Radiating Sunshine: It's Only Been Two Days: Austria

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's Only Been Two Days: Austria

So, I've been in Austria for 2 full days but, the amount of stuff I have done and seen in the past 48 hours has been amazing. It is just starting to feel real that this is my "home" for the time being. The only thing that I'm a little worried about is going broke... but, don't worry mom I put myself on 10 euro a day (except week days and excursion days) budget and I was successful today! 

Anyways, above are two of my favorite RAs: Noelle and Matt! There are four of us total, Nicole isn't featured in this but, this photo was taken at the Augustiner.  In true Residence Life style we're going to lead an icebreaker tomorrow after class. Anyways back to the Augustiner... the Augustiner is a brewery or beir garden in town! It has been awesome trying out different Austrian beers and honestly just enjoying the drinking environment. Noelle and I actually got to walk to Augustiner with our professor, Dr. R who has been to Salzburg several times and speaks German. He has been attempting to teach me basic German and I am pretty awful at it! 

After we went to Augustiner, we decided to try out an Austrian Irish pub called the Shamrock! We ordered Zipfer beers and I must say I think I'm gonna stick to my Austrian beer from now on. But, at the Shamrock they had a band and I'm a sucker for good music *preferably in English* and a ton of new people to get to know!

By now we have all been openly laughed at by Austrians and Germans. The first time I noticed was when we were in the beer garden and we were trying to learn German. One of the guys we met was trying to teach us how to say "I love you" in German and we were all at the same time basically yelling I love you but, butchering it too. Anyways, my friend Kathryn and I looked over and we saw this young German laughing at us. I guess I would be too if a bunch of loud tourists were yelling I love you. 

Today, after our classes we traveled up to Der Untersberg, one of the highest peaks in Austria! We took a cable car to get up and then once we were somewhat at the top we had to hike to the peaks. Usually I'm scared of heights but, for some reason this experience wasn't bad! I even saw a mountain goat on the side of the mountain while in the cable car!

I've really been enjoying how religious Austria is! It's not every day that you see a 10 ft tall cross chilling on top of a mountain. But, even if you do see a 10 ft tall cross every day I bet you don't see a new church every block *okay, a little bit of an exaggeration* -- but, there are so many churches.

Austria is very proud of their Catholic identity and I'm really eager to try out some churches and see how a German mass is held!

I don't know the translation :/ but I'll find out soon!
 This was the highest peak of Untersberg. I think it was about 7,000ft up? We had to hike there and boy was that an adventure. It is June 4th and I walked through snow! But, the mountain is colder than when you're down in the city so that made sense.
Pointing to the German side of the mountains! Kind of cool to see the beautiful snowy caps. But, a photo just doesn't do this justice because even now that I'm looking back at all the pictures I chose I keep saying to myself, but the real thing was totally better.

Oh and some people got a sunburn while hiking today! I wore sunscreen-- which I guess was a pretty smart thing to do after all so, I'm loving the little bit of color I gained today. However, I also gained an awful blister on my left big toe so I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about running tomorrow morning. 

After the hike we needed some nourishment. So, in true Austrian/ German style I ordered an apple strudel! This was my first strudel of the trip and it definitely won't be my last! I mean just look at it. I honestly would choose that over a beer at this point... but, that could be because I consumed a decent amount (1 1/2 liters +) last night :/ But, don't worry everyone (mom specifically) my friends and I took a cab and made it to breakfast on time! 

After our excursion at Untersberg four of us decided to explore Salzburg a bit more and we ended up at the Mirabel gardens, which is infamous for the Sound of Music "Do Re Mi" scene. Anyways, while awh-ing at the flowers and fountains we also stumbled upon a play ground. 

The play ground was full of kids and lured us in. All the signs were in German so we don't know if a sign said "American college students prohibited" but, regardless we went in! Now, I could totally just omit the truth here and tell you we were mature adults and didn't try that slide, but lets be real! So, we climbed up to the top and slid down. 

But, while we were at the top there were some Austrian girl and being the kind, gentle, kid loving, ignorant American that I am I tried to speak German to her. After she started to laugh at me (second time I have been laughed at in public) I asked her *in german* if she spoke English... which, she did. So, an 11 year old made a fool out of me but, I guess I deserved it because I'm a 21 year old going on a slide that was made for children. Oh well, I guess I'm a kid at heart?

The mirabel gardens are phenomenal! I already know that when it comes time to do a lot of reading, I'm going to grab 'The Enlightenment' and head down to sit in this garden! Plus, they have a ton of roses and unicorn statues with goatees so, you tell me where you would rather do homework?

Being straight tourists!

One thing that has been a struggle is to find public drinking water! Thankfully I have a britta filtered water bottle but, there are literally no water fountains. And when you're walking several miles *probably 7 miles today* and you don't have any water it is not the perfect combination. But, then when you do have water and you drink a lot of it you will also run into the issue that there are no public bathrooms that you don't have to pay to get into!! 50 cents to pee, I'll hold it because that can get me half a gelato. 

I said earlier that Austria has a strong Catholic influence and I honestly couldn't be more grateful. I'm a pretty devout Christian and being able to express my love for God and seeing His presence literally everywhere is really nice! I'm accepting of whatever path someone chooses for their faith but, man would it be hard to walk around Austria and not believe in God and His creation. 

Also, if you didn't know that photo was taken on Austria's lock bridge. Which, I'm pretty sure almost every European country has but, I am kind of fascinated with the concept anyways. So, basically you get a lock and find something that you want to be eternal. Almost all the locks I saw where for love. Once you have that eternal thing or person you lock the lock on the bridge and throw the key into the water. -- If you know more about this please, let me know because I haven't really researched it and am only going on what people have told me and what I have observed!

And finally on day 3, I tried my first Austrian sausage! I tried the brunwurst and it was pretty good. I'm not sitting here craving another one but, for 3.5 euros you can't go wrong. Also, I tried some German mustard on the sausage and I am basically in love with German mustard... so for a non-condiment user usually that is a pretty big deal!

Anyways, my first few days in Austria have been unreal. I have learned a lot of things such as:

only one cappuccino at breakfast or my heart will explode; a picture is worth a thousand words *see above*; wear actual tennis shoes when you go up to Untersberg; be prepared for baby rain storms; find beauty in the little things-- like flowers at the peak of a mountain; and that getting an email from J as our only means of communication makes me jump and tear up-- but, that could also be the combination of the fact that I've finally gotten wifi too so, yay to emails from J and good wifi connections.

Oh and while riding the bus you need to press the stop button before your stop, not as your passing it. We had a little walk on the way back to AIS but, after all the walking we did today what is another 1/4th a mile?

Anyways, now I need to go read for class tomorrow! Noelle and I are planning on going on a run before breakfast so, mission: run off all the calories from the beer will have commenced. We also went to the grocery store or Billa for the first time today too. For 8 euros we bought supplies to make sandwiches and bananas.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment and stopping by Radiating Sunshine! Your comments mean the world to me, so I will do my very best to respond to them. If you have any direct questions please email me at radiatingsunshineblog@gmail.com

Remember, "every time you smile at a someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing"- Mother Teresa

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...