DAY 9 – Monday, July 1, 2019 – Golling >> Salzburg >> Hallein >> Golling
Today was another amazing day! We had a breakfast buffet in the hotel. It was delicious.
One woman from our group was feeling ill and decided to stay behind. We walked through the Old Town of Golling to the bus and drove to pick up our Sound of Music tour guide at Nonnberg Abbey again (the red roof abbey where the movie was filmed and also where the real Maria went to the convent). We didn’t go inside, but evidently that’s a possibility. Although two dozen nuns live there, they can’t be seen. Occasionally, however, they can be heard singing behind a gate around 5:00 pm.
We learned that only the outdoor scenes for the movie were filmed in Austria. The indoor scenes were all filmed in Hollywood, except for the wedding scene. We saw the tree lined avenue leading to the castle where the children climbed trees in the movie and two mansions: Frohnburg Palace which was used for the front and back of the Von Trapp family house; Leopoldskron Palace was used for the terrace scenes. The gazebo from the film was originally located outside of Schloss Leopoldskron, but it attracted too many tourists for the business convention center currently housed there, so it was moved to Hellbrunn Schloss in 1989.
We got back on the bus and went to Hellbrunn Schloss. After a quick view of the outside of the castle, we wandered back down the path to the palace gardens to see the Sound of Music gazebo used for “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” in the film. The gazebo is quite small. We learned that it was just used for the outside shots; scenes inside the gazebo were filmed in a studio in Hollywood.
Hellbrunn Palace was built as a summer residence for Archbishop Marks Sittikus between 1612 and 1615. For more than 400 years, it has entertained visitors with its trick fountains.
Back on the bus, we drove to Fuschl. We got out on a hill overlooking Fuschlsee (Lake Fuschl) that was in some of the aerial shots, along with Wolfgangsee (Wolfgang Lake) and Mondsee (Moon Lake).
Our guide told us about the scene in the movie where Maria and the children all fell out of the boat. The actress who played the youngest daughter, Gretl, couldn’t swim. The directors made a plan that all of the older children would fall out first and then Maria would pluck Gretl out. It worked perfectly the first time, but there was something that made the director want to do it again. The second time, the boat tipped, and Maria fell out, so it took a bit longer for anyone to lift Gretl out. She was fine, but upset and refused to do the scene again. The directors decided to look for a local Austrian girl who look similar to Gretl. They went to a swimming pool to make sure they’d find one who could swim. Our tour guide – who was a little girl at the time – was at that pool with her family. The director asked our tour guide’s mother if she could be in the film; her mother said, “No.” So much for her 15 seconds of fame!
While looking down at Fuschlsee, we could see the Red Bull Headquarters in the distance; we saw it more closely when we passed by it in the bus.
In the village of Mondsee, we saw the church where the wedding scene from the Sound of Music was filmed. So beautiful! The church, though, is only 1/3 of the length it appears in the film. Residents of Mondsee Village were used for the scene; they filmed once, and then switched places, filmed again, and switched places another time to film again. They pieced it all together to look like a very long aisle. There are skeletons of saints in the altar.
Despite our commitment to arriving at the meeting locations 10 minutes before the stated meeting time, Barbara and I still tended to be the last ones or close to the last one’s back. We began to realize that some people from our group stayed at the meeting spot and never ventured out – what a wasted vacation! Feeling defeated, we adjusted our plan and agreed that we would just try to get to the meeting spot before at least one other person so no one could complain about having to wait for us.
We shopped for a half hour in the village of Mondsee and then ate lunch at an Italian restaurant. I had lasagna and it was delicious!!!
After lunch we went to Mondsee and dipped our feet in the lake. I discovered that several other women in our group have rashy, swollen legs, too.
From here we went on to the salt mine at Hallein Salzwelten (Salt World). Salt was the source of wealth for the royalty of Salzburg. We donned white coveralls and straddled a bench on wheels that ran along tracks and took two railway slides to get deep inside the cave. We learned about St. Barbara and her protection over the miners.
Ancient Celts mined salt in Hallein over 2,600 years ago. Huge profits from trading “white gold” made the Salzburg archbishops rich and powerful. It also funded the building of many magnificent baroque buildings in the 16th and 17th centuries. Brine and salt production was discontinued in 1989.
After the Salt Mine, we headed back to Hotel Adler in Golling. We had spaetzel for dinner. It was plain, but pretty good. And, ice cream with blueberries for dessert.
After dinner, Barbara, Marlene and I walked around outside the church next door to the hotel and checked out the view and the cemetery. On our way downtown, we ran into Ceil, Jan, and Cecelia. They had been downtown and couldn’t find any place to get a beer. The one pub they found, looked scary, and not welcoming to women. The three of them and Marlene decided to go back to their rooms. Barbara and I tried to convince them that we’d be able to find something fun, but I don’t think they believed us, so they went back to the hotel. Barbara and I walked about five buildings down and went into a hotel restaurant. We asked if we could order a beer. We were told they only serve guests of the hotel, but he pointed next door. We went next door. No bar. Then, we saw people sitting at tables outside a hotel across the street. We crossed the street and asked the waitress if we could order a beer. She said yes, but pointed out that there were no seats available outside, except with a man who had just ordered dinner. She asked him if we could sit at this table. He agreed. His name is Martin. He’s from Lake Constance in Germany. He was very friendly. He ordered a shot for the three of us that is a specialty in Austria – made from apricots – Marille. It was quite tasty. We finished our beers. I paid for two of the shots plus three beers (one for Martin).
The sky and buildings looked very cool on our way back to the hotel. We were taking photos in the street when we heard someone say our names. It was Marlene waving from the second floor window of her hotel room. We told her we’d be right up. We stopped in her room for a visit before heading to bed.
What is your favorite scene from the Sound of Music? Have you ever had a part or been an extra in a movie?