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Sound of Music - What's Up?

Today's fun question of the day is about the "Sound of Music".

A few of us posting on this site are planning a trip that includes Salzburg. Lately I've been reading numerous postings in other question pages regarding the "Sound of Music". The question pages weren't specifically asking about SOM info and were more general Salzburg info related, but many of the posts touched on it. I thought maybe it was time to focus on it specifically.

I read that there seems to be alot of differing opinions on things like where certain shots were taken in the movie, parts of the set that have been moved, etc.... I've also searched online and found much discussion on some of the tours offered in Slazburg that may be less than genuine and offer bad information.

So why is there seeming to be alot of conflicting thoughts and opinions? What might one do to filter fact from fiction? What would be the best way to see SOM sights and know you're getting the most accurate info?

My wife and I are booked to stay at the Villa Trapp (the actual former residence) and while expensive, it's just something we wanted to do. I'm thinking that because of their unique connection to the whole thing, they'd know the best way to see the "Sound of Music" interests.

They are pointing visitors to use a tour called "Bob's" (http://www.bobstours.com/). I'm thinking that didn't sound very authentic, but they insist it's the best.

So what's up with the "Sound of Music"??

Posted by
7979 posts

Yeah, but now I cannot get the image of Kent singing "doe, a deer, a female deer" out of my head. I have the giggles now of course. Thanks guys.

Posted by
11798 posts

I've never taken the tour because it's really not my kind of thing. I have heard Bob's SOM tour mentioned often as the best.

Posted by
478 posts

I've done the Sound of Music tour twice (when once is really enough). It is completely 'touristy', but I knew that before I took it. SOM is one of my favorite movies and I loved learning any little bits of trivia about the making of the movie, the actors, etc..., as we rode our tour bus around town.

I'm not sure if there are different companies that offer the tour but our hotel dropped us off at a location where several buses were parked. I think the cost was 35 Euros. You have to reserve your spot in advance. We met at 10:00am and were back at our drop off point 3 hours later.

The tour includes walking through the Mirabel gardens and driving to the various sites were SOM was filmed. The gazebo where Liesl and Rolf danced has been set up at one site. Then you drive through the mountains a bit to get to the church where Maria and Capt were married in the film. We had some free time in that little town to shop or have a bite to eat.

As I said, the tour is one of those 'once is sufficient' kind, but I loved all the little snippets of info that the tour leader gave. If you are a SOM fan it's a must-see.

Posted by
18063 posts

The Sound of Music tours have to be contrived. The Frohnburg, which was used as the Von Trapp residence in the movie (wasn't really their home) was only used for outside shots. The inside pictures were in a sound stage in Hollywood. The lakefront "patio" used in the movie was a temporary set built on the lake near Leopoldskronn (from which it was copied). The distant shots of the pavillion were of a structure that was since moved to Hellbrunn (you can see it); the closeup shots (16 going on 17) in the Pavilion were shot in a sound stage set in Hollywood. Most of the places that were shown in the movie (if they still exist), like the do-re-mi steps at Maribel Palace or the square where the big nazi flag was hung, can be seen without a tour.

P.T. Barnham would be proud.

To learn about how and where the movie was made, get the DVD and listen to the commentary by director Robert Wise.

Posted by
1313 posts

I am not a devotee but liked the movie. Still the movie and the stage play took great liberties with the lives of the von Trapp family. It is hard to talk about authenticity related to the movie.

The good news: this area is a beautiful part of Austria with palaces, alps and alpine lakes galore. Get out and see it as you can; you will not be the loser.

