The Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg, Austria
Schloss Leopoldskron Castle is situated on a pretty lake, Leopoldskroner Weiher, in Salzburg, Austria. Built around 1740 the castle has had a colourful history. The building's back facade, which faces the lake, served as one of the views of the Trapp family house from the classic motion picture film The Sound of Music.
From late June until mid August 2011 I undertook 2 quite different photography tours. The first was with my great friend, Joseph San Laureano, to Iceland and Greenland. The second a solo jaunt to Russia, Austria and Belgium. I also spent a few days in Paris at the beginning and end of these journeys. The first trip was self-guided, which is the away I've always travelled. But the trip through continental Europe contained a few half and full day tours organised by my local travel agent, Emma, at Emma Whiting Travel.
As I now run my own photography tours it seemed a good idea to experience a tour from a consumer's point of view. So, in addition to most of my hotel and travel accommodation on the continent Emma Whiting Travel organised an excellent local guide and driver for me in St. Petersburg and a series of short group tours in and around Salzburg.
I have to admit I was taken aback when Emma recommended I undertake one of the Sound of Music tours in Salzburg. I'd probably seen the movie several times when I was a kid and, while I loved it then, had absolutely no plans to investigate it in any way. But, on Emma's suggestion, I signed up (though I kept it quiet) thinking it might be a bit of a laugh.
In fact it was quite a bit of fun to visit some of the sites from the movie. It brought it all back, including some places I'd photographed a day or so earlier without knowing they'd be in the movie. Later that day we visited a small church and a beautiful monastery prior to an extended drive through beautiful countryside. Many of the houses we passed displayed beautiful flower boxes on their verandas and window sills. We stopped half way down a mountain pass for a fantastic view of a lake surrounded by mountains where we were given ample time to walk around and make photographs, which I really appreciated.
On the way back we stopped at a lovely town where, as well as sampling excellent Apple Strudel and gorgeous vanilla ice-cream, we were given about an hour to wander around and photograph.
So, even for me, a dyed in the wool solo traveler, the tour was a lot of fun and one I'd be happy to recommend to the average tourist. Of course, like most other package tours, it's not ideal for the serious photographer. The locations themselves are very photogenic but would need to be visited at different times of day to enhance their photographic appeal. I'd like to think we can offer a special European highlights tour for photographers at some stage in the future.
Oh, by the way, there are no Kangaroos in Austria. I know, I bought the T-shirt.
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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru