Saturday, September 7, 2013

Salzburg, Austria

The first weekend we were here, the school took us on a day trip to Salzburg. We left at 6:30 in the morning for a two hour bus ride to Salzburg. I slept most of the way except during the rosary that we prayed right after we departed and whenever Andrew Rankin (who was in the back of the bus) changed the pitch of his voice. When we arrived, we hopped off the buses (quite literally because they couldn’t stay parked where we were) and walked to the Franziskanerkirche. We had Mass at the Franziskanerkirche which was an interesting looking church because there were pews in the back but about halfway up the aisle, there were a few steps going up and then more pews. It was odd.
          After Mass, we broke up into groups and had a walking tour of Old Salzburg. Mr. Wolter was our tour guide and that man seriously should have been a history teacher. We saw places where scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed, where Mozart lived and died, a castle, and a cemetery. The castle was actually never conquered but once it was nearly conquered. The story goes that the people in the castle only had one cow left and after that they were going to have to surrender or starve, so they took the cow up to the top of the fort and marched it all the way around so the enemies could see it. Then they brought the cow down, painted it, and marched it around the top again. They did this six or seven times and finally the enemies decided to leave because they figured since there was so many cows still inside the castle, their opponents would be there for a while longer. They must have felt pretty ridiculous when they realized they lost because of one painted cow.
          We had lunch at Stieglkeller. The first course was this soup that looked like beef broth with shredded bread in it. It was actually sliced crepes. The main course was butter chicken with mixed vegetables and pasta that looked like chopped up cauliflower. Dessert was the best thought because it was fudgy chocolate cake with a chocolate frosting and whipped cream that was so delicious because it wasn’t sweet. It literally tasted like whipped milk with no sugar.   
          After lunch, a group of us (me, Hana, Elizabeth, Becca, Michaela, and Ashley) went up to the castle. It cost 7.25 Euro to go in, but we found out we could get a group discount and it would only cost of 4 euro each. We decided to go for it and it was totally worth it. We went up to the top and we could see all of Salzburg. It was dizzying how high up we were because the castle is on a mountain.
          When we left the castle, we walked through the touristy part of Salzburg past all the little shops and cafes. It was so quaint I absolutely loved it! We walked down by the Salzburg river where there were about 75 tents where people were selling things. I got a headband and friendship bracelet from this one lady for 6 euro total. We walked around some more and went to take pictures by the gnomes that are in the sound of music. Angela and I ran and skipped down the ivy path that Maria runs down while she’s singing Do-Re-Me. It was awesome! And then the scene where Maria and the Captain are dancing and the kids tell her she is flushed…we were standing by the ivy wall. So of course I pretended I was dancing. We also went to the water fountain that Maria sings the song Confidence where she flings water at the stone statue in the middle. We totally flung water at it and thought about Maria while we did it. 
          At this point, our group consisted of myself, Hana, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Angela. We came across Melanie, Sister Mary Katherine, and Sister Sarah Rose and we had dinner from this little street cart that sold sausages. But I don’t like sausages so I went to Spar and got a roll. Then we went to a nearby Gelato shop and I had gelato for the first time. Kafee (Coffee) and i-don’t-know-how-to-spell-it (Chocolate) Gelato is seriously the best combination. Ever. While we ate our gelato, we walked to this little church and had plans to pray the divine office, but there was mass going on so we couldn’t. We decided to take a picture of the nuns outside of the church and we were across the street trying to take the picture. The cars actually stopped so we could take the picture. It was so cool.
          We made our way back to the Salzburg river and crossed the river over the lock bridge. The lock bridge has all these bicycle locks on it and the reason is that people buy locks, carve their name and the name of their significant other on it, lock the lock on the bridge and they each keep a key for the lock. Then if they break up, one of them could come back and unlock the lock. After we walked across the bridge, we sat by the river and waited while one of the nuns and some of the girls went to find a bathroom. It costs .50 euro to use a bathroom! Isn’t that ridiculous?! The benefit is that the bathrooms are nice public bathrooms, and not gross public bathrooms. When they came back, we prayed the divine office sitting on the bank of the river. Afterwards, we climbed down the rocks and touched the water and then decided to find our way back to where the buses were picking us up. We made it back before they left and Matt quizzed me on Medical Terminology until they put Taken the movie on for everyone to watch. When it was over, Marissa, Matt and I decided that Matt is going to be my older brother since I don’t have one.
          We got back to campus around 11pm and crashed into bed because we had to be up for 10am Mass the next day. So far, Salzburg was definitely my favorite place so far because it was so antique, quaint, and touristy. If I was to go anywhere in Europe again, it would definitely be Salzburg. 

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