Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mexikanische Nahrung

Today was our last day of classes and my last actual classes as an undergrad! I have a German final tomorrow and then my WWII history final on Thursday. Its so sad that everything is ending, but I think that I’m ready to come home! There is so much that I am going to miss about Innsbruck and Europe in general!

I was trying to talk Don into bringing Dooley to the airport when they come to pick me up thinking that it would just be perfectly okay to bring a dog into the airport because people take their dogs EVERYWHERE here. Literally everywhere… inside restaurants, shopping (like in the store). But they are all so well behaved I really don’t think much of it! As if I don’t already want to take Doo everywhere!

Everyone has been compiling their lists of what they are going to do when they get home so here is mine!

  • Eat REAL American Mexican food!
  • Cuddle with Doo
  • Take a long bath
  • Get a pedicure and get my eyebrows waxed (out of control!!)
  • Steak Saturdays
  • Watch/Go to a Braves game
  • Watch ESPN, HGTV, and TLC for HOURS
  • Post pictures

Schloss Ambrass

Yesterday I went with the Modern Military History class, which is taught by my WWII history professor, up to the castle. We got to see the armoury and the Spanish hall which was beautiful! Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go in the residence, but it was really cool from the outside! There were peacocks just walking around the gardens!

The coolest thing I think I learned about was Ambras syndrome. The Hapsburgs like to collect unique, curious things and in their collection there were three portraits of Pedro Gonzalez and his two daughters who suffered from it. It is a genetic mutation that makes a persons whole body be covered with hair. Its crazy! Wikipedia will tell you more, but for some reason I just thought that it was really interesting!


Monday, August 10, 2009

drei! zwei! ein!

Finally—a relaxing weekend! At the last minute I decided that I would go to Interlaken, Switzerland this weekend. Best decision of my life! It was absolutely gorgeous and not too far away! I had my first experience staying at a hostel, but luckily Funny Farm is one of the most famous hostels in the world. There was an amazing pool with a RIDICULOUS ramp/slide. I didn't try it but some people were really good at it! We got there Thursday night and just walked around the town a bit. It was much smaller than I envisioned but it was incredibly picturesque. It was similar to Innsbruck in many ways, but I felt like we were more out in the country. Everything smelled so clean and fresh, and there were flowers everywhere!the hostel. we had a delicious breakfast on the porch!

Since I decided to go last minute I didn’t book my room with the girls I have been traveling with, so I just booked the all female dorm room which had 6 beds in it. The first night my only room companion was a really sweet Japanese girl named Kanako. Before I knew her name, we were talking about how I was friends with a girl from Japan in high school and that her name was Kanako. Without missing a beat Roomie Kanako goes...(and you have to read this with an Asian accent) ‘How you know my name?’ It was so funny! We talked for a while, and it was awesome getting to meet her!
the female dorm.. we even had a balcony!

Friday we spent by laying by the pool literally all day. It was perfect! Very restful, and I got a little sun! For lunch that day we went to this really cool local restaurant called Utopia that had amazing, healthy, fresh wraps and delicious fruit smoothies. What made my avocado, brie, and sundried tomato wrap even better was that the huge flat screen TV was on ESPN America and there was a baseball game on. It wasn't the Braves but beggars can't be choosers!
the pool.. check out that ramp!

Saturday was my friend Abby’s 21st birthday so we decided to start the day right by going canyoning. For those of y’all that don’t know. Canyoning is when you go temporarily insane and think that you WANT to repel down 200 ft cliffs, jump off of waterfalls, do zip lines where you have to let go at just the right moment so that you don’t fall on the rocks, and slide down rock faces into the glacier water below which may or may not be more than 5 feet deep. It was terrifying but one of the coolest things I have ever done!water slide.

