Hello again! Things have been busy here.
This weekend we went to Munich for a day trip on Saturday and took another excursion to multiple places on Sunday.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have very high expectations for Munich, mainly because I hadn’t done much research on the city beforehand. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived! The city itself is beautiful – the buildings are picture-esque European style and the churches and halls are beautifully designed. My favorite was the new town hall – it looks like Hogwarts!
I also really liked St. Peter’s Cathedral. It was a beautiful, peaceful church that reminded me how important it is to stop and say a prayer every once in a while.
Our tour guide had pointed out a traditional German beer hall called Augustine while on our tour – my friends and I decided to go back to try it out. Most people know that I am not a huge beer drinker (I know, I probably picked the wrong region of Europe) so I settled on a water and ordered pork sausages with sauerkraut. When the waiter brought our food, I would have sworn my mother and grandmother were secretly in the kitchen waiting to surprise me. It looked (and tasted) exactly like the sauerkraut and sausage that we’ve been making for as long as I can remember. I guess we’ve been doing it right all these years! It’s so cool to go to the place where your family originated and see for yourself where all your family traditions come from. I’m quick to tell anyone that my family is German and spell my mother’s maiden name for them: “Yeah, it used to have an umlaut but they dropped it when they came to the US!”
We also paid a visit to the 1972 Olympic Village which was very cool. Read up on the Munich Massacre if you’ve got some time and don’t know what it is. There is a tall tower (I believe the elevator voice said 290 meters tall. You do the math) that overlooks the village. A few of us paid around 5 euro to go up in the tower and get a birds-eye view of Munich. It was very cool! I’m always down for some good views of cool cities.
My weekend didn’t end there! On Sunday, we loaded up a bus and took an excursion to a Celtic village; Berchtesgaden, Germany; and Lake Königssee. The Celtic village overlooked a valley that was so pretty! I also decided to revisit my childhood and make a snow angel there 🙂 Lake Königssee was my favorite – the village surrounding the lake was so pretty and peaceful and the lake was breathtaking! Our AIFS tour guide, Andreas, led us up a hiking trail to a place that had awesome views of the lake. It was kind of a cloudy day so my pictures didn’t turn out all that well but I’m hoping to go back in the spring! It’s only about a 20 minute train from Salzburg.
Classes finally started today! It’s strange to try and be a student again after being on break for over 2 months. The classes I am taking are Austrian Folk Art, World War II and Central Europe, Contemporary Austrian Customs, and German. I’ll keep you updated on how they go!
My friends and I have a trip to Venice this weekend! It should be really cool. We rented a 7-bed apartment to stay in and will travel there by train. So far, we don’t have tons of plans besides eating pasta and gelato until we pop. I also would like to visit St. Mark’s square and possibly take a gondola ride. If you have any suggestions for Venice, let me know! Next weekend is our AIFS trip to Vienna, the weekend after that I plan to visit my cousin Lucy in Finland, and the weekend after that starts my 2-week spring break! The semester is already flying by.
I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures in Venice and post them for you guys 🙂