agency, Bob’s special tours, takes smaller companies through the sites in a minivan, with the option of wrapping up the excursion with an apple-strudel-making class.
We opted to take a cue from Maria’s roving “Do-Re-Mi” tutelage consultation and selected a bike tour, hoping to mix exercising with our sightseeing. Considering that I’d in no way visited Salzburg earlier than, my number one institutions with the metropolis have been the sun-drenched Technicolored pictures from the movie. So I was a touch worried when the day for our tour dawned grey and cloudy, with a few scattered raindrops (falling now not on roses but on us). We put up our hoods and headed to the tour’s meeting spot, the baroque Mirabell Palace and its immaculate gardens, in which Ms. Andrews and her young solid practiced their Doe-a-Deering at the marble steps.
“My name’s Nic, I’m from Mississippi, and my favourite track is ‘The Lonely Goatherd,’” our manual said by using way of advent. A dozen or so different fanatics, a number of whom stated they’d visible the movie “as a minimum a dozen times,” became out for the excursion. Our path could take us about 3½ hours and wind through the metropolis’s fields and much less-populated roads among stops. Our itinerary changed into a mashup of movie places and locations—like the Nonnberg Abbey—that figured into the existence of the actual Maria von Trapp.
On the motorcycle racks, we have been asked to select one of the cruiser-kind bicycles, every inscribed with the call of a person from the film. I chose “Sister Bernice,” the confused looking nun who went attempting to find Maria when she failed to show up for prayers. “Who’s Herr Zeller?” my buddy requested, pulling out one of the bikes. “Herr Zeller is very vital!” our manual yelled. “He’s the bad man!”
A quick safety speak later, we have been off, driving in unmarried or double record toward St. Mark’s Church, any other Baroque standout within the center of town. We passed a group of actual nuns, in habits. They smiled and nodded in our course and persisted on their way. We pulled up earlier than a huge stone wall outdoor the Felsenreitschule theater, wherein Christopher Plummer, in the movie, brought on teariness making a song “Edelweiss.” Our guide pointed to a nearby archway, in which Liesl’s love interest, Rolf, first seems in his Nazi uniform. “What do we consider Rolf while he comes thru there?” Nic requested. All of us booed.
In Residenzplatz, the town’s critical rectangular, we stopped before the giant horse fountain wherein Maria announces her confidence “in self assurance alone” and defiantly splashes the water. Several elated institution participants, myself protected, paused to take a commemorative water-flicking photo. Between selfies, Nic instructed us that 20th Century Fox had a difficult time convincing locals to allow them to cling swastikas across the rectangular for the filming.
Close to the cemetery that stimulated the movie’s hectic graveyard scene, we took damage for large chocolate- and poppy seed-blanketed pretzels, offered from a small marketplace stall. We threw them in our baskets and steeled ourselves for the climb to Nonnberg Abbey, on the top of a steep hill. At the summit, outside the convent wherein the actual Maria and the Captain were married and the fictitious nuns sang their “Maria” variety, Nic declared it turned into singalong time. I performed it cools at the beginning. however, once we got going, flying down the steep grade because the film’s commencing traces poured out of the bike speakers, I dropped all pretenses and lustily joined the refrain.
“How do you clear up a hassle like Maria?” we bellowed in unison through an area that definitely did appearance Technicolor -green. The solar had come out, the sky had cleared and we saw the craggy height of 6,079-foot Untersberg rising within the distance. We handed horses and drowsy cows, and rode alongside the riverbank near the footbridge in which Kurt and Gretl sang in garments fabricated from curtains. “Sister Bernice” were given a flat tire alongside the manner, but our guide speedy swapped her out for “Brigitta”—underrated as an individual however pretty sturdy as a motorbike.
Making our manner toward considered one of our ultimate stops, we rode down a shady avenue lined by means of overdue-Renaissance Salzburg mansions. The leaves above us seemed to glow, and the sphere to our left stretched towards the Alps in the distance. We got here to a forestall at the front of a buttery yellow mansion—one in every of two used as the Von Trapp family home inside the movie—and practiced our heel-clicking an l. a. Julie Andrews at the stop of “I have confidence.” From inside the constructing, now a music college, I heard the smooth sounds of piano music.