Europe Day 2: Salzburg

This morning we had a walking tour of Salzburg. The bus took us to the area where a lot of visitors go because it is by the fortress of Salzburg. (Salzburg means “Salt Fortress.”) This area is too narrow for buses so we had to walk. There are a lot of tourists there so they are very strict about buses, which have to permits and can only park or go through certain areas.

Salzburg has so much history to it! There are cobblestones everywhere.

We started out by going to the garden. (Unfortunately I didn’t catch the names of any of these places because they are all in German!) This is the garden where they filmed Sound of Music, where they run through singing “Do, a Deer.”

I watched the movie a long time ago. Now I want to go back and see it again just to see what that part looks like. Apparently the entire walk that they did during that song, starting in the garden and going up the steps and ending at the fortress area is a 2-hour walk. But they did it in 5 minutes, 35 seconds, the guide said.

Here’s the walkway they went up, and the fountain in the movie. High above you can see the big Salzburg fortress. That’s where we were headed.

Me and my daughter! I’m so glad we got to come together to Europe! This will be a wonderful lifelong memory!

Here’s our leader Wendy and her daughters Amy and Melissa. I took pictures of other people in the orchestra too, but my blog is more focused on the local sights so I’m not including those too much.

Getting closer… Crossing the bridge over the river, this is what we saw on the left side of the bridge.

And here’s the right side of the bridge. This place is beautiful! No wonder so many tourists come here. The guide told us over a million people visit every year, and the city has 147,000 people in it.

The streets by the fortress are very narrow. Downstairs are shops with fancy signs.

According to code, even McDonalds had to make a fancy sign. I guess they weren’t too happy about that, but they complied (or so I heard). I tried to imagine Ronald McDonald posing there instead of the lion. Just couldn’t do it.

Since these buildings have been around a long time, they are different than modern-day buildings. They were all built side to side and to cut from the front to back (because there is a street along the back as well), houses had courtyards with entrances to the front and back. People would use these to cross back and forth. Nowadays they are lined with shops. This is the view from the courtyard looking back at the street.

We went to the other side, walked through another building and came across a long hallway.

We saw the building where the stage from sound of music is located. This is the stage of the final concert the Von Trapp family had before they snuck out and escaped from the Nazis (from the movie). I guess this is one entrance, where you go in and go to the back. But you have to buy tickets and we didn’t have time to go in.

We continued our walk getting closer to the fortress. It’s amazing how the buildings were made from stone – they didn’t have many fires because of that. Some buildings were made directly into the stone.

Then we came upon a cemetary. I think these tablets are made of pink marble. The pink marble is everywhere.

Mozart’s sister is buried in this cemetary. I thought the gravestones (or whatever they call them) were really cool-looking. Mozart’s sister is buried in this cemetary.

There is also a lot of amber there. (Or, at least I surmise based on how much amber accessories I saw around the shops.) They make jewelry and decorations out of it.

We had to take the tram up the cliff to go to the fortress. All 75 of us packed into one tram car. We were like sardines. I didn’t even have room to take a picture. So I just stuck my arm in the air and snapped something… I guess it shows the movement up… that car was zippy fast!

Then we finally got to the fortress. It is all made of stone. This was where the dungeon was. They would torture people in here. Lovely. I guess the last person to get tortured was when Mozart was a child.

The fortress is way high.What a view! That would be a nice place to eat!

Here’s the city, looking down from above.

It would be a difficult thing to try to attack this fortress!

People approaching the fortress would look like ants. That would be a pretty intimidating place if you’re an opposing army!

Megan, sitting by some cannonballs… Of course, in those days they didn’t have them cemented together. That would require a custom-made cannon.

This stone-engraved sign shows that the fortress was build in 1492. That is a funny way to write a “4” and a “2.” It looks like “one, loop, nine, A.”

From the inside, cannons face outwards.

Another view of the city, as we come down some steps.

