Four years old sitting on the ground as my mom combed my hair, the Sound of Music captivated my every move. My favorite movie has long dictated pieces of my life. I identify with Maria. A well-meaning God- fearing, forever hopeful and optimistic woman who sings in the hills, sits properly on pinecones, and tries with all her might to unify people together with music, never giving up no matter how difficult a situation may become.
The hills of Salzburg played host to one of the greatest films of all time. And now this majestic back drop has played host to one of the best days of my life. My only regret being that my mom was not by my side. For the woman who introduced me to music, specifically The Sound of Music, I wished to share with her the scenery that led me to gasp aloud – a trait I’ve seemingly inherited when something so beautiful presents itself. But someday I will bring you back here for you cannot live life without seeing this place.
As we left early this morning using the Alps as our guide, the blended green hills, with a green only God himself could have blended together, welcomed us openly.
Horse-drawn carriage, sparkling fountains, and a cobblestone walkways provided a welcoming background to begin our journey. The castle towering ovehead was an eye-catcher and seemingly the best place to view Salzburg as a whole.
With regal notes of the imperial march echoing the halls of Festung Hohensalzburg, you stand a little taller in the imagery presented in front of you.
From the tower, a 360 view gives you a glimpse into the unimaginable beauty that surrounds this region. Rolling hills, mighty alps, sculpted gardens, and a green-blue river that happily completes the picture -perfect landscape leaves little wonder to God’s existence.
With only less than twelve hours to dive into all Salzburg had to offer, we prioritized our stops. Erzabtei Stift St. Peter, Mozart’s Geburtshaus, and Mirabell Gardens topped my list.
St. Peter’s Abbey, a Benedictine monastery formed in 696, captured my attention when Maria and the rest of the von Trapp family fled the Nazis before escaping over the hills.
Rarely would I ever describe a cemetery as beautiful or peaceful but this was like none other I’ve seen. With a view looking upwards to the castle and flowers to match those of the fanciest in all the land, truly I understand why they chose to film here.
Across the way, Maribel Gardens played host to my own reenactment of Do-Re-Mi as I Marched around the pond singing at the top of my lungs, well, not actually but I’d hardly put it past me.
And as I finished the rounds with a selfie on the steps, I though my heart couldn’t be more joyful – but to stand in the room where arguably the greatest musician of all time was born, to see his instruments, his penmanship, and his letters that made me laugh as jolly as Santa as he described himself as disgruntled as a recent painting that portrayed him as ‘fat,’ and ‘too old,’ my heart warmed even more.
Mozart’s birthplace is to be preserved for sure, but how often do we depersonalise the greats of old, yet they struggled as we do. I believe the Mozart family to have been exceptional. The way they conveyed their love in letters is a testament to the hearts from which music freely flows.
I found him to be rather particular as he described his hair being done at 6 o’clock every morning and having been dressed by 7. His income full though his life riddled with debt from poor spending habits, allows us to all learn from Mozart; Hair finished by 6 is a must for good music but we must be wary and frugal when spending money always.
He only returned once to Salzburg in his adult life to which I cannot fathom, for this city has captured me and I wish never to leave.
Perhaps he had to leave to create this legacy that has drawn me in so closely. And his move may even have inspired Rodgers and Hammerstein to which my beloved Sound of Music stemmed. Either way, I’m grateful for this preserved monument that is his house.
May your Sunday be pleasant and filled with family! How I wish I could bring you all along, for I know my pictures don’t do it justice.
Much love and many blessings to each of you always,