"It felt surreal being at the same house that the von Trapp family once was. I was transported back in time. I could imagine them walking the exact same steps or looking at the same views."
My name is Tiffany Nappi, I am a passionate traveller who grew up in the USA and have lived in a variety of places such as Ireland, Portugal, France and Lithuania. I study Biology in Lithuania and I hope to do my master’s degree next year even though I have no idea where just yet.
Visiting Salzburg - First impressions
The train journey from Vienna to Salzburg was a very scenic ride. I never thought reality could match up to the photos I have long admired, but it did. For example, when you see photos of mountains in Austria, they are always covered in rich green grass and the colour does indeed look the same when you see it with your own two eyes. The experience made my whole body feel calm and relaxed. You never know how much of an effect a specific view or scenery can have on you until you’re there in that moment, and for me, it was beautiful.
Once I got to Salzburg I was in awe. I admired the Hohensalzburg Fortress towering over the city, and standing there looking at it made me feel like I was standing in between two mountains.
For the first day I just explored the new and old town. Due to a festival, the streets were full of people from all over the world and the restaurants loud with laughter. The next day, I went to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress. To get to the top, I had to climb a hill and countless stairs but the incredible view overlooking the whole city was well worth it. I will forever remember this breathtaking view and the cool breeze I felt standing up there, and whenever I close my eyes and think back on this moment, I can feel that very same sensation.
The concert that struck a chord
Climbing back down was a pretty challenging experience. When I finally reached the bottom, I entered a dome which was hosting a concert inside. Hearing a concert in a church is the best way to listen to a concert in my opinion. The sound is so rich and the acoustics are incredible. You can literally hear the music bouncing off the walls. Every time I see how passionate musicians play music it makes me miss the time when I played my violin in a symphony. I remember enjoying the music I performed and loving the feeling of being part of something.
As I sit here in a café with my lemon green tea, I ask myself why I stopped? I assume the reason was that my parents and I moved to a variety of places and when I tried to join the symphony in a different place, it didn’t quite feel the same as my last music group. And because it didn’t feel the same, my heart wasn’t really in it.
The concert was great but the thing that really caught my attention was the passion with which the musicians performed. You could really feel their emotions through the music. For me, it wasn’t how well they played, but how the performance made me feel. They created a different feeling with each of their songs, leading me to believe that music really is more than just notes on paper. It’s about letting your feelings drift through your heart and soul, into your fingertips and out through your instrument.
Following the Sound of Music
The The following day I went to Hallstatt. The bus journey was extraordinary. I saw so many beautiful landscapes and especially loved Lake Wolfgang. Its waters were a slight turquoise colour - a hue that instantly brought a smile to my face. In Hallstatt, you’re surrounded by nothing but mountains, lakes and beautiful nature. The village is equally enchanting. Full of small cottages overlooking the lake. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live in a place with such beautiful views. The sun and its reflection on the lake made it even more breathtaking. I wish I could have climbed a mountain to see the whole place from above. But I know that I’ll have more opportunities to see spectacular views during my future travels.
On July 2, I decided to visit the Original House of the von Trapp Family (The Sound of Music). It took me an hour to walk there. The whole residential area surrounding the von Trapp house is beautiful. The house looks similar to the one in the movie, even though the movie was shot in two different locations (Leopold Palace & a student dormitory). It felt surreal being at the same house that the von Trapp family once was. I was transported back in time. I could imagine them walking the exact same steps or looking at the same views.
Afterwards, I went back to the hostel and researched everything I could find about the real von Trapp Family. I wanted to know their true story. I found out that Captain von Trapp wasn’t actually a cold-hearted man who detested music, like he is portrayed in the movie. He was actually the opposite. Another fact is that Maria von Trapp wasn’t a governess, she was actually a tutor for one of the children. Lastly, in the movie, it was shown that the family escaped the Nazis through the Alps to Switzerland. Instead, they had actually taken a train that took them to Italy before they settled in America later on. I personally find it very interesting to compare movies to the true stories.
What my trip to Austria taught me
I am so happy that I travelled to Austria and got to see all of the country’s natural beauty, watch classical concerts, and visit the original place where The Sound of Music was directed.
Travelling influences everyone differently. For me, travelling makes me grow. It teaches me not to give up when I’m faced with difficult challenges. It helps me to remember to live my life to the fullest. The real world surrounding us is just background noise. When I travel to new places, I meet new people and learn more about who I am. For example, I now know that I love art museums, the scenery of mountains and lakes, exploring city centres, trying new cafes and their teas and special dishes they provide.
What struck me the most about visiting Austria was that it reminded me of how much I miss and enjoy music and playing the violin. It brought back my music identity and life goals that had been hiding from me for so long. I started playing the violin when I was 4 and I want to master playing it before my life ends.
Author - Tiffany Nappi
Tiffany Nappi grew up in America. She has since lived in various places such as France, Ireland, Portugal and Lithuania. She loves travelling, the unique things in life, and spending time with the people who mean a lot to her.
Thank you for visiting! Here you will find a collection of travel stories from women around the world. We post new ones each week and every one is as unique and varied as the next. Enjoy!