Here’s a view of the tram we took – part of the tracks and how far down it is.

Here’s the view looking down the track as we head down. Wheeeee!!!!

And here’s our fearless leader, Michael Neumann, who has done an amazing job developing the Sacramento Youth Symphony over his tenure. Before his time, the orchestra didn’t do international tours. They went to Reno. Now, we are touring Salzburg, Prague, and Vienna!

Along the way we saw a guy putting on makeup to be a street performer. It is funny how people love to perform. As soon as he realized we were watching him put on makeup, he turned around so we could get a better view.

What is cool is also there are giant chess boards and people playing chess. I snapped this picture while passing by. Oops, a little crooked. Don’t have my computer so can’t straighten it out til I go home.

We went to visit a Catholic church. I don’t remember the name of the arch bishop who built it, but they had to rip down a couple blocks of houses and an old church. Taking apart the church took 8 years. Then it took something like 34 years to build this one. I think she said it’s Rococo style. I used to know what that meant when I studied art history. But that was like 2 decades ago. All I remember is that I liked to draw pictures of the art during class so I could remember what to study.

It was quite an impressive church – here’s the dome and a section to the side. It’s all made of stone.

There is a huge organ in the back but it was too dark for me to get a decent shot. It has something like 4500 pipes, 53 stops and 32 keyboards. The picture below is the front of the church, and there are 4 different organs installed. Here’s two of them. The church can have all 5 organs played simultaneously. Wow. That must be really loud. The crookedness is due to my not paying attention, not the church being built like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Here’s a better look at how one of the organs looks like. The guide said they once had an 800-per choir singing. Wow. That’s the size of our church!

On our way out, we saw horses and carriages.

These horses were real beauties!

And right across the street, a large poster announcing the concert tonight!

Another street performer. He moved like a robot and gave out pretty postcards. It’s so funny how even a statue can convey a “nice” personality. Megan thought he was a real statue until he moved. I just realized he smiled the whole time. I wonder if his cheeks hurt.

Another narrow street, with a big tower at the end.

The center area had a big open market. The food looked so beautiful. The strawberries were so ripe that we could smell them as we walked past.

We went to see Mozart’s birthplace.

Inside they had a room set up that was similar to how people of that time lived.

They had actual documents and even locks of hair thought to be Mozarts. I got a quick picture before we noticed that there was a sign saying no photos. Oops.

It is interesting how there are so many shops there selling traditional Austrian clothes. I can’t imagine them being in high demand! But with all the tourists I guess you never know….

We also went to a grocery store. It was so cute how they had little bites of cheese with different toppings on top! There’s lots of cute food in Salzburg. Must be for all those on-the-go tourists. Small serving sizes.

Outside was what looked like a giant drain. No idea where the water is coming from but it appears to be going to the river. I also wonder why all the water around here is light green. You can’t tell from this picture but from a distance it looks green.

Then off to lunch. The soup was delicious. It was a pumpkin cream soup with pumpkin seeds on the bottom – shells and all! But they had been boiled so they were very soft. Yum! Then spinach crepes with potatoes and dessert.

Back to the room, enough time to change and for Megan to practice a little before the rehearsal. I thought it was cool how you could hear the kids practicing in the their rooms. The hotel clients were all gone so Chris told everyone they could practice. It’s really cool to travel with so many musicians!

Then the kids headed off and I hung out at the hotel room and wrote this blog! More to come about the rest of the day….

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

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  1. photowannabe - June 22, 2010

    Hi Angela, Great blog and what a wonderful experience you and your daughter are having. Soak in all the “culture” you can. Looking forward to more pictures too.
    Sue Batz
    photowannabe is my photo blog title.

  2. Keith - June 22, 2010

    great blog post and awesome pictures!! wow what a great time for both of you.

  3. John Oberholtzer - June 24, 2010

    Thank you so much for this blog, Angela! Nice to see where my boy, Tyler Dunaway, has been! Looks like a wonderful trip.

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