Biking Through Salzburg- Fraulein Maria’s Bicycle Tour
I had heard great things about a few bike tours around Salzburg and how easy it was to go biking through Salzburg. Wanting to do something different, and having seen the city and some of the smaller towns such as Hallstatt, I came across Fraulein Maria’s bicycle tour. Named after the main character of “The Sound of Music”, the tours offered a alternative way to see the city and some of the famous sights from the movie. Since it was supposed to be a beautiful day, I decided to give it a try. One thing that I learned that surprised me from chatting with my Couchsurfing host and a few other locals was that many of them have actually never seen the movie at all. As my mother is a big fan of the movie, and it is rather big in America, I had assumed that it would be popular in Salzburg, the location where it was filmed as well.
I arrived at 9:30 in the morning, where we were fitted with bikes. We were then subdivided into smaller groups to make cycling through the city and surrounding areas easier. One of the guys in my group was wearing a Notre Dame Rugby t-shirt, my alma mater. I struck up a conversation with him, and found out that he had graduated in 2008, shortly before I began my studies there. A few girls joined in our conversation as well. It turned out that they were current students there, and had just finished a semester of studying abroad in Dublin. Now they were enjoying a couple weeks of travel before heading back stateside. One of my friends, Jon, is currently working for the Notre Dame Dublin Program, and they knew him as well! Sometimes I’m amazed at how small the world really is.
The group of around 15 people was a mix of avid fans (the girls mentioned above), and some casual fans and a couple whom had never seen the movie before. We then set off on the tour. Elise, our guide, was very knowledgeable about the city of Salzburg itself, as well as the Sound of Music. She also had a book of pictures of scenes from the movie to compare with the actual sights. We first made our way through the city, stopping at various filming points, such as a water fountain, the city square, and a cathedral.
Next we made our way up a hill to the filming place of the Abbey, which offered beautiful views of the area below. Of course, Elise insisted on several group “cheesy” pictures along the way, which we happily obliged.
Lastly, we made our way out into the surrounding countryside. This was perhaps my favorite part of the tour. Not only was the sun shining, and the sky a bright blue, but flowers were beginning to bloom and there was a slight breeze as we pedaled our bikes. In addition to enjoying the countryside, we made several stops, including the gazebo, the Frohnburg Palace, which served as the exterior for shots of the Von Trapp residence, before ending at the Mirabell Gardens, back inside the city.
It truly was a wonderful way to wrap up my short experience of Salzburg and the county of Austria as a whole. For anybody that happens to be in Salzburg, and is looking for a unique way to experience the city, I highly recommend giving Fraulein Maria’s bicycle tours a try!