european adventures: salzburg, austria

We got in very late on our first night and woke up to a rainy day. I quickly forgave the rain because of how green and beautiful Salzburg is. It really balances nature with city, which I always appreciate. Our friend Kushi, who was also on the London program, met up with us and we spent a day and half with her. 

We made the most of our rainy day by taking a ridiculous "traditional Austrian" photo together, looking at pretty churches, ducking into shops (hollowed-out egg ornaments, guys!  Hollowed-out eggs!!!), and eating delicious food. It all worked out fine, and Salzburg was kind to us the next day with absolutely beautiful weather. Not only that, we ran into an awesome drumming group at the marathon that was currently taking over the city.  We loved running into that (whoops, I made a pun).  
The views everywhere were incredible. My favorites were the view from the St. Peter's catacombs overlooking the cemetery and church and the view from the fortress overlooking the alps. We had tea and some Mozart chocolates (they are everywhere--Mozart is the pride and joy of Salzburg) overlooking the snowy alps and it was pretty spectacular, even if our waiter was a little rude. 

Speaking of Mozart, Ted was set on seeing some Mozart in the famous composer's hometown, and he found us a performance that wasn't touristy. We saw Mozart's opera La Clemenza di Tito in Italian, with German subtitles.  Surprisingly, I followed along quite well and really, really enjoyed it. I might actually be starting to like opera! It was so lovely to be back in a beautiful theatre (or I should say, opera house) again, seeing something amazing. We were pleased to get €6 student tickets so spontaneously. Sure, we were underdressed, but I felt right at home, and so happy to bring a little London life to my current life (although this traveling life is temporary). We hope to continue to see even more theatre, music, and art in Portland (although we've done pretty well with musicals...)!

No more friends with places for us to crash... We stayed in a nine-person room at the Meininger hostel and despite the close quarters with complete strangers (some of whom snored really loudly one night and had questionable sleeping attire), I was able to sleep comfortably. The only difficulty was getting in at 1:30am and having to make our top-bunk beds in the dark. The hostel itself was surprisingly nice. The spacious lobby was lovely and the room seemed like any other modern hotel with soft sheets and free shampoo, with just eight more beds than usual. Much nicer than any other hostels I had been in prior. 
Our first rainy day was full of some awesome food. We split three different sweet pretzels outside the Dom Church (where we went to mass the morning after and I understood everything except the homily because Mass is Mass wherever you are in whatever language). They were apple, poppyseed, and cream puff with chocolate drizzle. The cream puff-like pretzel was obviously the winner, but all three were solid. That night we tried to get into an Austrian restaurant we read about, but it was booked for the night, so we tried another one and it ended up being perfect. We had a kind of awkward hallway table because we didn't have a reservation, so we could hear some behind the scenes drama in the kitchen. I tried my firsts Wiener Schnitzel, and it was delicious. The potatoes were killer too. Our other dish (Ted and I almost always split) was the Wild Boar Bratwurst. It was the best sausage we tried, and we tried a lot--I don't think I need sausage for a while now, or I might turn into the guy below.  Funnily enough, when we giddily watched The Sound of Music in the train compartment that we took over on the way to Italy, they showed this same strange statue in Mirabellgarten.  He's a cutie, for sure.  Also, shout-out to the most patient and kind waiter ever at Johann, next to the train station.  He was the only nice waiter we met in Austria, and he was the sweetest.  Also sweet?  The dumplings with cream and berry compote after our cheap dinner of goulash soup.  So into those dumplings, man.

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