The Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music…

The Hillssss are Aliveeee with The Sound of Musiccccc. Guess where I am? AUSTRIA! Yes, finally, I have made it to the land of The Sound of Music. The country in which my all time favorite movie was filmed in did not disappoint. First city we were visiting was Vienna, and our first stop, where else but the Schnapps Factory. Yummy! Free alcohol for all 😀

Free sample shots at the Schnapps Factory in Vienna, AustriaWe were given a presentation and demonstration of mixing alcohols and then we were  allowed three sample shots each… only there was no one keeping count, so three turned into six 😀 Of these shots, Absinthe was also included. Absinthe is referred to as the “green fairy” and is high in alcohol content, the one we were consuming was 75% alcohol so you can image what it did to us.

We sampled Absinthe, Goldschlagers (another strong spirit with flakes of 24 carrot gold floating around in it) and an array of strawberry, chocolate and choc-nut flavored schnapps. I bought my brother a bottle of Absinthe to bring home to him. Should have him on the floor in no time.

After all our sampling and purchasing we headed off to check out the Schonbrunn Palace. If any of you have ever seen Violinist Andrea Rieu live, his stage set is based upon that of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. We did not have enough time to explore, so we settled for some photos outside. However, having just consumed six shots of extremely strong alcohol, we were in a rather *I-don’t-want-to-stand-still* mood…

Mel and I tipsy and jumping out the front of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria
It was time to get some food into our alcohol-filled bellies. We were going to have a traditional Austrian dish tonight; Weiner Schnitzel. I was so excited, schnitzel is one of my favorite dishes back home and this one did not disappoint. It tasted absolutely amazing! Sorry mum, but I think it may have just beat yours… Sorry, do not hurt me, please!

A brand new day and a whole new excited me. Today is the day we head to Mondsee *eeeeee*. Mondsee is a small town in which part of The Sound of Music was filmed. The scenes where Captain Von Trap’s children are climbing and swinging from trees in their curtain play-clothes and the church in which Maria and Captain Von Trap wed are both located here. Now I revert back to the nerd inside of me. I am misserably in love with this movie. So much. It really is my favourite movie in the entire world. You can imagine just how much I am squealing inside to be able to get to go and see these two locations. We arrive there and I go frolicking through the streets. I pose infront of the church and I climb and hang from the trees to imitate that of the famous movie scene. I make a small donation to the church and purchase a dove pendant to put on my necklace. Now I will always have a reminder of visiting The Sound of Music church!

__________Me swinging from a tree__________Mel and I infront of The Sound of Music church in Mondsee, Austria

Our next stop was the Swarovski Crystal World. We went to the museum there… I’m not quite sure what they were trying to achieve, but hell, it was weird. If you went in there drunk it would be sure to trip you out, heck, it tripped me out and I was well and truly sober. I saw this as a good opportunity to indulge a little on myself and also on my mum. I purchased this gorgeous sterling silver and blue Swarovski crystal stone necklace for mum and purchased myself a sterling silver pink and purple Swarovski crystal stone bracelet. They were absolutely gorgeous and set me back a couple of hundred, but definitely worth it.

The next few days of our Austrian adventure were to be spent at Hopfgarten up in the Austrian Tyrol. This was a lovely, lucious, green mountainy area, so high up that the clouds seemed so low to us. We had looked this area up online, so we decided to contact the team from ECO Log House to see if they could help us find a cabin nearby. We did find one and when we got there, the surroundings and atmosphere were extremely relaxing. The following morning, we went mountain biking through an extremely difficult track up the mountain. When we finally made it to where we had to be, we stopped for a BBQ picnic lunch. The huge roast potatoe was delightful. The end views were spectacular, so the sore butt which I imagine will last for a couple of days is worth it.

The end of the bike track
Austria is known for its thrill sports, so it only made sense to try one out while there. We were going white-water rafting. This is something I have been wanting to cross off my list of things to do for so long, and now, I have finally accomplished it; and what a thrill and rush it was. We had to get wet-suited up and wear helmets to protect our heads in case we fell out of the raft. This was a natural stream with the water coming down from the melting glaciers from the mountains above us. The water was ice cold and there were large rocks scattered throughout the stream. There were six of us in our raft along with out HOT instructor. We jumped in to the water first to adjust our bodies to it; that way it wouldn’t be too much of a shock to us if we fell in. It was a bit chilly, but rather refreshing. It was pure fresh water which was good because salt water often affects my eyes. The rapids we were riding were grade three so they weren’t exactly huge. We did, however, come across one big one which we had to duck down into the raft for. It was an awesome thrill. I just wish we got to experience bigger rapids. Austria was everything I hoped it to be and more.

The group all wet-suited up and ready to rock and roll!