Ohh, Salzburg… wow I could spend an hour with this update… but I’m going to try to go it in 15 minutes because I have a TON of work to do this week…. the goal is to get ALL of my prints done today… ALL being probably 50 or 60… HAH. Yeah right… we’ll see.

So it was SO AWESOME because I was put in a train car with these 4 other Christian girls my age.. from Moody Bible College in IL. One of them had even done a service project at Camp Manitoqua when she was in H.S. She was from Orland Park, which is about half an hour from Frankfort. Anyways, so I was totally at ease trusting them with, you know, my identity and financial everything in my bag with me. The seats reclined and the five of us got as comfotable as possible scrunched together and slept for a decent portion of the train ride. They were going to Vienna, so I left at 5 AM and was sad that I’ll never see them again.

I freshened up in the WC (water closet… aka bathroom) and hopped on the bus to my hostel. Didn’t have many problems, really, at all… I’m glad I’m somewhat familiar with the German language… seriously, I was surprised at how well I could understand German text. Listening to German people talk isn’t quite as clear though. But anyways, I know enough German to order food, say I speak English, ask what things mean in English, and all the basic things like that. It was really fun. 🙂 But anyways, Salzburg gets a TON of tourists, so most people speak at least some English there anyways.

I went on the Sound of Music tour first, and I was glad about that, because it got me somewhat familiarized with the city. We saw the gazebo, the lake in the backyard of the terrace, the church Maria was married in, and we stopped to look at the mountain where the hills are alive. Etc. The only bad things were that some things we couldn’t REALLY see, like the abbey (because it’s a real abbey), and that it was raining, and that kind of thing. And Rob, I couldn’t say hello to Rolf for you because he wasn’t there. In fact, Rolf’s character is entirely fictional.

Then I bought my Salzburg card, which for 29 euros I could get into basically all of the tourist places for free, and public transportation too, so that was convenient. I first went to lunch, though, at this place that had EXCELLENT bratwurst. They were wapped in bacon and cheese, served with fries and dijon mustard. And a beer. Also very good.

Anyways, I went to Mozart’s birthplace, Mozart’s home, the Mirabell Palace Gardens, the music University, the Festival Hall (but I was too late for the tour unfortunately) which is similar to the place where the von Trapp Family Singers performed. I forget what else… but I went back to the hostel to change and then went to the Marionette Magic Flute opera which was SOO ADORABLE. It was funny. The marionette people perform to a top-quality recording of the opera… the music was amazing even for a recording (I thought for a while that it was really being sung backstage or something) and I loved hearing the aria that I attempted sophomore year in H.S…. got a Mars bar (like a Milky Way) and my first Spritz at intermission.

Afterwards, Salzburg at night was gorgerous. Seriously, this is one of the coolest cities I’ve been to. The colors and architecture are so elegant, and clean, and it’s all just such a majestic atmosphere…. the castle on the hill… even the manakins in the store windows are different than in the US… much more sophisticated and confident. Oh Austria.

Went back to the hostel where I met my roommates. 4 of them were from Australia. I had a HUGE blister on my heel because of all the walking I’ve been doing and the fact that this boot thing is VERY broken in and the padding on the heel is no longer there. I asked people if they knew of anything I could do about that, and a girl from Tazmania in Australia said that there were some padding things I could get at a pharmacy to put around the blister like an extra layer of skin. So I decided to get those tomorrow.

but tomorrow was Sunday. And all of the Apothekes were closed, that I could see. So I hurt again that day. But let me tell you what happened Sunday. First, I set out at about 7:00 to find the Nonnenberg Abbey which was the abbey where Maria was a nun. It’s next to the castle on the hill. I didn’t quite know the best roads to take to get there, but apparently I made some wrong decisions and took a very long way. But a man saw me looking at the map, and he pointed to the shortcut to the castle. I just thought it was a running path. So I hiked up this huge hill all the way to the castle, which can’t have been super for my foot, but it’s really no different than walking, and I definitely did that all weekend anyways. But by the time I got to the castle, it was already 9:00, so I didn’t go tour it, nor did I ever find the abbey. But I needed to head to St. Peter’s for mass anyways by that time. On the way down, I saw a priest preparing for a service, getting spiritually enlightened or whatever. Also on the way, my nose started bleeding from the altitude and dry air. It’s much different from humid sea level in Venice. Remember when that happened to us both in Yellowstone, Sarah? Anyways, I was glad I had a bandana on my backpack because I definitely didn’t have Kleenexes.

Then I arrived at St. Peter’s only to hear the nuns singing from the abbey which was INCREDIBLE cuz I really felt like I was in the Sound of Music!!! Also before masses, bells ring from towers all over for LONG periods of time, and it’s so beautiful. We should really ring our church bell more. I say like 10 minutes or something. Then at 10:30 I went to mass where the choir sang a Mozart mass which was great.

After church I bought some street art because I didn’t know what to get as a souvenir. Then I went to a WC and changed real quick because next I took the cable car up to the Untersberg mountain for the view. I only did a little walk up to the lookout because I didn’t want to.. you know… die or something. But I actually was in the same cable car as one of my roommates from the hostel (small world), so she took a couple pics of me!

