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The Hills of Salzburg are Alive with the Sound of Music – Addie Johnson

Today was our one and only day in the lovely little town of Salzburg, Austria. We all started off this morning with a guided walking tour at 9:00am. It was another early morning for all of us. Once we got out onto the streets and started walking , the cool air coming down off the Alps helped most of the group wake up a little bit more. On the guided tour we saw amazing fountains, the Salzach River, a love bridge covered in padlocks and, of course, all of the wonderful musical sights and sounds of this beautiful city.

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Growing up I watched “The Sound of Music” quite a bit and now seeing the place where the movie was filmed and standing where Julie Andrews sang and danced was a pretty cool experience. These were some of the shots where the movie was filmed.

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One of the most amazing things that happened today, and probably one of the biggest highlights for me, was singing in the Salzburg Cathedral.  This is the same huge, gorgeous cathedral where Mozart played and composed pieces for the Archbishop. There were five different organs and the panting and stucco on the walls and ceilings was something I could look at all day. Singing in the space was nothing like I had ever experienced anywhere. Chills ran down my spine on the first chord and by the last my eyes were filled with tears. It was something I will never forget.

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Afterwards we finished our tour that morning by visiting Mozart’s birthplace. It was very cool to see just how small the ceilings were and how little the apartments were where they lived. In the museum you have to start on the third floor and work your way down to the ground floor. As we were exploring Amanda Connell and I got a bit lost a separated from the group and somehow missed the second and first floor of the museum. As we went to through the exit we heard drums and brass out in the square, so of course we went and explored.

Every winter in Europe, around this time and in a different city, there is a festival to drive the winter spirits away. Bands come from all over Europe to play and chase out the winter. They wear crazy costumes and their makeup is outstanding. One of the bands from Switzerland is staying at our hotel and last night a couple of us got to sit and talk with them. According to the lady who spoke the best English, the members of these bands just pick up the instrument that is needed at the time they join and just start to wing it. They don’t use any sheet music, but they sound like a really good marching band.

Later in the afternoon a couple groups of us went up to the fortress that looks over the town on Salzburg. Lane Allison and I decided that we would walk the road up to the fortress. This was one of the steepest streets I have ever walked on. I have a feeling that I will be very sore in the morning, but it was all worth it once we got up to the top. Within the fortress we were able to see how it was built, how they lived, and an amazing view of the Alps and the beautiful town of Salzburg. I believe that here in Salzburg is the most beautiful landscape that I have seen on the trip so far. The snow-capped Alps are my favorite natural landmark I have ever seen.

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Tomorrow we head to Reutte,  Austria for our next concert and our next adventure.