Well, I can say that getting tons of sleep has not been a key part of my vacation, but I’m waking up naturally after about 6.5 hours, which is the amount I’ve bumped up to from 6. I decided I have to gradually increase this and what doesn’t get done just doesn’t get done!
This morning I was up early for the “Sound of Music” tour. Confession time – I don’t like musicals and, if I’ve ever seen this movie, I don’t remember it. So, it’s good I saw the places on a tour because I wouldn’t have known what I was looking for! For example, this is the lake that the boat tipped over into. The youngest child almost drown because she fell out on the opposite side as Julie Andrews and she couldn’t swim!
Then, it was off to the gazebo! A larger set one was used for dancing, but this one was the exterior shown in the “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” scene.
We drove by the mansion exterior used for the movie (which is not actually by the lake), but it’s private property, so no stop. The last stop before heading up into the mountains was the abbey that Maria lives in at the start of the movie and the real Maria also lived in, which was built in 740 (red roof). The real Maria also married the Captain here. It’s an active abbey, so no visits inside!
Then, we headed to the mountain and lake district – wow, do you miss some of the best that the Salzburg area offers if you never leave the city. Just incredible!
The reason the tour heads up here is for the church where the movie wedding happened, which is in Mondsee (Moon Lake). It was my second example of just how overwhelmingly decorative Austrian churches are. They look like less from the outside than many French churches, but the interiors are full of things to look at. It did make me wonder if it was different eras/styles or the French churches lost most of their decorations in the revolution?
By this time, I was also very grateful for the strange breakfast veggies in Vienna because it’s been 3 days since I saw a vegetable that wasn’t lettuce on a sandwich of some sort. Different types of fried meat and variations on potatoes is about all I’ve seen for food! So, for lunch I decided to brave goulash, even though I wasn’t certain what it was, in the hopes of some vegetables! It was largely a meat and potato soup also, but there were some veggies and the sauce seemed veggie-based. I’ve never missed veggies so much as both times I’ve left France after being there several months! I tried my first Austrian strudel too.
The tour ended at Mirabell Palace, where the gardens were used for the Do-Re-Mi song (which I’ve now had stuck in my head for three days).
Sadly, most of the palace is now government and medical offices (HINT: yet another free bathroom area), but the angel staircase remains.
The palace was built by Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (same guy who built the palace in the Dom Quartier) in 1606 for his mistress, with whom he had 15 children. It’s unclear, but I believe he was not married, BUT was also not supposed to marry since he was technically a Catholic Archbishop, as well as prince. The only other area that survived a later fire is the Marble Hall, where Mozart also played. Both are free.
My final stop was St Peter’s Abbey, which was built around 700, to see the catacombs. Sadly, they were closed due to illness, but the cemetery is very picturesque.
I didn’t realize it was still in use until I saw something that broke my heart though – a small toy car. It was the recent grave of a two year old and what appeared to be his mother the following year.😢
After that, I was done with the cemetery and it was time to see the church. Yet another incredibly ornate combination of carving and paintings, so it certainly appears to be the style here! I’m going to call 3 churches a pattern!
Then, it was time for my train to Innsbruck! Speaking of trains, Austrian trains will allow you to make seat reservations for 3 Euro; however, unlike German trains, you probably don’t need one. Every train I was on had plenty of empty seats and the one reserved for me wasn’t always a great seat, so I have no idea how the assignment was made! Like German trains, each set of two seats has a power charger in 2nd class. It’s remarkable that train tickets in France are both significantly more expensive than Germany and Austria, but also offer poorer service since there is not an electrical port on some trains (outside of 1st class)!