Europe 1979 – 8 – Heidelberg and Salzburg

The problem with writing about something that happened 42 plus years ago is that some things are remembered better than others. For this post, I don’t remember much. So, I am just going to put up some pictures and a few thoughts for the sake of completeness.

I also have to admit that I don’t recall the exact route the tour took. As best as I can figure from looking at the map of our destinations, we left Prague and went to Heidelberg, Germany. I have a number of pictures at Heidelberg overlooks. In Heidelberg, we visited what I noted as, “Palatine Electors Castle.” I don’t remember anything about that castle.

Me at Heidelberg Overlook
Heidelberg
Palatine Electors Castle

Looking at the picture below, can you tell where we went next?

The mansion and location where the "Sound of Music" was filmed.

Sometimes when one is on a tour, there are attractions which are only seen through a bus window. This location above is in Salzburg, Austria where the “Sound of Music” was filmed. The mansion was pointed out either through the window or at a short stop, and I quickly snapped a photo.

“The Sound of Music” was one of my favorite films growing up. One year, when I was young, I asked to go see “The Sound of Music” at the movie theater for my birthday present. Back then, we had two theaters – the Granada and the Avalon. We hardly ever went to the movies.

I got my wish, and one afternoon my mom took me to see the movie. However, when she pulled up to the theater, “The Sound of Music” wasn’t on the marque. Rather, it was “Dr. Zhivago.” “Oh my!”, my mom said. “I must have gotten the theaters mixed up.” Fortunately, the theaters weren’t too far from each other, and we made it in time. My mom had a lot on her mind raising six kids.

I do recall one other memory from my time when I was actually in Austria. As our bus was traveling down the highway, I saw a sign for “Graz.”

Graz is where my grandma, my mother’s mother, was born in 1898. In 1906, she left Graz along with her mother and sister. They came to St. Louis to join her father as he had come a few years earlier to work as a carpenter for the 1904 World’s Fair.

I looked at that sign for as long as I could. Which was probably just a few seconds. I’m so close, I thought. So close to my roots. I wished I could stop, take a detour, and see the city whose name I’ve heard a hundred times. But, of course, I couldn’t.

The bus sped along down the highway, keeping to the schedule for our next destination.

Next up:

La prossima tappa è l'Italia, David!

29 comments

  1. I can’t imagine being so close to some of your origins and not being able to stop to take a closer look, but, as you said, you couldn’t stop the bus. At least you were close! Hubs and I have roots in Norway (all Norway for hubs), and Switzerland, Austria, and Germany for me. I sincerely hope that some day we can visit these countries. The Sound of Music is one of my all-time fave movies too. How wonderful that you were able to see some of the scenes “in real life”. Great post, Betty!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I can still see that sign for Graz in my mind’s eye. I don’t know if I’ll ever be that close again. I hope you can visit those countries you listed where you and Hubs have roots. It would be wonderful in so many ways. Have a great Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess the trade off for going on a tour and letting someone else do all the planning is that we do not have flexibility. It would have been cool to see the Sound of Music house and to stop in Graz. But it was still good to at least see them as you passed by. A few years ago I was talking with my friend about our Europe trip and she mentioned a certain site. I had no memory at all of going there but when I looked in my photo album, there were photos! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is the trade-off. If Dan and I ever went, it would be on a tour, I’m sure. But I sure wouldn’t want to miss Graz again. I’m glad I’m not alone in forgetting something completely. It’s interesting that your friend remembered the site, but you did not. And yes, thank heavens we have the photos. Part of the reason for me writing this is to capture what memories remain, before more are gone! Thanks for your comment, and I hope you enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You look so tall standing next to that castle! What a story about your grandmother and family. Just imagine making that trip by themselves–how daunting! Perhaps that is what helped you to become the kind of woman who would go on a tour to Europe not knowing a soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • While I know my mom did not take that picture, your comment made me think of my mom. When my mom took pictures, she would lean back. Being shorter, the subjects’ height would often be exaggerated. Like people would be taller than a door frame! 🙂 Perhaps something like that happened when the picture was taken. But I am tall. Thinking of my grandmother and her family – My great grandmother must have been a determined woman – making that trip with 2 young girls. My mother would speak lovingly of her.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, the home of the archbishop, sadly used for the American movie “The Sound of Music” which nobody in Europe, especially in Germany or Austria likes -or will watch. There is so much wrong in the movie, from the presentation of the Trap family to the history to Austrian and German folk songs and costumes. It’s a typical Hollywood movie making fun of another country without actual knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

