Before I begin this multi-post discussion of my time in Salzburg, I have to lay down a little bit of backstory. Ever since I can remember, I have been in LOVE with The Sound of Music. The 1965 box office smash starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer was and still is, excuse the language, my shit. We had, and still have for that matter, the double VHS copy that came as part of a Rodgers and Hammerstein collection and which my sister and I watched on a regular basis. It didn't matter that it was 3 hours long, I loved every minute of it. As I got older, towards the end of middle school and beginning of high school, I don't remember watching as often, but the passion was still there, a bed of coals waiting to be re-ignited.
On a 2002 family trip to The Netherlands, it was. Our friends we were staying with had 2 books of great intrigue to me: Letters to Leisl by Charmian Carr (the actress who played Leisl in the movie) and an in-depth behind the scenes book about the making of the movie. When I saw those, nothing else mattered except me reading them. I devoured every page, every morsel. Part of that may have been due to my compulsive interest to read about behind the scenes/on-set/production stories of movies and television, but nonetheless, I was obsessed with those books. When we got home, I purchased the behind the scenes one and reread the library copy of Letters to Leisl.
As DVDs were just emerging at that time, I got the 2-Disc Collector's Edition which came with the most amazing documentary about the VonTrapp story and how it was developed into films and became a worldwide phenomenon. I don't know how many times I watched it, but I couldn't get enough. Between the book about the making of the movie and the DVD documentary I was in heaven. I soaked up every ounce of info about The Sound of Music. My craving for more came when the 40th Anniversary DVD was released and even though I owned the movie already, the special features on the new set were the bomb, and made the purchase well worth it. I learned even more amazing facts and had become a fountain of knowledge about the movie and story, yet I still craved more. I had to visit the city of Salzburg, Austria.
Although my itinerary had such popular tourist destinations like Paris, Rome and Venice on it, my #1 destination was Salzburg. A few months before I left, my mother and I were discussing if she, or I, or both of us would go to visit Anne and central Europe. Begging on my part did factor in a bit. This was the perfect opportunity to go to Salzburg and I wasn't going to let it slip from my reach. This was my moment, my chance to live out my childhood, to walk in the steps of Julie Andrews, to roam and experience the city where the hills were alive with the sound of music.