Tuesday, May 28, 2013

do re mi fa so la ti do

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. I recall watching The Sound of Music at my grandmother's house as a little girl, thinking Austria looked like a dream... a dream, in that I would likely never go to this beautiful land, half a world away from me.  Even after these few years in Budapest, I still can't believe we live driving distance from the Austrian Alps. After a few hours in the car, we can climb every mountain, twirl around with outstretched arms, while attempting, very poorly, to sing The Hills are Alive.  

Paddy brought his trusty spatula along for the trip.  It pretty much never left his hands.  If you look close in (almost) every picture, you will find it.  Paddy + Spatula forever.

Now, Claudia didn't necessarily roam around Salzburg in drapes, but this is what she wore for three  and a half days straight.  We left her little suitcase in Budapest.  She was a real sport about the whole thing and even did her best to keep her outfit clean.  Amazing little girl. And beautiful outfit... thank you for sending, Gram!  

Patrick was mostly interested in finding large vehicles and rubbing his hands all over the greasy tires.  He was very keen on this colorful ambulance.
He also tried to pry off all the love locks he found while crossing this pedestrian bridge.  If we had had a lock to spare, we would have attached it to said bridge.  Paddy + Spatula forever.

We're standing on the steps where the Von Trapp children belted out Do Re Mi.   
I believe they danced around this Pegasus statue as well.  
One day when the weather was stormy, we drove into Obersalzberg mountain area in Berchtesgaden, Germany.   It's right across the Austro-German border and is a short drive from Salzburg.   Atop the Kehstein mountain is the the Kehlsteinhaus, also known as the Eagle's Nest.  It was built for Hitler as a retreat, but also includes an elaborate command center carved out into the mountain.   It is disputed who stormed the Eagle's Nest first during WWII, but Eisenhower, the then Commander of US Troops in Europe, reported it was the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division.  It was used as an Allie command post until it was eventually returned to the State of Bavaria.  
If you've seen Band of Brothers, this is the mountain top fortress the soldiers stormed, and, finding it abandoned, kicked back to drink Hitler's finest wines and whiskeys.  According to preserved photographs and newsreels, this was the 3rd Infantry Soldiers. Clever fellows. 
At 1,834 meters above sea level, you are easily eye level with the clouds. 
Claudia fed the swans on our last day. The hotel we stayed at is actually thirty minutes east of Salzburg in the Lake District.  Claudia dutifully warned a little boy "be careful!  Swans are known to attack at a moment's notice!"  He didn't speak English, but luckily he exercised a great deal of caution regardless.

Tiki Man!  The last time we saw him a few years ago, he was covered in snow. This time Claudia wouldn't so much as stand next to him.  Luckily Patrick was happy to pose with "Alfred."

So long and farewell, Salzburg, you definitely lived up to my dreams.  =)  


  1. The Sound of Music is one of my all time favorite movies. I think I still know all the words to every song. I DREAM of going to visit some of those locations one day. Amazing photos!

  2. Beautiful pics as always!!

    I LOVED that show and still do and would love the chance to go some day.
    What an amazing journey.
    Love the spatula P! Hilarious!
    Great outfit Claudia. What a trooper.
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful pics. I'll have DO RA ME in my head all day! Love it!

  4. Meryl, I would love to visit Salzburg and loved reading this post! Sound of music is one of my favourite films (although my first memory of it was when my sister turned the volume up really loud and it made me sick! - I was ill at the time, ha ha). I have ALWAYS wanted to go there, which is sad that we haven't as it's not far from us at all. But one day for sure! Well, Claudia looks delightful in her little outfit, I am sure she didn't mind having to wear it for three days. And what can I say, Paddy and the spatula, that is just too cute! x

  5. Absolutely amazing!! I think the first pic is my favorite!

  6. These are incredible. What a great family memory!

    Paddy + Spatula forever.

  7. Breath taking pictures, as always!!! I can't get over Claudia's curly curly hair! Paddy + spatula forever, hilarious.

  8. omg, what a DREAM!!!! i would loveee to visit the austrian alps! love how you intro'ed your post with the sound of music. your pictures are dreamy and fantastic. glad you had a wonderful time :)

  9. Stunning photos! Love, love Paddy and his spatula too and Claudia is always so darling. Must had to our "must-see" list. Thanks!

  10. This looks fantastic! I so want to take my kid to Austria now. She's obsessed with The Sound of Music. I mean, OBSESSED! I'm pretty sure she'd burst with joy at the prospect of going there. Now I'm thinking we need to make an Austro-swiss holiday happen this autumn.

  11. Ahh! Such beautiful pictures!! I must say I am semi-jealous of all your adventures over there!! Such beauty everywhere!I am pretty sure Julia & Taylor have a lock on that fence as well :) What fun! Miss you!! :)


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