The hills are alive with the sound of…

…seven grown women giddy at the mere thought of being where Julie Andrews stood and filmed that classic movie.  Doesn’t quite fit the sound track but that’s what you would have heard had you been in Salzburg, Austria on November 17th!!

A few months ago one of my “planner” friends had an idea… since we were all heading to Bavaria (a southern state of Germany) for the PWOC Worship and Study retreat, it would be fun to leave a day early and go to Salzburg to take the Sound of Music Tour.  I didn’t even mention it to Matt at first because I was already asking him to watch all four boys over the weekend, and on top of that, a weekend he’d be preaching. (Imagine with me: Matt preaching, Parker in the nursery, and the bigs sitting unattended in the front row poking and prodding each other, knowing Dad couldn’t do much. Many thanks to Adam Cooper for being willing to sit with them and “encourage” them to behave.)

Before I could officially tell my friends that I couldn’t go I decided to just throw it out there and see what he said.  His response really surprised me!  When I mentioned leaving a day early he just said, “Sure.”  No hesitation whatsoever!  I was SO excited about going, but even more excited because I was getting to go with no guilt at all.  Matt didn’t even seem to mind all the work he’d have to do while I was gone from Thursday to Monday.  He’s a good man!

Below is the wall in the stairwell near our rooms.

Our hotel. I hope to take my family back here and will stay in this hotel again. They had “The Sound of Music” available to borrow from the lobby at no extra charge and breakfast was included.

Here you can see the house.   The very house they used as the entrance to the Von Trapp mansion.  Do you remember the scene when Maria was skipping along a path singing “I have confidence in confidence alone?”  Then she pauses hesitantly at the imposing gate before knocking on the door to introduce herself.  It was down the path lined with trees and right there at that gate and front door!  (We got to skip down that path just a little bit.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  I think it would be really neat to run my first half marathon there…  I say that as if I’m actually training for one, which I am not.)

Here’s my friend, Christina, skipping down the very same path Maria skipped down!

Do you remember the scene when the father and his well-to-do lady friend watched as Maria and the kids fell out of their little boat into the water?  This is the very lake that happened in and the house in the background provided the terrace for that scene in the movie.

See the picture of Aimee on the top row of the collage below?   We all got pictures of ourselves in that spot.  To get there, we walked around the lake so that we were standing as close to the building as we could get without trespassing.  We took pictures of the mountains in the background… mountains that show up in the film that we all loved so much!

This gazebo used to be beside the lakeside mansion but tourists became too distracting to the people working inside the building so they moved it.  I’m happy because I got to see it!! Interesting fact:  The actress who was “16 going on 17” was actually 21 during filming and while they were shooting the scene in the gazebo she was not wearing non-slip shoes and hurt herself, having to “complete the scene in agony.”  In some scenes you can actually see the ace bandage wrapped around her ankle.

Below is the chapel where Maria and Captain Von Trapp got married.  If I recall correctly, the interior of this chapel was one of only two on-site interiors they filmed in Austria.  The rest were done on a set in LA.  They liked the organ music, or something like that.  If you notice the little wooden huts they were setting up for their Christmas Market season!

Spoiler Alert:  (Especially to the girls who went on this trip.)  Do not read any further if you don’t want any dreams crushed.  Just look at the pretty pictures and smile contentedly.

During our ride the tour guide, Naomi, asked if we would like to run on the hill that Julie Andrews ran on, singing, “The Hills Are Alive.”  I believe I was a bit too eager as I shouted, “YES” from the 4th or 5th row of the van.  When we arrived we were in absolute awe of the scene before us.

We ran up and down this hill, taking turns spinning while friends snapped our pictures, giddy and happy about where we were.

(And here is the spoiler… I don’t think we were on the SAME hill Julie Andrews ran on, but I’m kinda happy to just believe we were.  I’ll just delightedly pretend it was.)

Okay, enough dashing dreams…

This picture is a treasure to me, because Jessica (far right) is moving to England less than a month from now.  Aimee and I will not know what to do without her.  (Jess just so happens to be the “planner” I referred to at the beginning of this post, though that is only one of many reasons we’re going to miss her.)  It’s not often in life that God grants you a friendship of three that can become close like sisters, with husbands who all get along and become close friends themselves.  We have become family and will always consider each other as such.   I am brokenhearted that we will soon split.  

But to end this post on a positive, happy note, there are so many interesting facts about “The Sound of Music” that I can’t possibly include them all in this post.  Check out the two following posts that had some of the interesting tidbits that we learned on our trip.  (Be careful… some of the ads on the sides of the page may not be appropriate.  I had one that was questionable, so I didn’t include it in the list below.)

Fun Trivia!!

And another fun website!!

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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10 Responses to The hills are alive with the sound of…

  1. Jess says:

    I absolutely LOVE that movie and its a dream of mine to go to Austria one day!! YAY Jennifer!!

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