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Group Tours to Europe: The Sounds of Salzburg

Student Group Travel to Austria

Beautiful sights and sounds filled my weekend and took my breath away. My student group travel adventures sent me to Salzburg, Austria. This gorgeous city is historically known for raising Mozart and Maria Von Trapp, and the “Sound of Music” story, among other things.

Due to severe storms in Germany, our trip was cut short, but that didn’t keep us from crossing a couple things off our bucket list first.

After traveling 11 hours on Friday, our European group travel crew made it to Salzburg famished and slightly delirious. We checked into our hostel and began wandering the city to experience its culture and food. To our pleasant surprise, Salzburg had a little restaurant that served American burgers—actual burgers with beef, not lamb or some other form of meat.

Europe Group Travel

After reminiscing our American culture, we ventured within the serenity of the Mirabell Gardens and walked the river. The night ended perfectly as we cheered on the Netherlands soccer team to demolish Spain in the World Cup. I must say, the culture of soccer in Europe is definitely starting to grow on me during this time of European group travel.

On Saturday, we went on our “Sound of Music” Tour. This group tour lasted around four hours, and it brought us to many of the film locations. To say I was a little bit happy would be an understatement.

I have always loved the “Sound of Music”, and I can remember the first time I watched it in the third grade. I used to dream about frolicking in the hills like Julie Andrews, and I was able to fulfill this task from this wonderful group tour.

Student Group Travel

Other than frolicking, this group tour brought us to the multiple Von Trapp homes used to shoot the film. We learned some of the Hollywood secrets. The directors of the film had a difficult time reaching compromises with the Austrian officials on filming locations, and the production of the movie was even threatened to end at some points during the filming.

The group tour brought us through the hilly terrain, to the famous gazebo, and to the church that Maria and the Baron were married in at the end of the film. I was even able to munch on a beloved apple strudel that Julie Andrews raved about in the movie –and yes, it has become one of my favorite things.

Sound of Music Group Tour

Magically, this group tour turned into a sing-a-long. I don’t think you can consider yourself a true “Sound of Music” fan until you have sung “Do-Re-Mi” with your corky group tour guide and 20 die-hard groupies while simultaneously touring the hilly terrain. Believe me, this is something that must be done!

While seeing all sites that Hollywood used was magical, it was more interesting to learn about the real story of the Von Trapps and see the real historical sites. I was sad to learn most of the “Sound of Music” plot was inflated by the moviemakers; however, the true story is just as appealing as the movie. The only thing that would have made this experience better was if I were able to do the group tour with my mother!

After the group tour, my friends and I began to investigate the city on our own again, and we found ourselves in a quaint garden café.

I definitely fell in love with Austria.

Group Travel to Europe

Its landscape reminded me of the amazing scenery in Switzerland, and its architecture was rich in culture like that of Germany. I used to think that Switzerland was my favorite foreign country that I have traveled to; however, I think Austria may have moved to first place now.

Guided Tours to Europe

My friends and I ended the night listening to the sweet, sweet sounds of Mozart. We attended a Mozart Dinner Concert that can be compared to what a “Medieval Times” dinner theatre is in America. The only exception being this was very fancy.

We ate a traditional three-course meal of typical food eaten during Mozart’s time period. It was surprisingly very tasteful—even if my friends and I really did not know what we were eating.  In a room lit only by candlelight, I listened to violins, cello, and opera singers, and I was transformed to a different era. It was my first experience with opera, and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Guided Tours to Austria Guided Tours to Austria

While I could not understand what the singers were singing due to a language barrier, I was able to let my imagination run wild. The singers put on quite a show, and I enjoyed coming up with my own story line.

The trip ended with a long day of travel as it started. I am somewhat grateful this trip was cut short –I am now given another reason to return to this magnificent city. Not that I needed one 😉

Student Group Travel to Europe

Mary Kujak is participating in a student group travel tour with Baylor University arranged by Millennium Tours. This summer, group travel takes her all over Europe, while she calls Maastricht, Netherlands “home.” Want to follow Mary’s educational travel tours? Sign up below, and never miss an update!


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