|Glühwein: One of those great things in life.|
|A picture of my school, Salzburg College. (The cute yellow building) We are luckily, centrally located in the city.|
On another note; today my class took a trip to a Jewish Synagogue to visit a 99 year old man named Marko Feingold who is currently the president of the Jewish Community in Salzburg and lived through four concentration camps. He was incredibly inspiring and also incredibly lively for his age. He told us his story for about three hours, but still had so much more to tell. He spoke in German, which Konrad translated for us and I could have listened to him talk all day. He had various copies of the documents that showed he had been a prisoner and amazingly came out of the war full of hope, yet without a family. He lost his father, mother, brother and sister to the Holocaust. Feingold continues to spread his story around Austria in schools and at other public events. He is ready for twenty more years of life, and at the rate that he is going; I think it could be possible. This man is seriously gifted, and somehow crawled past the unfortunate line between death throughout World War II. How he continued to be so motivated to go on is beyond me, though I wish to go through life with as much positivity as this man does.
This past week, my class also visited the concentration camp, Mauthausen which was very eye opening for me. I had never been to one before, however, was well educated through films and in school about them. As we were toured around on a brisk, rainy day, with nobody else in sight, I realized that it was everything I thought it would be; gruesome and appalling. Walking around and seeing where thousands of people suffered, took cold showers, lived in uncomfortable conditions and were gassed was incredibly hard for me to believe, yet Mauthausen seemed to be breathing with these horrible images. I thought about how cold I was walking around the grounds, and then thought about how much worse it must have been for the prisoners in their wooden clogs with no socks and barely any clothing.
On a lighter note, Salzburg (and Austria in general) is incredibly breathtaking. Every day when I walk to school (even when raining or snowing) I can’t help but breath in the fresh mountain air and smile. To get to school, I walk over a foot bridge that has thousands of locks on it decorated with declarations of love from couples. I hear musicians playing in the background, see bikers with cello cases on their backs and happily share my path with the most stylish Europeans. From just about everywhere in the city, you are able to see the grand, jagged mountains and the Hohensalzburg fortress which originally brought stability to the country. Salzburg breaths with people that love their city and tourists that love to visit it. I can actually say that the hills are alive with music, but then again just about everything in Salburg is. Mozart in the form of everything you can think of (candy, whisky, rubber ducks...) lines the streets, cafes on every corner, various bars, restaurants, music stores and galleries; anything you could ever want is here. Although it is a small city, Salzburg has so much to offer and so much to do; I really don’t have any complaints. Certainly, there are times when I miss the laid back Romanian lifestyle, but I tend to find myself very comfortable here. I enjoy the fact that my host family (along with all Austrians it seems) are very environmentally conscious. They recycle everything, take very few showers (though sometimes I miss that 1/2 hour of hot water) and suggest that I open my windows in the morning to use natural light. You can drink the water everywhere in Austria as it conveniently comes straight out of the mountains. No “wine is cheaper than water” nonsense here!
|Locks of Love.|
While in Munich: The Hofbrauhaus, The Neuschwanstein Castle (which inspired Disney to create Cinderella’s castle, the BMW Museum, and the Glypthothek among other explorations.
While in Salzburg: I have skied in the Alps twice: Once on a beautiful day in Dachstein Russbach and another on a blustery day in Eben at Monte Popolo. I also happily snow shoed up a very steep mountain and practically fell down to the bottom. I have visited the small, beautiful city of Hallstatt, attended an American celebration for Obama's inauguration, saw a contemporary dance show, club- hopped, hiked over the mountain, Monchsberg to the Festung Hohensalzburg. I have gone to the infamous Dom Church, attended a highly renowned Mozart concert during Mozart week and wondered into his "Birth" house on his birthday. I attended a great contemporary museum on the top of a mountain and have let myself get lost in this beautiful city only to find my way to a new bakery or bus stop I didn't yet know about. ;) Last week we even took a trip into a salt mine which is what Salzburg received its name from. I have done so much here and can't wait to carve my way deeper into Austrian culture. Tomorrow I will be going to Schladming for the Ski World Cup and this weekend to Prague, Czech Republic with some friends! Went there once before, but can't wait for a more in depth adventure. Until next time, bis dann, auf wiedersehen!
|This is a beautiful skiing mountain in the Alps, Russbach. On of my favorite days thus far.|