Sound of Music Tours


May 1st, 2006, 03:35 AM
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Sound of Music Tours

I'm taking Mom to Salzburg for 5 days. She's in her late 70s, so we'll be doing a tour or two rather than doing everything on our own.
In particular, we'll be doing a Sound of Music tour. There are more than one group offering these tours--any preferences? Opinions? There's the Panorama tour which seems to use large coaches. There's also Bob's tours, which uses smaller "luxury" mini-buses (I'm taking that description with a grain of salt).
I'd like to pick the best, most comfortable SoM tour even if it costs more. Thoughts?

We'll do a couple of day trips on our own--a day in Bad Reichenhall, another day to Hallstatt. Salt mines and ice caves are out--too strenuous (not sure if Mom would be up to that 100 foot slide into the salt mine, so best to give it a miss). May also go to the castle at Werfen for the raptor exhibition, I think there's a "castle taxi" she can take from the base to the castle.

Anyway, your suggestions on the SoM options much appreciated.
BTilke is offline  
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May 1st, 2006, 04:12 AM
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I took "Bob's" and I think the more personal attention of a smaller group is an advantage.
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May 1st, 2006, 04:53 AM
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I took my 74 YO mom to Salzburg last year. I chose Panorama Tours for her Sound of Music adventure. They are small groups - 8 max - and she loved it.

I did the salt mines and she did Sound of Music. They picked her up at the hotel.
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May 1st, 2006, 01:49 PM
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have fun - I did this about 13 years ago and cannot remember who it was - I think it was the "original SOM tour" or somesuch.

it was good fun - at one point we were singing "doe a deer" at the top of our lungs.

ok, maybe dorky fun. but still fun.
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May 8th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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Before you decide to take a SOM tour, buy the DVD, the one with the commentary by director Robert Wise. I think that after you find out about how and where the scenes were actually filmed, you will not want to spend money on the tour.

Many of the scenes from the film, such as Mirabell Palace can be seen on a walk from the train station to the old city. The rest of them, such as the lakefront patio and the gazebo were actually filmed on temporary sets.

The building used for the Von Trapp home (Frohnburg Palace) was not on a lake. They wanted to use Leopoldskron, because of its lakefront setting, but they weren't allowed. They recreated the boat landing and patio on a separate, lakeside set, complete with gazebo, and filmed the parts of the scenes facing the lake there, and the parts facing the house at the Frohnburg Palace.

The gazebo you see on a tour was not used in the movie. A copy was used at the lakeside set for distance shots. The actual gazebo scenes (16 going on 17 & Something good) were filmed in a sound stage (the "green" set) in Hollywood.

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May 8th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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Burst my Bubble, Larry!! What about the convent and the cemetary where Rolf has his moment of truth? Sets also??? You are making me wonder if it is worth it.
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May 8th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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I am curious about these tours as well. I am interested in visitng the Von Trapp family's real home...not any related to the movie. Do you know if that is available? My sister and I will be in Salzburg in June 2007, and will most likely do the Sound of Music tour, but would like to see where the real Von Trapps lived as well.
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May 8th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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The convent is still there. Nonnenberg abbey has been in Salzburg for centuries, although it has burned and been rebuilt numerous times. When my wife and I were there, we went up the incline to the Salzburg fortress, then came down the front of the mountain and walked around to the convent. No one can go into it (afterall, it is a convent), but the chapel was open to the public.

I believe the original Von Trapp home is still there. Wise mentions it, but indicates that changes made by the nazi who lived in it during the war made it unsuitable for the movie. You may be able to find it. Note that the tours don't seem to think it is important.

Like I said, get the DVD. I am a big SOM fan, and my daughters got it for me several years ago. I was a real eye opener.
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May 8th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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That infamous gazebo used to be on view in Salzburg. Unfortunately, a visitor decided that she wanted to re-create the dance number during her visit and while doing so fell and injured herself. After that the thing was closed down.

You can actually visit Schloss Leopoldskron but it is occupied by the Salzburg Seminar.

Frankly, I would opt for a visit to Schloss Helbrun instead to see the "trick" fountains.
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May 8th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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I believe we used bob's and if you are stuck with a manic anti-social guide for 4 hours in a minivan you will wish you hadn't. Were I to do it over I would take the big coach or hire a driver just to show me the highlights and then drive around myself.
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May 8th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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Larryincolorado, I've already taken a shorter Sound of Music tour...I know about a lot of the fakes (also the fact that the direction the Trapp family was actually heading in the final scene of the movie would have taken them straight into Germany).
However, my mother isn't physically up to walking all over, so a SOM tour is a compromise.
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May 9th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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My sister and I took the Panorama SOM tour when we were in Salzburg last month. As big SOM fans, we greatly enjoyed the tour, even though we learned about the "fakes" and we were not permitted to go in some of the locations. I put in the dvd after we got back and it was really neat to just say, "hey we saw that place." I'd greatly recommend the tour if you are at all a fan of the movie.
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May 9th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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First, I must admit that I am NOT a fan of the film. HOWEVER, on a recent Globus trip to that part of Europe, we took an SOM tour, which on the same tour included a visit to Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden and a visit to the bunker down the hill. (What a combo, eh? SOM and Hitler?) Anyway, the tour was magnificent (for me, especially so since nobody sang), and we have some glorious photos to recreate the experience for us. Salzburg is magically beautiful (better than Heaven because you don't have to die to go there!) Our particular tour was arranged by Globus and featured an expert local guide. Don't miss it, whatever tour company you choose! Happy travels!
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May 9th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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My wife and I did our own walking tour of Salzburg, and saw virtually everything you see in the movie. Be sure to see the Mirabell Palace, where so many scenes (the Do-Re-Mi steps, for example) were filmed. The only thing I regretted not seeing was the wedding church at Mondsee, but I don't think most tours include it, and it wouldn't be worth the cost of a tour just for that.

While I did pan the SOM tours, I have been to the Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) and to the Dokumentation Center (and bunkers). I thought that was really worth seeing, but you can do it youself for far less than with a tour.
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May 9th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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When I did a limited SoM tour, we definitely saw things I could NOT see with my mother on a walking tour as she wouldn't have been up to walking to all those places. The last thing I want is for her to feel like she's being pushed to walk more than she's comfortable doing or that she's missing things because she can't handle the walk.
So...we are definitely going to do a SoM tour even if it's not worth it to some, and thanks to all who provided feedback on the specific tours.
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May 9th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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In that case, I guess it really doesn't matter which tour you take. Probably ought to do the least expensive one.
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