High on a Hill

11 Apr

What will this castle (day) be like, I wonder?

Back when I was a kid there were three big movie events of the year.  Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music.  They were all on TV but once a year.  As an adult I’ve purchased the other two on DVD but I could never bring myself to buy The Sound of Music.  Because then I could watch it any time and that would make it less special.  Fuzzy logic aside, I am still proud to admit that I like this movie.  Give me a t-shirt and I will wear that sucker out.

During our trip we will be visiting the historic city of Salzburg.  You may have seen Salzburg in the recent Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz flick, Knight and Day (which I also admit to liking but would not want a t-shirt, thanks anyway).  But it’s the Sound of Music that I see in the back of mind when I think of Salzburg.  Now, most Austrians don’t understand the big deal.  In fact, I’m not sure that the Mister or you, dear reader, understand the big deal.  What magical power does Julie Andrews hold over me?  I’m not sure.  I think has to be that scene where the nuns mess with the Nazi’s jeep.  That must be the answer.

I read that there are a few bus tours available to those of us who like the movie (without or without a t-shirt).  I’m usually allergic to anything that requires me to look like more of a tourist than I already am.  Jumping into a big bus doesn’t really go well with inconspicuous travel.  But I cannot help it.  Let’s just say that these Sound of Music tours pack a bunch of Salzburg into a tiny bundle while also giving me the Von Trapp family details I’m itching for.  Especially with Bob’s Special Tours.  Their name is so boring that I can’t help but remember it.  Their tour bus has only eight seats and they’ll pick you up at your hotel for the morning tours.  Delightful.

Now I’m not sure how much we’ll learn about the real Von Trapp family on this tour so I think it will be wise to study up.  What I know thus far was that Maria and Captain Von Trapp look nothing like their Hollywood counterparts.  Which is probably fair.  I don’t know if the world can handle that much Christopher Plummer.  Me likee.  I also know that Maria was raised by atheists.  She only found the Lord when her love of music brought her to what she thought was a Beethoven concert and it turned out to be a powerful sermon.  She was hooked.  She joined the convent as a novice and when it proved too physically taxing she was farmed out to care for one for one of the Von Trapp kids who was ill.

However, this was all back before WWII.  Like, late 1920s before the war.  I know that the Von Trapp family was asked to sing at Hitler’s birthday and this let them know that the time to do something was now.  After Austria united with Germany (referred to as the Anschluss) they took to the hills, where we can assume, the music was live.  They pretended to be on a hike, though Maria was pregnant, and then entered Italy.  They’d migrate to the United States from there and would spend the rest of their lives singing for their supper.

Pretty interesting, huh?  Worth sitting in a bus with strangers for a few hours?  I think so.  If not there is hope of a few runs on the summer luge course.  But that’s another post.

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