Someone on the forum who has taken the Germany,Switzerland & Austria tour said the while in Salzburg you can take the SOM (Sound of Music) tour or the Eagles Nest tour. Has anyone taken either one of these tours while on the GAS tour? If so, please tell me what the tours where like and what you did or saw during the tours. I am trying to get an idea of what there is to do and see during the time we are on the GAS tour to make the best decisions as this will most likely be the only time I am in these three countries. Thank you.
Never been on the RS tour, but HAVE been to Eagle's Nest, Salzburg Salt Mines, old city Salzburg. Do keep in mind that the the Sound of Music movie as we know it was quite embellished and therefore more "entertaining" than factual. The various scenes were all shot in different places. The facade of the von Trapp house from the movie is not the same set as the rear of the house with the lake.
Eagles Nest is very factual and relevant. It definitely deserves your time.
I did the My Way Alpine Europe tour, which started in Salzburg so I'm not sure how the GAS tour is set-up compared to that (as mine was mostly self-guided). I took the advice from Rick's book and went with the Eagles Nest Tours (http://www.eagles-nest-tours.com/EN/eagles-nest-tours/index.php?navid=2) company. Overall, it was a great and informative experience. They bus you from place to place and use that time to explain the sites and point out others along the way. We got out and went into a museum there and into the underground bunkers, then went to the actual Eagles Nest at the end. I'd definitely recommend it.
I didn't do anything Sound of Music related so I can't speak to those experiences.
We weren't on a Rick Steves tour but did the SOM tour and thoroughly enjoyed it, as did our teenage daughter. We especially enjoyed the church. The tour also included driving in the lake area-beautiful and we would not have seen it if we hadn't take the tour. I have not done the Eagles nest tour but prefer the more light-hearted tour
to the darker nature of anything involving Hitler.
I took the Eagle's Nest tour on a My Way Alpine Tour. I used Bob's Tours, they were very disorganized as the driver was trying to accommodate other individuals in the van that had signed up for tours other than the Eagles Nest tour. There were 9 of us in the van, but only 5 were doing the Eagles Nest tour. The tour driver rushed us through the Eagles Nest as she had to get back to the people on other tours. There was no time spent at the Documentation Center. The Eagles Nest was interesting but hurried with our driver's other obligations and no effort on her part to be a tour guide. A supposedly 1/2 day tour ended up being about 7 hours with a lot of time spent driving.
Another member of our RS tour took the Bob' Tour the next day with a different driver and had a very detailed tour of the Eagles Nest including Eva Braun's bedroom. I guess it is hit or miss with Bob's Tours but they don't get my recommendation.
My tour companion took the Bob's SOM tour. She was expecting a small van tour but only a few people booked the tour so Bob's took them to a spot where they met a big bus tour and they were put on the big bus tour.
If you want a true Eagles Nest tour take the one that leaves from Berchestgaden. They also include the Documentation Center.
There are a number of things to do in Salzburg itself without doing either tour should you decide that neither is for you. You may want to poke in and out of the shops, climb the trail above town or visit any of the Mozart sites or attend a concert. I'm not sure what all RS includes on the walking tour portion of the day in Salzburg. The GAS tour was structured differently when I took it so I have no insight into what the current tour offers in terms of a group walk around Salzburg.
One note, though, Mathausen is included later on the tour, and that's a heavy experience. I guess I'm saying unless you truly have an interest in that period in history, you may find that one such day dealing with the subject is enough for you. I've been to Salzburg twice. If I ever go again I'd do the SOM tour. I'm a Gen X girl who grew up loving the movie. I truly have no desire to see the Eagles Nest. We all have different reasons for why we'd pick what we'd pick. Whatever you decide--it's a beautiful area. Enjoy taking it in.
I was on the GAS tour in September 2015. Our guide informed us before we got to Salzburg that many parts of the SOM movie would be covered on our tour. We saw scenes of "Do,re, me" at the Mirabel palace gardens. The next day we saw the gazebo from "16 going on 17" and the front part of the walk to the Von Trapp house. Then we stopped at the church that was used for the wedding scene. I Think each tour guide might do it a little differently, so ask your guide before you arrive. Most of the people on our tour spent their free afternoon visiting the fortress/castle at the top of the hill. You take a funicular to the top and walk around. There are beautiful shots of Salzburg from there. Also, most people signed up for an activity that evening. Your guide will tell you about several Mozart concerts that you can attend. The desk clerk at our hotel had a signup sheet and you paid her for your choice. We attended a concert at the Mirabel palace. It was wonderful and just a 3-5 minute walk from our hotel. Two couples had booked the concert from home, they had better seats, but the price was the same as the day of the concert. Several people attended a marionette performance and claimed it as one of the highlights of their trip. no one on our tour visited Eagles Nest.
I want to thank you all for the great informative responses I received. I will take it all under consideration and bring my notes with me to decide what do to. But from what I have read, no matter what you do, it is wonderful!