Since Jonathan had to work, he was excused from either activity, but they considered not stamping his passport at border control. Just kidding; on my tour I learned that most Austrians have never even seen The Sound of Music. Can you imagine, hordes of tourists descending on your city because of this one film that you’ve never even seen? No wonder the waiters are so rude! But seriously, UK border control did ask us if we'd done The Sound of Music Tour. Seriously.
So I was a bit nervous to take my first tour by myself, but had a full day Friday with nothing planned and no idea what Salzburg had to offer. When I saw Fraulen Maria’s Bike Tour listed as the #1 Salzburg tour on Trip Advisor, I figured I’d go for it. If nothing else, it was a beautiful morning and I needed some exercise, so a bike tour sounded perfect.
I showed up first, but was quickly followed by several pairs and groups from all over the world. Our guide, Claud, set up our bikes and gave us a crash course in bike safety. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but I know from experience that this is simply not true. As we did a practice lap, I noticed the entire group looked wobbly on their bicycles. I began to think that weaving through tiny tourist congested streets in a group of 20 was not such a great idea after all.
At first I was disappointed when Claud gave me a mint green rather than a purple bike, because mint green is only my second most favorite color on Earth. But then I spotted this little beauty on the back.
I was the only American flag in the pack, which made me easier to target for any terrorists in the crowd. Thanks, Claud. I appreciate the sentiment, but you got any Canadian flag bikes in the pile? Just kidding, I owned my stars and stripes with my head held high, and plus, one of the Irish girls was wearing an American Flag Tshirt which took some of the heat off me.
The tour began at Mirabell Gardens where they sing the ‘Doe Ray Me” song in the musical. Then we made our way through Old Town stopping at some film locations before making our way up and out of Salzburg city.
We stopped at the convent for a quick tour and some photo ops before making our way downhill to see some of the palaces used in the filming.
I was fine being on my own during the tour, except for when it came to the obligatory Sound of Music picture posing. It was just so pathetic when Claud would ask me if I wanted a picture by myself. Twirling by yourself just looks silly.
It’s much more of a group activity.
Along the way out of town, we had breathtaking views of the Alps, and the weather was absolutely heavenly. Not a single cloud in the sky and 73 degrees. Seriously. It was just so pleasant to leisurely ride a bike through the country side with the Alps as our backdrop. The only thing stopping the moment from being in my top 5 of all time was the fact that I wasn’t sharing it with Jonathan.
Our last stop before heading back to Mirabell Gardens was, of course, the famous gazebo. Obligatory photo op. Awkward standing by myself.
But seriously, I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting Salzburg, and I recommend doing it as soon as you get into town. You’ll get a great orientation to the city, complete with interesting historical information and a brochure with lots of tips for enjoying Salzburg. The quality of our trip went up exponentially once I’d taken this tour because we weren’t just aimlessly wandering around trying to spot a group of 30 Japanese tourists in order to find out where Mozart’s house was. (P.S. There is nothing that gives me the giggles quite like a Japanese tourist dressed in lederhosen).The complementary brochure contained a list of quirky museums, hidden beer gardens, hiking paths, and restaurants to guide us along our way. It also had a map of the bike route we took, which allowed me to take Jonathan back to some of the picturesque spots along the way. Somehow, I didn’t feel as silly posing by myself when Jonathan was the photographer.
That’s all for today. So long, farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Goodbye!