Regards, Gary

Posted by
71 posts

Gary-
We did a Bob's SOM tour two years ago and recommend it. It not only covered SOM stuff, but was an informative and beautiful drive in the hills surounding Salzburg.
Enjoy!
Duane

Posted by
43 posts

I took Bob's Sound of Music Tour twice. Once in Sept. 2005 with the older son and then in Aug. 2008 with the younger son. The first time we were in a mini van with one other couple (major SOM fans) and the second time we were in the same mini van by ourselves. The second time the guide was very informative about the SOM sights as well pointing out what was filmed on a Hollywood set. She had recently been invited to the openning of the Villa Trapp and had the opportunity to speak with family members as well as some of the actors that had been in the movie. She relayed stories to us such as when the actress abbey nuns got drunk sitting in their habits while waiting to tape and ruined the reputation of the real abbey nuns for awhile. She talked about how they had to hire local people to sit in the pews in the church in Mondsee. They fed them lunch as payment. Also there was a little boy in the front row who kept falling asleep. And there were a few more stories. But all the stories pertained to the filming of the movie not the real Von Trapp family. There were also things that didn't have anything to do with the SOM at all. Like the pointing out of the Red Bull plant and a quick lesson on the hottest drinks that include Red Bull. The luge ride was fun. We talked about the Untersburg and many other things. We were even taken to have a shot of schnapps (my son's first). I have to say that I very much enjoyed our tours and most importantly, my (at the time) 18 year old son's did too. The tour was what we were looking for and more. As a matter of fact the guide hooked us up with a friend of hers who was a paragliding pilot. My son really wanted to go off a mountain in Austria and she set him up to paraglide off the Zwolferhorn on Wolfgangsee. I can't say anything negative about Bob's SOM tour and have to say that the Sound of Music movie, a Roger's and Hammerstein musical is entertaining to me and a classic. Just my two cents.

Posted by
10344 posts

The Hills are alive, with the sound of....Money?My wife is a SOM fan (see, I can blame it on her), and so we took Bob's Special Tour a few years ago, one of the tours recommended in Rick's book. And yes, despite my grumpy and cynical self, I surprised myself by enjoying it. And even found myself singing "doe, a deer, a female deer..." along with the rest of the small busload of other American SOM fans (they say confession is good for the soul).

Posted by
7979 posts

oh Ken, you are so cute. Your wife must think you are the best Valentine ever.

A very long time ago, I remember reading a book by Maria Von Trapp about their life in America, trying to make a living running a hotel in Vermont I believe. Wish I could remember more of it, but you could probably buy it online somewhere.

Posted by
182 posts

I knew we could have a little fun with this one for us weekend "posters". And who would have thought that with a name like "Bob's" we'd have a reliable SOM tour.

Thanks for all the great info coming in!

Gary

Posted by
182 posts

Jo

Since we're in a confessional mode, my wife and I will be spending a few nights at the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont in a few weeks (I guess part of our prepping for the big trip this summer).

Gary

Posted by
811 posts

And not only the image of Kent singing the song (or, really, what I imagine in my head Kent looks like), but now I can't get the damn song out of my head.

Thanks, Kent...

Posted by
1352 posts

OK, since we're in confessional mode...I've taken the tour once and loved it, but the SOM is my absolute all time favorite movie!

We've also been to the "Sound of Salzburg" dinner concert which was corny with mediocre food, but still fun. The most interesting part was the 10 minute clip they show of the real Maria talking about how she really became engaged to Captain Von Trapp.

And yes, those hills are really alive with the sound of music!

Posted by
638 posts

Hi Kent,
The reason I asked theres an old Steve Martin skit from the 70's on a comedy album called "Lets Get Small" at one point during his routine he breaks out singing "The hills are alive with the sound of money!" Funny how things get burned into our minds! My first thought when I saw the header for this subject was this line! LOL

Posted by
182 posts

Good day Corinna

Thanks for the link!

Did I read somewhere about tea at your place? How about early July as we pass through Krems?

Posted by
638 posts

And Kent,

The Hills are alive, with the sound of....

Money?

Are we a Steve Martin fan?

Posted by
10344 posts

Barry: Actually, I first heard that quote from our tour guide on Bob's Tours, while we were rolling through the Austrian hills east of Salzburg, I think he said it in between rousing choruses of Do-Re-Me and Climb Every Mountain.

