Sound of Music – Sound of Austria?

Sound of Music, Austria, Mondsee

Work wise I was in the lovely Salzkammergut a lot the past month. Several Times in Mondsee, right next the infamous church which was used for the site of the wedding in the movie “Sound of Music”. Every time I was there, a horde of Americans and Asians would walk around the square in front of the church, take a look inside the church and fill up the memory cards of their digital cameras with the pictures of the same spots over and over again..

Today I was in St. Gilgen. I got there in the early morning, it was a sunny day and no wind, so the lake was crystal clear and the mountains mirrored in the lake. It was such a magnificent view that I decided to stop for a moment and enjoy the scenery for a while. That’s when the picture from above was taken. I even drove past that meadow where the shot for the infamous original movie poster was taken.

Until I turned 20 I did not knew about the movie “Sound of Music” at all. I first heard about the movie when Americans started babbling about “Sound of Music” when I told them that I was from Austria. It’s funny that a movie that was shot in 1965 still brings Austria to the minds of even young people all over the world.

My colleague from the local tourism office in St. Gilgen told me that one time, a group of Japanese tourists came to her office and asked her about the sights and the movie. Later the Japenese group would gather and sing the infamous “Edelweiss” song.

Sound of Music is barely known in Austria and hardly ever shown on Austrian television. A lot of Austrians think that it portraits a cliché that is complete unfaithful to the real Austria.

But without a doubt, Sound of Music has done Austria a great favor when it comes to the tourism industry and showing the world just how beautiful my home country really is. When I drove to St. Gilgen today and saw lake Wolfgangsee in front of me, I couldn’t help but smiley and think – maybe Austrians are not like in the movie, but at least the movie got the scenery right!

Valentine-Free Zone – The Anti Valentine Village

This picture was taken excatly two year ago, at the St. Valentine Village in Upper Austria. My friend took a picture of the other side of the street-sign for her friends. Where ever you are around the world, I leave it up to you, if you want to make some happy, buy them flowers, if you just feel the need to spend some money because marketing says so – don’t! – Still – flowers are one of the best ways to say “I love you” – even on the 15th of Februar!

Anti St. Valentines Day

Love, War, peace, and the rest

Wow, 2007 is already 17 days old! I’d say a mixture of good and bad news so far for me, but nothing to really complain. I haven’t written a real blog entry… well, since September. I had many ideas, but something kept me away from putting them online. I wanted to comment on the death of Sadam, but so many others did, I felt that there was nothing to add. I have thought a lot about what is going on in the Middle East and in the United States, in my home country Austria but nothing wanted to evolve into a good story worth putting online.

This is about the mildest winter in Austria that I ever experienced. I work in the tourism business, which heavily relies on winter sports and is hit pretty hard these months. But what can I say? At some point someone has to pay the price for the pollution crimes of the past. And this is just the beginning; much worse is to come in the next decades for sure. If you haven’t done so already I would recommend to go and see the movie “An Inconvenient Truth“ by Al Gore. The movie pretty much sums it up what was done wrong in the past and what we tumble towards too. Another movie I would like to point out is “Who killed the electric car” – another interesting documentation on how the American car industry treats their own products and how they joined forces with the oil industry to make sure the people stick to gasoline and not seek out for cleaner alternatives.

But why not be a bit optimistic toward the new year? Maybe the US starts pulling out of the Middle East, maybe the region can find peace after a long struggle. Maybe more and more people realise that polluting the blue planet to make more profit isn’t an option anymore, not only because it destroys our future, but the future of human mankind altogether. A little bit more peace, a little bit more understanding and this could be a great year. We shall see!

And what about love? Well, we shall see about that too!