sisters in salzburg

salzburg is totally dreamy. we had an amazing time discovering this beautiful, beautiful place together.

our exploring started with fraulein maria’s bike tour!! which was incredibly fun, and a great way to get oriented to the city of salzburg. isn’t the sound of music the best?! we had such a blast cycling around, seeing different spots from the film and of course doing a little singing and reenacting :) {check out my sister shawni’s post about our bike tour which includes some stills from the film along with our photos!}

it was such a gorgeous and happy morning!


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^^ the tour started at mirabel palace. the gardens in the early morning light were stunning! ^^
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^^ the fountain the von trapp children ran around singing do re mi! ^^
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^^ skipping through the tunnel just like the boys in the film ^^
^^ each of our bikes had these sets of photos on the handlebars so we could compare the scenes we saw in front of us with the scenes we’ve seen in the movie. ^^
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^^ doesn’t this fountain just make you want to sing i have confidence in me! ?? ^^
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^^ during a quick break on the bike tour, we bought some fresh cheese pretzels from a stand in the square and then went inside this amazing (and extremely old) church just as the organ started playing. it was magnificent. ^^
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^^ the abbey ^^
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^^ views from the abbey ^^
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^^ the door to the abbey, where the children rang the bell to try to get maria to come back. (they’ve since removed the bell, since tourists rang it incessantly – haha!) ^^
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^^ our tour guide, tom, was so awesome. although he doesn’t seem the type, he is passionate about the sound of music. he moved to austria specifically because of the sound of music. he married an austrian woman at mirabel palace in a sound of music themed wedding! he was so enthusiastic about everything. we loved him! ^^
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^^ once we came down from the hill the abbey is on, we started biking away from the city through countryside. tom pulled out a speaker and put it in my bike’s basket and then turned on the sound of music soundtrack. it was playing loudly as we pedaled along and sang along. that made my heart so so happy! ^^
^^ the back of the von trapp house. we learned that they used different buildings for the front and the back of the house for filming! isn’t the reflection of the mansion and the fortress up on the hill amazing?! ^^
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^^ heel clicking just like maria to the front of the house! ^^
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^^ julie had to keep biking when we stopped here because baby dean was sleeping and the movement would keep him sleeping :) but she cycled into our picture just perfectly :) ^^
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^^ just two girls that are sixteen, going on seventeen, innocent as a rose ^^
^^ and some random, weird poses – because it’s rolf and leisl’s gazebo! ^^
^^ and a jumping picture! ^^
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after we finished the bike tour, we went to the restaurant at the museum of modern art, which is on top of a cliff overlooking salzburg. the food was delicious and the views were insanely amazing. as we were talking about where we thought we’d each be in five years, the bells in the city started ringing! that ten minutes of pealing and chiming and tolling was among my favourite slices of time from the entire trip. it was magical.

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after lunch, we walked along the ridge and then up to the hohensalzburg fortress. it was really neat to explore this medieval castle. the top of the tower provided even more spectacular views over salzburg!

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we took the funicular down from the fortress and wandered through the city towards the heart of old town. we were totally captivated by getreidegasse, the super pretty main street with gorgeous iron signs stretching over the road.

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^^ we had to buy some mozart balls chocolates to try. yum! ^^
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^^ peaking in an amazing old church with a modern art installation on the way ^^
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^^ mozart’s birthplace! right in the middle of old town. ^^

we walked back across the “lovelock” bridge to mirabel palace, and found a lovely italian cafe to grab some quick dinner before the concert we had tickets for that night.

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^^ i love how happy my mom looks in this picture. ^^
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^^ dean in his new lederhosen at dinner :) ^^

the concert was in one of the only surviving rooms from the original mirabel palace (there was a devastating fire in 1818). it was in this exact room that mozart played in concerts as a boy with his sister and father. we enjoyed a supernal performance of mozart and chopin pieces by the most astoundingly talented pianist and violinist. it was divine and definitely left a few of us in tears. i felt so much peace and joy in that hour and a half!

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what a spectacular ending to an amazing day.

i saved the best picture of the day for last though:
mom is hitting the high note at the end of do re mi even better than julie andrews in this photo :)
when you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!i’m so, so grateful to my mom for teaching us all the notes that matter.

the next day we went to schloss hellbrunn before we left salzburg for munich. hellbrunn was built by the archbishop of salzburg in the early 1600s as a “pleasure palace.” it’s a pretty amusing place! around the grounds there are a bunch of man-made grottos decorated with seashells and miniature mechanical theaters and trick fountains that are hidden and spray at unexpected times! there are also gorgeous open fields and gardens. and isn’t that yellow exterior of the buildings so splendid?

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by afternoon, we were off to our last stop – munich.
i am so, so thankful that we were able to take this trip as sisters. we are so lucky.


  1. I live a short drive away from Salzburg (in Germany on an army base) and this makes me so excited to go! Aww I love the sound of music!!!

  2. Salzburg is a good idea anytime. What a thrill.

  3. Charity,

    I have a question. With all the extremely rude questions, (that your whole family seems to get), have you considered going private? Anyone who wants to continue reading you could be invited, and then if one of the rude commenters starts up you can just remove them from the list?

    Your family is very different from mine, but frankly, that's part of why I like reading about it! I don't want to read blogs about people exactly like me, that would be boring!

    Yes, your family travels more than mine. In fact I've been almost nowhere! But I think your mother's (quite unnecessary) explanation of how the trip was funded, and I think the fact that almost all vacations/travel experiences seem to be family oriented is lovely.

    Just a thought. I hate to see you bullied.

    1. hi jennifer. thanks for your comment!

      i don't really seriously consider going private, because i see the virtues of open sharing and an open dialogue. i actually usually really appreciate the "rude" comments (some of which are definitely needlessly mean, but some of which are just genuinely but not so rudely presenting a different opinion). there's a lot to learn from different people, and i love the way the internet connects us.

      thanks for the thought -- sometimes it can feel like bullying but mostly i can glean important lessons about perspective and diversity and perceptions from having a public blog.

  4. Love the new design. I read Shawni's post last night. You're adventures give me such great ideas of things to do when we go to Europe again.

  5. Its fun to read your travel entries but does it ever get tiring for you and your family to always be doing things that may sound so cool to read? Its like you and your family are enacting a reality show on perfect family bonding/experiencing life to its fullest etc. Just looks exhausting to always be doing these things and then documenting them w pictures and words... even as an avid photographer, traveler and writer the extent to which you and your family take it tires me.. I just wonder if you just want to "be" sometimes (private, not photographing every interesting moment, etc.)

    1. hahah - i can see how it may seem exhausting, and like we are doing things for the sake of sharing them or because they would sound cool to read. but it's really not like that at all. we just naturally want to be experiencing life to the fullest, and we find joy in documenting our doing that, and we feel compelled to share. sometimes i definitely crave just "being" - and so i consciously "just be" - i stop and enjoy without documenting. my sisters and i have talked about this a lot and we are in agreement that we want and should do it more. i feel that i am still finding the right balance with this, but there are certainly interesting moments not photographed :)

  6. I don't have a blog, but I would like to know your thoughts on children being on blogs/facebook/instagram? I see the benefit of sharing a wholesome life, but I worry about those that desire to take advantage of children's pictures (perverts) and strangers knowing about them before they know them(colleges and future friends, etc)? What are your thoughts?....I've recently had a baby......Yvone

  7. Doubt you will see this but it's worth a try. Planning my trip to here now. Who did you book your tour with?