Radiating Sunshine: It Would Be Unfair If I Didn't Share

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It Would Be Unfair If I Didn't Share

So, my last few days in Austria have been amazing. I'm honestly starting to think I won't ever not say that. The country has totally wooed me! It has been really hot here the past few days, so I'm hoping it will cool down a little! I've been trying to do the whole 'wear pants out of respect' thing, but I think tomorrow I'm going to give up and put on some shorts. 

On Friday the group and I did a church crawl! We toured three different churches and all were very unique. We probably could of toured so many more because Salzburg is covered in Catholic churches but, we stuck with the three main ones for now!

The first which you see below is the Salzburg Cathedral. The Cathedral itself was originally founded in 774, but since that time has been renovated by various Archbishops and was restored after it almost burnt down. The Cathedral is very lavish and is beyond beautiful. 

Unfortunately, the majority of the church was blocked off because they were preparing for a conference/ festival and they added purple and green lights to illuminate it for something! I'm hoping to attend mass there at least once while I'm here. 

The second church was St. Peter's Abbey. It was originally a Benedictine monastery and is considered one of the oldest German speaking monasteries! The Abbey was founded in 696 and was very beautiful. Along the sides of the church were individual chapels that were often dedicated to a family or a certain saint. While we were there they were preparing for a wedding-- check out those flower arrangements!

The final church was the Franciscan Church. The church resembled gothic art and was then later restored to resemble baroque style of art. Personally I didn't prefer this church! I just thought it was a little to dark for my liking, but I know others absolutely loved it, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion.

After touring the different churches some of us went up to the top of one of the mountains to visit the Salzburg Fortress! We paid 11 euros for a ride up to the top and a ticket for a tour of the Fortress and boy was it worth it. The view was absolutely stunning. I had spinach dumplings and a salad for lunch, which is probably the healthiest meal I have had since I arrived in Austria. AIS doesn't have a kitchen for us to use, so we buy a lot of groceries that come in the form of ham and cheese sandwiches! But, on a side note I am hoping to go to the billa (grocery store) and pick up some carrots and other various vegetables this week sometime. Anyways, the spinach dumplings were delicious! It was definitely a texture thing, but it was a recommended dish and it wasn't sausage or expensive, so I was happy.

After lunch, the six of us went up into the fortress and went on a tour of the Festung Hohensalzburg, which was built in 1077. They gave us audio headsets so we could listen in English and we learned so much about the fortress and why and how it was used! We even saw a marionette exhibit.

It was the perfect day for touring the fortress! As I mentioned in my last post, Noelle (2nd to the left) and I had walked everywhere the day before so our feet were still recovering but, even though we were wiped out we still really enjoyed exploring such an old and authentic part of Salzburg. 

After walking around the fortress for a few hours we went to Der Gastgarten for a Stiegl and a pretzel. It was literally the most refreshing way to end a day spent walking. I even tried my first Stiegl Radler, which is beer and grapefruit juice. It was actually really refreshing. It is also low in calories not that I'm counting or anything... I only live in a world that pretty much serves protein and carbs at every meal, so... 

This picture was from where we sat at the beer garden! We ended up staying and talking for several hours and it was so nice just enjoying this view and watching the sun go down. 

On Saturday, some of us decided to go on a little adventure. The goal was to go to Innsbruck, Austria but when we got to the train station we realized that it was 87 euros to get there and that wasn't in the budget. Instead we decided to try some place new and headed to Berchtesgaden, Germany. 

Berchtesgaden is in the Germany Bavarian alps so you can only imagine the view we had while we were there! It is pretty close to the Austrian border and was only like an hour bus ride from the Salzburg train station. Once in Berchtesgaden we did some exploring and meandering around. We did a little bit of shopping and I bought the cutest dress! I'm hoping to wear it next weekend in Vienna but, it is very unique and authentic. Berchtesgaden also had a collection of beautiful churches and even I found my favorite church (thus far) there as well! 

Pretty sure the church is called the Schloss Wittlesbach, but not positive! I couldn't really read the signs outside but, all I know is that I spent quite some time in this beauty. Sometimes, I wonder why the churches are so lavish. Surely, the money could go to helping others or feeding the poor? But, these churches that I'm visiting come with a very rich history-- literally. A lot of private donors spent money to build their town a beautiful church were they could worship and celebrate the Lord.

We hoped to make it up to Eagles Nest, Hitler's retreat house bu,t we never made it up there!  Plus, our school is doing an excursion there so we decided to check out a place totally new. One thing that is really interesting about Berchtesgaden is that it has a pretty rich history when it comes to World War II. Hitler sent his sister there to keep her safe and that is where she is buried today. There was also a lot of stolen art trafficking done there. 

After figuring out the bus system and everything in between we had just enough time to go to Königgesse, a little town in Berchtesgaden up in the bavarian alps. What is special about Königsse is that it has this beautiful crystal blue water lake and has an adorable little church called St. Bartholomew. 

We didn't get to go into the church because we were pressed for time, but by waiting on the little boat which toured the lake we ended up going deeper into the lake and our 35 minute, 13 euro tour soon became the 90 minute tour. It was nice because we got more time out on the water then what we paid for, but we also missed the bus back Berchtesgaden, which would take us back to the Salzburg train 
station so we could catch another bus back to town. 

So, although all the bus missing was unfortunate we got so lucky that there was a train leaving Berchtesgaden an hour after we arrived and it would take us directly to the Salzburg train station. With an hour to spare we decided to go get dinner.

I ended up discovering my favorite beer while at a little restaurant in Berchtesgaden. One sip of the Hofbräuhaus München and I was overjoyed! I'm not sure whether it was because I was ridiculously thirsty and was in the mood for a beer, but boy did the HB beer hit the spot! I will have to try it another time when I have not been walking everywhere, out in the sun, and am not desperately thirsty.

Today was a really relaxing day! A few of us went to the local Catholic church for mass, Maria's. The mass was in German but, I knew pretty much what was happening and the church was really pretty. The German mass is very different from the American mass, and as we usually do our group stuck out like sore thumbs. After mass was over, a Austrian gentleman came over and introduced me to the head of the choir who asked if I and hopefully some other Mount students would sing in the choir with them. I told her that I could barely follow along with the German songs but, she told me she could teach us all at a few rehearsals and asked if we would sing a song as an offering in English! It was pretty much the coolest thing ever. Now I am not a Maria Von Trapp (or a Julie Andrews) by any means, so we will see how this goes but, she seemed really eager to teach us and we're hoping to sing Immaculate Mary which, I've known how to sing since I was like 5 so that will be cool!

That's all for now folks! This coming weekend I'll be in Vienna for three days which, I'm really excited for! I don't have any plans during the week so stay tuned for some spontaneous trips. It is going to be a hot one here in Salzburg so I think some of us are hoping to go swim in Mondsee, Austria!


  1. I love the picture of you holding the beer, you are literally adorable! Looks like you are having an absolute blast, you were so right about sharing.

    xo. Kailagh

    1. Awh thanks Kailagh. That was literally my face after trying it and my friend Noelle snapped a picture.

  2. I'm loving all of your photos from this post and the last! I've never had that type of radler before, but when I was in Germany, they mixed lemonade and beer... soooo refreshing! European churches are breathtaking! So great how many you're getting to see. You'll appreciate these blog posts so much later on as a fun diary to remember everything you did :)

    1. thanks meg! I'm having the time of my life over here! And seriously the churches are probably one of my favorite parts of being here... that and the food :)


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