Posted by
525 posts

My husband and I know Kent....I'll see if I can get him to pose while singing "doe a deer" and figure out how to "link" it to this posting. He and his wife have become very good friends from meeting on the helpline when we were planning on going to England and they to Italy. We met at Starbucks to exchange travel stories and helpful suggestions. (They live about 5 miles from us in the Portland, Oregon area.) We have been meeting almost weekly now for over a year to discuss travel, the helpline and playing cribbage soooo maybe I can fit in a picture. Okay, now can you get this vision out of your head??

Posted by
7979 posts

Kent, as long as you don't start singing "I am 16, going on 17" things will be ok. "My favorite things" is borderline though.

Posted by
3313 posts

Miss B - 5 bucks to you if can get Kent to pose in leiderhosen ;)...

Posted by
588 posts

I have a photo of me in Mirabel Gardens in front of the do re mi steps and I always start singing when I look at the photo. Must be an Oregon thing! :D I didn't take the SOM tour but wish I had. Next time!

Posted by
638 posts

I doubt if "the hills are alive with the sound of money" will ever leave my mind. I had the album over 30 years ago and haven't listened to it in probably almost that long. It's burned in there!. Now, if you come up with the photo is that something else that might get burned in? LOL

Posted by
1717 posts

Hi Gary. When I was at Salzburg, I decided to not go on a Sound of Music Tour. But I will not try to persuade you to not do that tour. (Because I guess you will go on that tour, whatever we say about it).
I recommend that you also go on a 5-hour bus tour (in a Volkswagon mini bus) to the Salzkamergut : it goes to the big lake Wolfgangsee. Or, ride in a train and boat to Halstatt -- stay there two nights, and ride in a cable gondola from Obertraun to the Dachstein Mountain. And visit Bad Ischl on your way back to Salzburg.

Posted by
2349 posts

Liederhosen are the leather shorts with suspenders.

Does Bob's tour take you to a mountain meadow so you can twirl around and sing?

And please, could Kent sing Edelweiss?

Posted by
7979 posts

Has anyone been to the London production of Sound of Music from Andrew Lloyd Weber? We watched the talent show he had where he searched for a Maria, from unknowns all over the UK. Talk about having all those songs in your head all the time. I wanted to go see the show, but haven't made it yet.

Posted by
386 posts

Leiderhosen: pants in which you suffer regret

Liederhosen: pants that make you break out into song

Lederhosen: traditional Alpine leather pants

;-))

Posted by
18063 posts

Leiderhosen: pants in which you suffer regret. (I think that's all I want to know about that subject.)

Corrina, I like that.

Leather pants are called Lederhosen, auf Deutsch. Leder (pr. Lader, long 'a') means leather.

Leider (the 'ei' diphthong is a long 'i' sound) means regretfully. If you write to a hotel in Germany for reservations, and they are full, they might respond with, "Leider sind wir ausgebucht."

Posted by
386 posts

Glad that I made you smile, Lee :-)) I couldn't resist ;-))

Posted by
1147 posts

Gary- I am a huge SOM, perhaps because it was one of the first movies I ever saw as a child and it made such a big impression one me. I decided right then I would go to Salzburg some day- and I have been several times. I think the confusion comes in because the movie was filmed partly in Austria and partly in a sound stage in Los Angeles. For example: The front of the house is Frohnberg, the back is Leopold...(?) (can't remember how to spell it and don't have my book) and the inside was all a soundstage in LA. There are many sights to see in Salzburg and you can buy an inexpensive book in town that has many of them listed. (They include a bridge they danced across, Mirabell gardens, A fountain with horse heads you see while "Maria" sings "I have confidence and larger sights like the church in Mondsee, The back of the house, the front of the house, etc) I was disapointed in the SOM guided tour (although I thought they were 100 per cent honest about how much was filmed in Salzburg) and we tend to bike around using the sites as "destinations" on a really fun bike ride. I also have read all the books Maria Von Trapp (the real one) wrote and found their real life to be as interesting as the "fictional" one. She was quite a character. I have also visited the Von Trapp lodge in Stowe Vermont. While the SOM movie is only a small part of why I love visiting Salzburg, it does get credit for "inspiring" my desire to go there and will always have a place in my heart.

