no matter where you go, there you are

Sunday, October 31, 2010

quick review then a little do-re-mi

Before I begin talking about the rest of the fantabulous city that is Salzburg, I want to share my thoughts on the Panorama Tours "The Sound of Music" tour. While well organized, well run and informative, the tour wasn't as great as I was hoping. Part of the disappointment may have been due to the bad weather, but if I had gone in the summer where good weather is more common, I would have had to deal with more people.

Anyway, it wasn't that the tour was poorly done, but it just didn't feel like it was worth the ticket price, mainly for the fact that I didn't really learn anything new about the movie. I got a great deal of history of Salzburg, but all of the facts and information the guide discussed about the movie were well known to me as anecdotes from either the special features on the dvd, the documentary from the dvd, and the books about the movie. The guide told the stories well and effectively, and I liked hearing them again, but I was hoping to learn more about the making of the movie than what I already knew. For fans of the film, but not crazy ones like me, the tour was probably fantastic for the most part.

My other beef was that they really didn't take you many places, which I account for in whether the ticket value was worth it. After visiting the rest of the city, its easy to see why because most of the other filming locations are in the city and within walking distance of each other, so a giant bus wouldn't fit in well. Nevertheless, the tour website seemed to advertise getting to see more than what we did. The one perk of the tour was the chance to see all the locations outside the city center where filming took place. I wasn't going to be able to rent a car so that was the best part of the tour. However, when I get the chance to return (hopefully in spring or summertime) I would like to rent a car and travel to all the locations and sightsee on my own time. Though it will probably cost more in the end, I think I'd enjoy it more.

Now for a recount of me and Anne's personal Salzburg/Sound of Music tour...

I met up with Anne shortly after departing from the tour bus and we took the short walk to our hostel to check in, change and layer up for the evening. It had stopped snowing but the rain was on and off and it was quite cold. There was only another hour or two before it would get dark and things would begin to close up for the night so we had to get a move on. First we did the Mirabel Gardens at the Mirabel Palace. The Mirabel Palace is a government building now which you can visit but I heard wasn't very interesting inside.

The gardens, however, was where it was at; a large portion of the "Do-Re-Mi" sequence was shot in the Mirabel gardens including the famous steps sequence at the end of the number. Other places were the hedge they run/dance under, the pegasus fountain, a dwarf statue, the athletic statues and the infamous steps. We actually returned to the gardens again the next day cuz the weather was much nicer and I wanted more pics cuz I'm a dork. So these are the cumulative collection of those pics. I took multiple ones at each place, reinacting many of the dance moves and poses, but I won't torment you with those.
mirabel gardens with the Salzburg Fortress in the background
hedge, with no hedge...
pegasus fountain

view from the steps of the fountain
The hedge was just as it was in the movie, except there was a wall to the right of it that I don't remember being in the movie. And it was winter so there weren't really any plants growing on it, but I still imagine Julie Andrews doing her thing underneath. The Pegasus fountain seemed smaller than in the film but since they shot them skipping around as an aerial view, I'm guessing they used a wide angle lense to give it that effect. Whatever technique they did use, they used it a lot. The main square by the Domkirche, the cathedral for the wedding...all looked much larger on screen.

me, anne and pegasus
Another victim of winter was that a lot of the garden gates were closed and locked. Anne had been able to walk to and touch the dwarf from the song when she visited in September but now the gates were locked. The other gates that were locked were the ones on the steps so you couldn't go through them. I did a little hopping up and down, but was sad I was unable to do a complete reenactment.

the dwarf, in a locked part of the garden
athletic statues
gate was locked, couldn't reenact completely...
from the other side...

After Mirabel, we wandered along the river to the Mozart footbridge, the Mozarteg, where the children and Maria skip across on their day out in the city on their way to the mountains for a picnic. The chain Marta swings under is now gone, but otherwise, the bridge is still fully intact and very popular. It's not built for cars so pedestrians use it quite a bit.

river; used in skipping to picnic too

We then walked to the Residenzplatz and the Domkirche. Both plazas were used for when Maria travels from Nonberg Abbey to the VonTrapp villa and both were homes to large Christmas Markets. Another reason to come back to Salzburg in the summer; so I can see the plazas in all their natural glory. The fountains that are pivotal in the appearance of the film were completely covered up and surrounded by sales huts and people. The plazas therefore looked tiny. But as I said above, I think it was also a filmmaking technique that made them appear much larger in the film. We wandered around, I went inside the Domkirche. Nothing too spectacular about the church except it was really dark inside since they didn't turn on any lights, but the ceiling of the dome was wonderful. (More pics in the next post since we returned the next day when there was more sunlight)

Lastly, before dinner, we went to the Mozart Gerburtshaus, the home where Mozart was born and his family lived for 30 years while not on tour. It had a great collection of sheet music, family information, Mozart's first violin and viola, and his first compositions written when he was only a boy. The house still had the inner architeture of a very old house and I really loved the interior. The English information provided was well put together and very informative. I enjoyed that house quite a bit. 
Mozart in Mozartplatz

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