Then I headed back down and took a couple bus transfers [during one of which I got a second bloody nose (fun), but an older lady saw it and gave me an entire pack of travel kleenexes… so nice! I got out my German dictionary and learned the word for altitude so I could explain why my nose was bleeding] to get to the brewery (also free with the Salzburg card)…. but, thanks to public transportation’s disregard for their time schedule, I was 11 minutes late for the last tour. I was very very disappointed about that. But I still got to see the grounds, smell the smells, and buy a couple varieties at the shop. One was this lemonade mixed with beer…the story was that these bikers came to a restaurant wanting drinks, but the restaurant was almost out of beer… so he prepared them a “special brew” just for them, where he mixed the two half and half. Plus he didn’t want them biking after drinking, and this cut the alcohol content in half. But it was an interesting story, and I rarely buy beers without philosophy statements on them (some people call that wierd). Then, since Mozart drank Stiegl beer 250 years ago, they commemmorated the country’s celebration with another specialty brew which I decided to bring back to the group in Venice. It was a very arts one anyways… I was trying to read the bottle in German… something about music is art, beer is art, therefore we make a musical beer. And all the bottles had different illustrations on the labels. Sehr gut.

SOOOO… I went back to the hostel WHEREUPON I find two packages of Dr. Scholl’s blister padding on my bed. THAT GIRL WAS SO SWEET!!! And she had left already, and I had no contact information to thank her. But they work like a charm and I’ve had no blister problems since then.

Then I realized how hungry I was… so I left for dinner. I was going to go back to the Old Town Salzburg for one last night with the ambience, but looking at the bus schedule, I had just missed one and didn’t want to wait 20 minutes. So I went to this Mexican cantina that I had seen earlier around the corner. I hadn’t had Mexican since I’ve been in Europe, so I was PUMPED. And it was SOOO GOOD! I had carnia (beef) fajitas that you put together yourself like at Don Pablos and a pineapple margarita… and a cigar. It was a wonderful closure to the Salzburg experience, and really, the only thing that could have made it better would be family or a best friend. But I’m SO glad I got the chance to go. That city is so majestic and absolutely beautiful. And the city was so clean and I always felt so safe.

Then I caught a 7:00 train back to Venice in the morning.

I don’t know if that description does the trip justice, but there you have it.

P.S. I more or less just finished my print book, and to give you a head’s up, it’s basically one of my proudest moments as an art student because I love it! There is a grammar error, however, in the colophon, but Paul just says it’s my “Amish mistake” because if I make something perfect, it’s like I was trying to be God or something. I guess the Amish always leave one mistake in their carpentry. Tom, you’ll probably catch the mistake, but I’m not telling anyone what it is. No one will probably notice. But I can’t wait for you guys to see my prints. They call me the marathon printer because I did 36 prints yesterday. (I made 5 copies of the book.) Everyone thought I couldn’t get done with my ambitious project, but I did. AND I went to Salzburg and therefore skipped a weekend and a class.

It is about my texture collection, and why I feel like the deterioration is so beautiful, even though it is deteriorating. Over the trip, I’ve been reading Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldrege (recommended by Rachel), and there was a quote in it that put it so well exactly how I feel about the surface textures here in Venice. It goes something like, “Beauty does not diminish with age; Beauty deepens and increases. True beauty comes from a depth of soul and can only be obtained by living many years well.”

It’s beautiful. Appropriately. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Last night we had a very nice dinner at Claire’s apartment with a bunch of people… I’ll just name them off so I don’t forget names later… they won’t mean anything to you. Me, Maria, Emily, Vishnu, Paul, his wife Linda and son Jordan, Kingsley, Carla, Cooper, Danielle, and Claire. Claire has a little terrace that looks out on to the rooftops of all the nearby buildings, and when it got dark, we saw a llit up cruise ship go by in the canal. Kind of like the ship in Peter Pan that flew by out the window. It was a beautiful night altogether, although still quite humid. Apparently they’re already having August weather here. But we had Pasta and cheese and Paul’s rice salad, bread, and bruschetta with the freshest, sweetest cherry tomatoes I’ve ever had, wine, and I contributed a pack of commemorative Stiegl Mozart beer from the brewery in Salzburg for people to sample. It was basically one of the best lagers I’ve ever had. But I guess I’m heading to Munich soon… and the Netherlands… so we’ll see. I also contributed a gelato cake for dessert, but I didn’t know what flavor it was when I bought it. It just looked pretty. But apparently the concensus was that it was marangue (sp?), but I still think it tasted like some kind of coffee.

One more day in Venice. Wow. How sad. I still haven’t made it to the Accademia Gallery or Burano. I hope I can fit those in tomorrow… otherwise I might have to go to Rome late or stop by Venice again sometime in the next 2 and a half weeks.

Well I need to pack up some things to take home to work on, so … TTFN.


Hannah Downey

UX Design Consultant at Salesforce focused on content & sustainability. I love information design, the art+science of text, guac, sweet potatoes, & amazing people.

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