Posted by
881 posts

Gary, it's the only Tacky-Tourist thing I've ever done in Europe, and was so totally worth it. As others have said, the tours were put together years after the movie, so they are all a bit different.

The best ones will take you to the major locations: the two houses, the gazebo, the church they were married in, a summer luge (weather permitting), and up into the hills/lakes for beautiful views!

We did the full size tour bus, and had a blast. Going back in May to do it again!

Posted by
182 posts

Connie and Chris

Must be a Washington thing you got going there.

Thanks for the insights. Chris, when you you back in May, are you going to do another "tour" or some other method? How long ago was your first visit?

Posted by
3313 posts

Lee - I decided a long time ago that if I am going to post place names, local foods, and articles of clothing in four languages and British, I'd risk mangling a few words. Actually, a lot of them.

Feel free to follow me when I try to make references in French - I butcher the crap out that language!

Posted by
36 posts

My husband and I took one of Bob's Sound of Music tours last October when we were in Salzburg, and we really liked it! I am a huge Sound of Music fan, and loved seeing the several different places that you get to see on the tour from the movie. The only thing we didn't get to see was the hilltop where Maria is singing "The Hills are Alive" at the beginning of the movie. Apparenetly only the official FOX studio tours take you up there. However, you do get to take a drive through the Austrian countryside out into the lake district, and the smaller vehicle you are in allows the driver to take the lesser known roads than the big, commercial tour busses, and you get a glimpse into the peaceful hillside Autrian farm life.
Also, what I really liked about the tour was the small, intimate feel of it. They drove us around in a van with 3 other couples, so it was great getting to know everyone else - it was a fun group!
The stop we made for a luge run down a hillside was fun but cheesy, and I am guessing the companies are affiliated somehow. The stop we made for apple strudel was really great though - an amazing view of a lakeside village and wonderful strudel.
Overall, I liked Bob's Tours and would recommend it.
I loved Salzburg as well - what a wonderful city! Have a fantastic time!

Posted by
2158 posts

Kent, Do not feel bad. I actually find It's a Small World at DisneyWorld to be kind of a cute ride. Nothing could be more embarrassing than that! I'd rather have Doe a Deer going through my mind than It's a Small World After All.

Posted by
525 posts

Do I hear 10 bucks to get a picture of Kent in a Lederhosen?
He laughed and said he wouldn't pose and said his wife knows the songs. I asked both of them if we could go to a high mountain here in Portland, Oregon for them to dance and sing. Ah, the answer was no but I'll keep trying. The better weather is coming so maybe in a month I'll get "that" picture.
Sorry, I got carried away. This isn't a travel question.

Posted by
59 posts

Jo-we went to Andrew Lloyd Weber's 'The Sound of Music' in London last Feb (2008). It was fabulous!!Great sets, wonderful music. The music festival at the end gave you chills as they draped the nazi banners from the ceiling and had 'soldiers' stationed throughout the audience. I think when we went they had just changed the starring actress and it was no longer the winner of the contest, but maybe that has changed again?

We found another way to embarass yourself in Salzburg: My daughter(14 at the time) and I filmed ourselves singing songs from SOM at the various locations in the film. We got a few odd looks at the Mirabell gardens doing DoReMi, but it made for a fun day and we have had alot of laughs watching our video!

Posted by
342 posts

I had a rather unique experience related to all this. I was studying in Salzburg the year SOM came out. We went over to Berchtesgaden and saw the movie at the US military theater.

It was something to come out of the theater and be looking at the same mountains that were in the film!

One question: I thought I recently read that the Salzburg city government denied the permit to open the hotel in the former villa because neighbors complained that there would be too much traffic and congestion. No?

