Family Journal: Salzburg, Austria

After leaving the little town of Feld am See, we drove across the Austria, and the Alps, and spent a night in Salzburg, Austria. The city is known for its Baroque Architecture in the old town, Mozart’s birthplace, and the Sound of Music was filmed there. We enjoyed all three.

Above we are outside the former Mozart family home, now museum. The boys knew about Mozart through their music teacher at school and we all enjoyed learning about his life. The big impression I got was life was tough in the 1700’s. Five of Mozart’s siblings died in infancy, only him and his sister surviving. Mozart also caught tuberculosis while traveling around Europe with his father as a child. He survived, but it would eventually cut his life short. The wonders of modern medicine have really extended our lives and we don’t even have to think of these risks anymore. For more about Mozart, check out the Mozart Project website.

1763 - Young Mozart in Gala Costume
1763 - Young Mozart in Gala Costume

It was absolutely horrible weather but we managed to walk around for a few hours. Salzburg was a city state and the archbishop who ran it loved music. It avoided the damages of WWII and the architecture of the old part of the city is stunning! There was a gypsy work camp located near the city, where they were used a slave labor. I didn’t see any gypsies in my day in the city. American troops entered Salzburg to end WWII on May 5, 1945 and it was the center of US-occupied Austria.My father was stationed to the north, in Stuttgart during the American occupation of Germany after the war.

The Walking Street of Salzburg
The "Walking Street" of Salzburg

We stayed at a small, family run hotel which had the Sound of Music playing 24/7. It is one of Nadia’s favorite movies, so it was nice to see a 1960’s Hollywood Salzburg, while being in the city 40 years later. I finally watched the end of the film. A very cheesy movie, but it is the impression of Austria many Americans have, of mountains, blond children, etc. The movie features the song, Edelweiss, the emblematic flower of the Alps. We named our car Edelweiss, because the previous owner was Swiss and there is a sticker on the car of the flower. We watched the movie that night.

Julia Andrews Climbs Every Mountain
Julia Andrews Climbs Every Mountain

I would like to go back again in nice weather and ride our bikes around the city. There are plenty of trails and with three universities, we saw many students riding around, even in the winter.

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