During my taxi ride from the airport I was gazing with astonishment at Salzburg as the driver navigated the narrow streets. The city itself is filled with local flair mixed in with a generally touristy landscape. Since I chose to arrive in Salzburg a few days before the beginning of the program, I was able to familiarize myself with the the main sights as well as some of the less traveled areas. Here are a few things that I am excited for, once I start the program and get to know Salzburg even better:
Food, Food, Food! I want to try what all the local eateries are serving. The most recent German food I have had was served at my dining hall at college. Needless to say, it was the Würst (see what I did there?) Anyway, the food is something that will hopefully keep me on my toes every day.
Since I am a resident of the Pacific Northwest, hiking is in my blood. Being located near the Alps, I hope to find tons of hiking in the nearby Alpine villages. I can even practice my yodeling amongst some great Alpine peaks.
At this point in my German study, I know enough to get around but I am not at the conversational level. I am able to read and understand the language fairly well but I want to be able to converse and understand what native Austrians are saying. Living in Salzburg will allow me plenty of opportunities to practice.
Unfortunately, I will not be running through the hills singing the main theme to “The Sound of Music” clad in Lederhosen. What I do plan on doing is running in completely different areas than what I am used to. This includes many mountain paths and different areas out of the city. Hopefully I can still get the Lederhosen, and who knows, I may be singing.
There is so much to Salzburg on the surface but one of my goals is to immerse myself into the rich history of the town and the surrounding areas. Salzburg, being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is filled with different stories and paths through history around every turn (Geschichte ist gleich um die Ecke!).
Having only snowboarded/skied once in my life, the winter sports are not a big reason in particular for me to venture to Salzburg. But while I am here, I plan on trying the sport again, but this time in arguably the best skiing location in the world.
For now, I don’t have any trips set in stone. I know at some time though, I need to venture off to Granda, Florence, and hopefully Sweden. I have close friends located in both Granda and Florence while Sweden would just be for my love of the food and IKEA. As for more locations, possibly Slovenia, Switzerland, and more areas in Austria.
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Part of my study abroad journey will hopefully lead me to entirely new adventures which I had never even dreamt of. Sometimes the best plan is to not have a plan. I expect to have some of my best stories from spontaneous adventures.