Monday, December 1, 2008

The Grand Tour of Austria

So this week was a little difficult for me. All of my home/GW friends were talking about going home for a few days. My family was getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. And I was stuck in Austria. Where the main holiday of this time of year is Krampus, a period of time in which the young men dress up like the devil and run around whipping small children (click here) Anyway, it involves no turkey.

However, since my program has about 150 American students in it, IES was kind enough to put on a Thanksgiving dinner for us. So they bussed us out to Baden to a 300 year old Heuriger. We got all the traditional Thanksgiving food with apple streudel for dessert. They had to throw something Austrian in there. And since we're in Austria, they had to throw wine into that mix. It was really nice and yummy, but still just wasn't the same.

The next day, Polly, Natalie, and I headed off for our Grand Tour of Austria. This involved seeing Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck in 3 days and 2 nights. Linz was cool, though nothing to write home about. We did see the biggest cathedral in Austria, which can seat over 20,000 people! Salzburg was much more entertaining. We went on the "Sound of Music" tour. All of the outdoor scenes for the SoM were filmed on location in Salzburg. So we got to see the gazebo (I am 16 going on 17), the two palaces they used for the Von Trapp house, the abbey, and the mountains that they all ran through. Interesting fact: When the Von Trapps were supposedly escaping over the mountains into Switzerland, they were in fact on a mountain that would lead them right into Germany. Switzerland is about 300 miles from Salzburg. lol. It was also a cool tour because it allowed us views of the mountains and the city that we never would've seen on our own. The next day was Innsbruck, a city famous for its gorgeous mountains and that is hosted the Olympics twice in 12 years. It was a very, very pretty city, in the sense that there were gigantic Alps everywhere. But the city itself is built in a way that makes it obvious that most of the building were built in preparation for the Olympics. Which were in the 60s and 70s. But it was still nice. Unfortunately, Polly and I were both pretty sick the whole weekend, so our evenings were spent in the hostels just talking. Still nice though.

To see pics from this trip, click here.

So I go home in less than 3 weeks. My emotions are going to be very jumbled for the rest of my stay here.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break!


Justin said...

3 weeks! Yay!

Gary said...

Nice photos. Is my camera still intact? :)

I understand why you will have conflicted feelings over the next 3 weeks, but - trust me - there are no such conflicted feelings here when it comes to your return. Yay!

Emily McKnight said...

that sucks that you were sick, but I'm glad you had a good time. I like the photos too : )