Schloss Hellbrunn, Salzburg, Austria

The Sound of Music gazebo can be found on the grounds of the Hellbrunn Palace.  It was originally kept on the grounds of Leopoldskron Palace, where the outside facade scenes were filmed.  But, because people would trespass on the privately owned Palace grounds to see the pavilion, it was moved to the gardens at Hellbrunn Palace.  There wasn’t a single tourist the afternoon we found the gazebo, only locals frequenting the park.DSC_0413 DSC_0415 DSC_0414

After finding the gazebo and getting pictures we noticed it was on the outskirts of a public park, Schloss Hellbrunn.  It was a lovely park with cross country skiers dotting the snow covered fields.  The children found a playground in the distance and a small zip line.  We had a few minutes to spare as we waited for the next bus to come, so we all burned off a few breakfast calories at the park.  It was fun!  Everyone tried the zip line and Sophie loved it.  She would laugh so hard and loud the whole time!  If no one thought we were Americans upon arrival to the playground, they did after watching, seeing and hearing all of us!  We, Americans, can be so loud!  But, we had a great time and it was a fun pastime amongst all the sightseeing.

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The Sound of Music

“The hills are alive, with the sound of music!”  I was like a kid in a candy store the morning we woke up in Salzburg, knowing we were going to be seeing the Sound of Music film sites.  As a little girl, I would anxiously await the once a year broadcast on TV of the movie, The Sound of Music.  Since a little girl, Austria has been on my list of places to visit. Salzburg was lovely.  Those of you who have seen the movie, as you look through these pictures see how many scenes and locations you can remember from the movie!  So fun!!!

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This was the “I have confidence” song location as Maria walks by the fountain and splashes water.  Almost all the fountains were covered in Salzburg.  This made me a little sad!:(  (Residenz Square and Residenz Fountain)

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“Do- Re- Mi- Fa-…”  I was disappointed that the stairs from the end of this song were closed off.  We could only see from a distance.  When the older kids saw the stairs they said, “look Mom, it’s where they filmed the song!”  (Mirabell Gardens and Palace)

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This residence was the back drop for all the outside Van Trapp home scenes.  For example, when Maria and the children capsize the canoes and fall into the water.  If you look close, you can see the stone balusters that are filmed numerous times in the movie. (Leopoldskron Palace)

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“I am sixteen, going on seventeen!”  (Hellbrunn Palace Gardens)

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Abbey Scenes!

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Both from children singing, skipping along the river and hanging from the trees!

Bäckerei, Hummel, Cuckoo Clocks and meandering Streets of Salzburg

The morning we woke up in Salzburg, we set out for the day on foot.  We left our hotel, Hotel Via Roma, and started for historical city center.  We were wandering around the quaint neighborhoods and came upon this bakery.  We were all hungry for breakfast and this is just what we love to do in a new place:  find a local bakery or delicacy specific to that area!

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Any time our family enters a small European establishment, we have heads turn and we never can go unnoticed!  This is exactly what happened as we walked into this bakery.  It was typical of European bakeries:  small, quaint and familiar.  There were about four other customers inside so we all felt a little cramped, but, nonetheless we proceeded to decide what might be good to try.  Everything and everyone speaks german in Salzburg so we did not understand what everything was.  A nice man in front of us overheard us speaking english and trying to make out what each item was.  He kindly turned and asked, in english, if we needed some assistance!  We happily accepted.  He then told us we were lucky because this particular bakery was the most famous and well known to all the locals. It is “the” bakery to frequent.  Jackpot!  I love when this happens during a new experience! This man then explained what each item was and we were able to make some choices. The ladies behind the counter were so friendly!  They even let me take a photo of them “on the job”.

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We all enjoyed some of their local delicacies.  They are also known for their pretzel rolls. They were good, but a little heavy for the morning!  It is always fun trying new things!  A lot of their pastries were filled with fruit or a custard.  They were heavier than most of the pastries here in France.  We enjoyed our “breakfast” so much we returned the next morning!  The outside of the bakery was so picturesque, yet simple, with the darling gold pretzel hanging from the wire hook.

