ALLAN: It seemed like a good idea at the time – a shared love of ‘The Sound of Music’ with my daughter Kate was innocent enough when its only manifestation was an annual viewing and singalong on Xmas day. But when this morphed into “we should go on the ‘Sound of Music’ tour” I should have known we were in dangerous territory. By the time we got to “let’s go by train” we were beyond the point of no return and now we have reached, “we should buy liederhosen” I am officially a lost soul.

So here we are in the Eurostar departure lounge – two SoM geeks drawn towards Salzburg like migrating salmon, doomed to circle the Von Trapp summerhouse whilst chanting the lyrics to “the lonely goatherd”. As I always say, there is no such thing as wasted experience and this will be a voyage of discovery – in particular I will be discovering if my legs look good in liederhosen.

KATE: I am not the professional writer my father is, however, I am certain my love for a 60 year old musical exceeds his (though he will certainly contest this). As an act of tribute to the woman I perhaps admire the most on this earth, Julie Andrews, (sorry Mum), I have quite perfected my Maria Von Trapp, and by completing this tour I intend to become reborn as a musical fanatic.

There was much debate between us as to whether we should have watched the film before we departed, to freshen our minds of the beautiful film’s every whimsical scene and showtune, or to save it for our annual Christmas viewing, when it will be extra special this year. Upon realising that, between us, we could probably unironically recite the first half of the film, script, songs, harmonies et al, we decided on the latter: when you’ve reached the point of dedication where you are travelling across the continent to do a bus tour where singing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ is mandatory, you tend to know your subject matter rather well.


 “I mean, I don’t go to a nursery if I want a drink, do I?  So why do they bring their kids to the pub?”

“I’ve met S-Club 7 and Stacey Solomon – she used to work at Stonehenge.”