          • The movie flopped in Germany and Austria because it’s not authentic. However, it helped tourism. Nowadays Millions are made with American tourists who want to see the Austria that Hollywood created. Austria gives them what they want and makes money with it. The famous movie scenes were not filmed Austria, but in Berchtesgaden (Germany) the Trapp villa wasn’t good enough, so they used the castle instead. Nobody eats Schnitzel with noodles and Edelweiss is not the Austrian anthem. The Trapp’s had seven children not ten and Switzerland cannot be reached from Salzburg. They went by train to Italy and from there to America. That’s just what I quickly recall. The Trapp family wasn’t too happy with the movie either. Since I am from Austria, I consider the movie an insult on my culture and would not watch it for that reason.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I never knew any of that. I hope my post didn’t insult you. I will put it in my mind to learn more about authentic Austrian culture. Especially since my great-grandmother was from there!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Goodness, no, you did not insult me at all. You like what you like. I grew up reading Karl May, a German author who wrote about America and the Wild West. He sold over 400 Millions books yet nobody in America has ever heard of him. He has been translated in 40 languages, but got never popular here in the U.S.
              It’s the same with “The Sound of Music.” I always wanted to write more about Tyrol, Austria and Germany, the places I grew up and now you have convinced me to do so. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • That would be wonderful! I really look forward to your posts about the places where you grew up. I almost suggested it, but I didn’t want to take away from your other postings. Especially ones that are in a certain series… 🙂

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            • Your comments are very interesting . Especially the one “nobody eats schnitzel with noodles” My paternal grandmother immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1916. One of the recipes she brought with her was Schnitzel and Spaetzle. Isn’t Spaetzle a type of noodle?

              Liked by 2 people

            • Spaetzle are miniature dumplings, not noodles. The word Spaetzle comes from the word Spatz, which means ‘little sparrows. And yes, spaetzle are served with jaegerschnitzel, which is a schnitzel with mushroom gravy but not with the usual schnitzel.

              Liked by 2 people

  5. It is understandable you cannot remember details after all these years. The photos I’m sure help. The memories from my twenties and thirties continue to fade. It seems so blurred. Funny though, I can remember my earlier childhood better. Weird how the mind works.

    Maybe someday soon you can go back and visit Graz. I think that would be a fabulous experience. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is funny how the mind works. I always intrigued when I can’t remember the name of something, but I can remember what letter it starts with. Odd. Maybe we will get to Graz, but I doubt it would be anytime soon. I think it would be fabulous, too. Hope you have a great day!

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  6. Getting caught up. Thanks again for the post. How wonderful that you were able to see and learn so so much. Tours are always a mixed bag. You get to see and learn a lot but can seldom stop and visit what you really want to investigate. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right; tours are a mixed bag. It was the way I could go back then. Now, I think if we ever went to Europe, it would be on a tour. But, I wouldn’t want to miss Graz again. For now, we have camping reservations for the next year, and camping hopes and plans for several years out. We will have plenty to see and investigate right here. Enjoy your Sunday, and I hope you have a great week ahead!

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  7. You might not remember all the details, but you remembered the most important part: How you felt as you drove by your family roots and couldn’t stop to visit. Emotion is much more important than details. Looking forward to the next stop on your trip.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right. Emotion keys us in on what is important to us. And when there is emotion, we remember. Who needs every detail anyway? I don’t, and I’m sure my readers wouldn’t want every detail either. I appreciate your comment! Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. It is hard to remember everything from that long ago. Heidelberg is a beautiful castle, I guess because nothing extraordinary happened you don’t remember. You remember more the fun bits, the things which excited you and the bits which were not normal or scary like the money changing in Prague for example.
    Funny the movies, I loved Dr. Zhivago in the movies. The sound of music, as a comment said, yes there is lots wrong, pure American production. The music is nice and catchy and I watched because Iiked Christopher Plummer who played the dad. We have it screened every Christmas on TV and it is rather boring now. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have never seen “Dr. Zhivago.” I just remember seeing it on the marque! Well, I guess if you watch any movie enough times, it could get boring. I don’t usually watch a movie more than once. Many people here watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” during the Christmas season. Hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 2 people

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