Thoroughly recommend Fräulein Maria’s Bicycle Tour in Salzburg. We spent the morning on a leisurely cycle through Salzburg’s Old Town and around various locations for scenes from The Sound of Music. Ravinder recommended the tour, having done it yesterday morning; her guide had played songs from the movie in a portable stereo. We weren’t so lucky with our guide; she was more proper and sedately cycled us across the city, stopping frequently with lots of trivia about the sites and the film. We still had a good morning though.
It was cool but warm enough to wear my new polyester lederhosen from Münich, with a tank top. Unfortunately I hadn’t planned on cycling so hadn’t brought sneakers and ended up cycling around in Birkenstocks (they’re comfortable!), with socks (much to Daniel’s chagrin). There was only one hill, which I raced Dan up and ended up a bit puffed. Dan’s basket fell off, his Canon crashing and something on the lens cracking. No broken bones though.
The bike tour started South across the bridge, straight into the Old Town. So many old buildings (funny enough) with narrow streets and dates older than colonial Australia. It’s embarrassing when back home we consider a building more than fifty years old as old. We went behind the theatre from the middle of the film, stopping along with a few other tour groups.
We skirted around the hill that houses the fortress and stopped at several locations from different film scenes. One of the first was the gates and exterior of the “abbey” where Maria hears the bell tolling from and races towards, at the beginning of the film. The mountain she was meant to be twirling on is in reality far off in the distance. We took photos at the fountain where the horse is spewing water. Our guide explained that the filming was 50 years ago this year (1964) and the square we were standing in freaked out locals when suddenly it was covered in Nazi flags for filming. We cycled East and then South, around a square of green, littered with strange sculptures that looked like casts of ant mounds. Our guide encouraged us to sing but we weren’t brave. I already felt stupid enough wearing polyester lederhosen and clogs.
At the lake opposite the house for exterior scenes there was a poppy field where Dan and I decided to take some jumping photos, inspired by Ryland, Dan’s former Zoo Café colleague. I lent too deep with my plié in preparation and heard the seam in my NEW PANTS split. I may have screamed in alarm because the girls up the hill by the bikes all turned heads and started laughing at me, hunched over examining my crotch. Again I was the joke of the tour. This always happens to me.
After the tour Dan and I wandered off to find lunch. I’d Googled gay-friendly places in Salzburg and found a handful of venues, Daily Joy being one. Got to support family! I had a beef sandwich and Dan had some chicken salad. We were falling asleep (I couldn’t get to sleep until past midnight last night) so I bought an espresso which perked me up.
This afternoon will be my last free time, as the conference starts tomorrow and that’s the actual reason for our trip. The academic program is so full! 08:00 to 18:00 sessions every day. Dan will probably do more touring, while I’m at workshops and lectures. We decided to push on and walked up to the Fortress, catching the funicular the last bit, crammed in with Japanese tourists that all exclaimed in unison when the machine started with a jot, “OOOH!”.
The fortress reminded me of Chateâu D’If; lots of rock and bars and small windows. Inside there were exhibitions of military things, like Casa Loma, in Toronto. I was captivated by the framing the windows made onto the landscape outside. Our energy didn’t last long and we soon tired and started back, bumping into Ravinder for the second time today, outside the statue of Mary being crowned by two angels on the building behind.
Time for a quick nap.