Afterward, after a hot shower, I took a nap. After that nap we got dressed up and went to Hooters for Abby’s birthday. It was my first time at Hooters, and I have to say I was less than impressed. My ‘hot’ wings were not that spicy and not that good. Boys… your cover is blown! After Hooters we went to our friends hotel and hung out at the bar there. They had made friends with the bartender who has won tons of awards for her creative cocktails and since Abby is a cocktail girl it was perfect! Our friend Jack, who has been to bartending school, even created his own drink that was so good it is going to be the drink of the month in October! It was a really fun night!!
Sunday we slept in and then headed back to the pool! We finally had to leave to come back to school; however, I was very tempted to drop out and just stay there for the next week.

mittelalterliche Fest und Ausflug nach Salzburg

Last Tuesday one of our friend’s classes was going to a medieval feast in Hall, so, thinking it was going to be like Medieval Times, a group of us tagged along. It was not like Medieval Times but it was lots of fun in other ways! The food was amazing and I was full for like 2 days afterward. About half way through the meal the guy came in and picked Jack to be knighted. In order to be knighted he had to perform tasks such as chug a beer (success) and let out a terrifying war cry (moderately successful). He then had to pick a maiden and recite poetry to her. It was hilarious! Not going to lie… I think we all expected more from William Faulkner’s great-grandson. Just kidding! My friend, Zack, was also chosen to be a servant.
The next day Berri, Abby, and I decided to take a day trip to Salzburg. When I came to Europe in 10th grade Salzburg is was made me fall in love with Austria and why I wanted to do my study abroad here. I was so excited about going back! It was just as beautiful as I remembered, maybe more. We saw the Mirabelle gardens, Mozart’s residence and birthplace, hiked up to the fortress, and did a bit of shopping. We had a nice little dinner in a shaded courtyard and then it was time to go home! It was perfect afternoon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

J'Adore Paris

Paris was AMAZING! Once again we had train difficulties, but this time it was definitely all my fault. I misread our ticket and instead of our train leaving at 6:20pm like I thought it was going to it left at 6:02. Yay dyslexia! UGH! It was awful.. And we realized this at like 6:05. I felt absolutely awful!! But thanks to some quick investigative work we realized that there was still a way for us to get there by like 8 the next morning. After sprinting to the next train that was leaving we began our journey to Paris which took us through Stutgartt (sp?), Plochigen (sp?), and Metz. Luckily we were able to get a couchette from Plochigen to Metz so we were able to get a little bit of sleep.We made it to Paris at 7:48 that morning and after checking into the hotel and showering we were still able to make it to the bike tour on time! The bike tour was fun though we didn't see quite as much as I thought we were going to. It was really cool though because our tour guide was a 20 year old guy from Atlanta who was just living in Paris for the summer. How cool!

After the bike tour we went to the Louvre. We spent a good 5 hours there and still only saw 2 floors. It was HUGE!! It was so incredibly cool seeing all of the paintings I learned about in Art History!
As we were leaving the Louvre guess who I ran into! Chelsie!!!!! She and Austen were in Paris for the weekend also and apparently she had been trying to get in touch with me on the internet but I didn't have internet, only a phone, but she didn't have a phone. Apparently God really wanted us to get to see each other while we were in Europe! Paris is a GIGANTIC city and the Louvre is a HUGE museum.. What are the chances!?
After the Louvre, we got some coffee and sandwiches and we went and sat with our aching feet in the fountain beside the big glass pyramids. It was a truly amazing experience! After our relaxing dinner we went to the Arc de Triomphe. However to get there we first had to J-walk across the Champs Elysse. Another cool experience. Once there we couldn't resist climbing it and we got to see a beautiful sunset from atop the Arc de Triomphe! Next we headed to the Eiffel Tower where we got to watch the the twinkling light show and we of course had to climb it too!
I definitely need to go back to Paris with the boy. It is a very coupley city and I found myself being a bit bitter and missing the boy!

The next day we headed to Versailles. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!!! and GIGANTIC! We spent about 5 hours there also and we explored the Palace and the grounds. We ate lunch there and then took a nap by the big pond. It was perfect! After Versailles we headed back to Paris and went to Mass at Notre Dame. It was all in French but even though I couldn't understand a word of it, I definitely got the gist of it. It was a truly awesome experience. After mass we looked around the inside a bit and then decided that we needed to climb to the top of it as well. Another breathtaking view! After Notre Dame we ate dinner at Hard Rock and then ventured off to find he Moulin Rouge. It was actually really close to our hotel, so we went a took some pictures and then called it a night.
That next morning it was time to head back to Innsbruck. We got on the train at 10:30am and didn't get back to Innsbruck until 9:30pm. Needless to say we are sick of trains and need some sleep.

I think I'll sleep now!