SALZBURG, AUSTRIA. Salzburg, Salzburg. I did not know much about it prior joining the tour aside from the fact that it is in Austria and is the birthplace of the classical icon Mozart, which is kind of weird, really, as I do not know how I was able to retain that bit of information given I am neither a Mozart follower nor a pianist learning his works. Evidently, I must have picked it up somewhere. As the European tour we were in progressed though, I have come to know about Salzburg more and more: through stories shared by our tour director, through associations she made and link established with the other countries we went to and through descriptions that sprouted excitement. On our way from Vienna to Salzburg, we stopped over in this place which has a lovely view of this lake. I am trying hard to remember the name of the lake but it already escaped me so if you happen to know the name, please tell me what it is!
Starting our sighting of location sets used in the movie "The Sound of Music", we saw the church (or rather its steeples) where Maria and the Captain got married in during our travel from the unnamed lake to Salzburg. This is somewhere in Mondsee, a 20-minute ride from Salzburg. It may be just a glance but it was already enough to spark in me a sense of nostalgia.
Arriving in Salzburg and after checking in Austria Trend Hotel Europa, we continued on to our movie location sighting and saw the mansion where the Von Trapp family in the movie lives. Did you know that the movie actually used two different buildings for the mansion? One for the front and one for the back. Furthermore, the interiors were neither filmed in the two buildings but in a Hollywood set. Technically, the mansion you see in the above photo is the one used for the back. It was very pretty when we went there and it was made even more magical with the frozen lake in the foreground.
After which, we then drove up to Rossfeld Panoramastraße through the Rossfeld scenic road which rewarded us with unforgettable views of the Alps ahead and the huge expanse of land covered in snow below. This range of mountains is strategically located near the border of Austria and Germany. Just look at the picture above. I was beyond awed that even though I was still not feeling well then, I went out to take in the panoramic view and took a picture with me for keeps. It was purely majestic. This is one of the places in the tour that I was so excited to see and it did not disappoint even just one bit. I was just sad that I was not able to partake in the snowball fights that my brother started with our tour group mates. Oh well, there's always a next time for that!
After a rather short while of looking at and enjoying the view from above, we then descended the mountains and went back down but this time to to the other side of the border, which is Germany. Though my dad and brothers still went with the travel group to tour some more around the municipality of Berchtesgaden, my mom and I just chose to stay in this cozy konditorei as I do not have the energy anymore then to go around.
Cafe Spiessberger is the name of the cafe and they are most known for this amazing praline that they offer called Watzmann Praline inspired by the grandiose Watzmann mountain nearby. Aside from that, I also got a cup of hot chocolate which is always a good choice especially in the middle of a cold European winter.
The hot chocolate did its job and it provided me the warmth that I needed. Going out again to the cold, I saw my brothers making a snowman and so I joined them. It was so cute that passersby stopped for and took photos of it. It even had spiky hairs and a snout which made it more unique and cuter! Silly maybe for people who are accustomed to the winter season and who grew up to constant sightings of snow but such simple pleasures made tropical babies like me so happy. I could not help but remember those times that my siblings and I dreamt of having snow in the Philippines just so we can build a snowman. We certainly believed that if we just pray hard for it, it will soon happen. But as we grew older, little by little did it dawn on us that snow will never happen in our country. Nonetheless, it is evident that dreams manifest in ways that may differ from how we envisioned and expected them to happen. And I think this is one of those moments. Building a snowman? Another item checked off in our bucket list.