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We proceeded to meander up and down the beautiful side streets of Salzburg and we came upon the largest retailer of Hummel figurines and collectables.  It was amazing!  My Mom has a small collection of Hummel figurines so it was a little walk down memory lane as I explained to my children about their Grandma’s collection and other memories associated with Hummel.  I wish I could have taken a picture on the inside!  It was incredible!  My Mom would have been in heaven!  I wish I could have afforded to get one for nostalgic reasons, but the price tags were a little too overwhelming!

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Right after we left the Hummel boutique we turned a corner and came upon an awesome little retailer of Swiss Army knives and Cuckoo Clocks.  The first was, of course, for the male members of the family.  They had a cool collection to choose from and the three older boys were able to enjoy a new knife for scouts/emergencies.  While the boys were looking at the knives, I could not keep my eyes off the cuckoo clocks.  Again, another childhood memory.  This time of my Grandma Wittwer.  She had a cuckoo clock that she got from Europe many years ago and I remember it so well.  I had no idea how many emotions would be felt on this day in Salzburg.  I hadn’t even seen one Sound of Music site yet, but my childhood memories were coming to the surface!  It was exciting and special for me personally!

Below are a few pictures I took of our walk from the hotel to the city center in Salzburg. We saw beautiful rooftops, Abbeys, Cathedrals and quaint little roads!  We all loved it, especially me!  I am grateful we did not stay in the city center.  We were only a 10-15 minute walk to city center and it was worth every step!  (Plus, it didn’t break the bank being a little further from city center!) :)

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Duvets

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I learned some information about Duvets on our trip to Germany that I found interesting.  I love duvets.  I prefer a good down duvet over a comforter or quilt any day of the week and at any time of the year.  In the States, one buys the size of duvet according to the size bed one has.  France is the same way.  But, Germany has a different way of doing duvets. They use twin size duvets for any size of bed.  If one has a king size bed (which is usually two twins put together), the twin duvet gets folded in half and lays across the width as the above picture shows.  There is usually space between the pillow and duvet.  It is meant to look like an oversized pillow laying on top of the bed.  Sometimes, there is only the fitted sheet and one only uses the duvet.  Since I use duvets on all our beds in the States, I never buy flat sheets anymore.  They have become a nuisance!  My kids do not sleep with a flat sheet either.  In fact, they get frustrated here in France because a few of the beds only have comforters and/or sheets and the sheets always get ripped off and thrown on the floor!  Haha!

When we stayed at the Sneddons, I was helping Jenny make up the beds and she explained this to me, after I had noticed the guest bedroom having two duvets folded the width of the bed.  I found it interesting because I use duvets.  I had never seen this done before.  So, when two people sleep in the same bed, they do not share the same duvet.

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These pictures were taken at our hotel in Salzburg, Austria after having seen this in Germany at the Sneddons.  I chuckled as I entered the hotel room and was happy that I knew the German custom of duvets.  There are a few other European countries that use this twin size style on their beds.  It worked perfect for the kids, because there was no debate the following morning as to who pulled off who’s covers!  I love learning little tidbits of information like this!

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Traveling to Austria

From Munich we went on to Salzburg, Austria.  This was another place on my list of “places to visit” while living here in France.  From the very first time I watched The Sound of Music, as a little girl, I have been smitten with Austria.  I had never been except until last month!  Another dream became reality!  We left Munich in the afternoon and approached Salzburg just at sundown (It was only 1.5 hour drive).  Some of the views from the road where incredible.

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We couldn’t see Salzburg from the auto route because it is nestled in the foothills/hills of the mountains.  But, I knew we had arrived when the Salzburg Fortress came into view!

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We located our hotel room, ate at a little italian restaurant next to our hotel, settled in for the night and tried to sleep, despite my excitement for the next day!!!!