Posted by
46 posts

My family and I did Maria's bicycle SOM tour last summer and had a great time (17 and 19 yo boys).

Posted by
182 posts

Hi Steve

Thanks for the post. You raised a very good question.

Last October when we first pondered the trip, I was looking for a unique place to stay while in Slazburg. After extensive research on hotels and B&B's in the area I happened upon one page that listed new hotels in the Slazburg area. It was such a new option, it wasn't listed with any of the normal sights one might look for places.

I googled it and found extensive material. Alot was about the opening on July 25 that had significant fanfare that included the 93 yr old daughter Maria and her brother Johannes who attended. Also there were articles about what you brought up regarding the neighbors not wanting it to open.

I found their website and booked.

http://www.villa-trapp.cc/en/index.php

Don't know how they could take reservations, but maybe they were speculating that they'd be open? (Originally we were supposed to go this month, but have since moved it to July)

Anyway, after reading your post I again googled the villa and found more articles from as recent as last December suggesting that Salzburg won't allow it. But I also found conflicting information such as the "Trip Advisor" with reviews from people who have recently stayed there:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g190434-d1232851-Reviews-Villa_Trapp-Austrian_Alps.html

Granted they could be "planted" reviews, so I am also contacting the Villa to see if I can get an explanation.

I'll post again when I can find out more info.

Posted by
4 posts

I took a SOM tour more than 20 years ago, so I definitely don't remember who we went with. However, I do remember that I enjoyed it. We were young and railing through Europe, so it was just nice to be out in the countryside. The driver played music from SOM along the way and who can't help but hum along to that.

Posted by
182 posts

OK, here's the scoop on the Villa Trapp. Through various sources (The Villa itself, 3 individuals who have recently stayed at the Villa during January, and a few businesses that deal with the Villa), I have been able to confirm that the Villa Trapp is open and operating.

It apparently is true that Salzburg has declined their desire to be considered a hotel, but as best as I can describe based on what I have been told, they have essentially temporarily re-classified themselves until they can resolve things more formally with Salzburg. From what I can tell, they may or may not be allowed to utilize all the rooms and are considered something in the nature of "Luxury Guest Rooms".

Whatever they are, they are open and I'm excited to be able to stay there when we visit.

Thanks to Steve for brining up the subject that helped me make sure we wouldn't be surprised upon our arrival.

Posted by
32 posts

Gary,
Bob's tours are great! I took the SOM tour several years ago and completly enjoyed the tour. It was in a small van with several others who were also fans of the movie. We did get to take a luge ride and dance in the hills!

Posted by
33 posts

One thing to note is that you can see a lot of the sights by yourself! If you find out some of the locations in the city itself, you'll realize they're pretty compact and all public places, some of them being sights you might just pass anyway. I walked to the Mirabell Gardens where Do-re-mi was partially sung, walked past the fountain Maria goes by, and found the abbey. I talked to someone who took a tour and said it's something she would've regretted had she not done it, but she was sort of disappointed with the tour. She said that they just drove past the abbey I think, and I had the chance to walk around it and into the little courtyard/graveyard. I didn't make it to Hellbrunn, but there are sights there as well I've heard (plus it has nice gardens). One good thing a tour might provide is an excursion into the countryside to see the actual hills. Though I wonder if you could just do that yourself as well by train perhaps.

Posted by
206 posts

SOM is my favorite movie! We took Bob's Tours in Sept. 08. It wasn't nearly as cheesy as I had expected. Even the spouses/partners who were dragged along had fun. The minivan was the way to go, as we could zip in and out of places quickly (plus we didn't have to wait to unload 50 people at every stop). The next day, we rented bikes and rode back to Hellbrun. Riding along the dirt road in front of the yellow wall of Frohnberg made me want to sing/dance "I Have Confidence" (don't worry-I didn't ;-)). Here are some pictures from Salzburg, including the tour: http://autocrossplus.exposuremanager.com/g/salzburg