Day 13: Adventure to Austria

Today was our last full day abroad. So some of us decided to spend the day by experiencing another country. We chose to go to Salzburg, a city in Austria. For us to do this, we needed to wake up very early and get on a train to Munich, then get on another train that took us to Salzburg. Honestly, besides it being early, it was easier than I thought to take the trains. And cheaper too! So after the total 2 and a half hours of being on the trains, we finally arrived to Salzburg. That was about the end of what we had planned for the day, so we didn’t really know which direction to go or where to go. But sometimes that’s the best way to experience a city, right?

The first place we headed to was a beautiful garden where wedding photos were happening. I later found out that this was Mirabell Garden where some scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed. We also wanted to see the mountains where other scenes are from in the movie, but that was too far. On the right of the garden were straight paths flanked by trees. The garden itself was very open with a swirling-like structure of flowers. A fountain was in the center of the garden that put it all together. I could see why wedding pictures would be taken here: it was beautiful.

After the garden, we roamed around a little bit, trying to go to the Hohensalzburg Fortress on the hill. It would give us a really good view of the city and the surrounding areas. It was also a famous tourist spot in the city. However, we had slight difficulty in getting to it. So after wandering around for a bit, we took a break to regain our focus. After talking it over, we finally found our way to the cable car that would bring us up. Once we got to the top of the fortress, the view was amazing and the weather was perfect. There was a beer garden at the top and I wanted to sit and relax for a little to enjoy the views but we decided to explore the area first instead.

We climbed up some stairs and went into the fortress. Inside were cannons that pointed out of windows, a courtyard where some other tourists were wondering around, and a museum upstairs. And one other thing. Probably the most random thing to find on this trip. A museum of puppets was located inside of the fortress. Why? I have no idea. It was free to go inside the museum so we went in and checked it out. But we quickly left. I was not a fan of looking at creepy puppets.

Going back outside, we went to the beer garden to relax. This was one of my favorite moments of my entire Plus3 trip. The beer garden has amazing views of mountains and the city of Salzburg. The weather was beautiful, and the food was good. We stayed here for almost an hour, just relaxing and enjoying it. It felt really good to unwind and not feel pressured to go somewhere or have any assignments due.

We went back down to the city and explored some more. Some people went shopping while others walked around. I went with the walk around group and we had a nice time taking in the culture and sights of Salzburg. One interesting place that we visited was the Sound of Music museum. I am not personally very familiar with the movie so I didn’t really understand the things inside. But it was still cool to see and experience. After that, we walked around a little more and got gelato. Finally, we sat at the garden again to relax and wait for the other group for dinner. Once we met up, we went to an Italian restaurant. Now this was a very interesting experience. Somehow we managed to get a table outside even though we had a large group because people dressed in suits gave their tables to us. Then we see other people dressed in very fancy suits and dresses walk into and out of the restaurant. We seemed very out of place because we were basically wearing gym clothes at this point in the trip. The waiter only gave us three options of what to get. They were all pasta, the only difference was the sauce and topping. Luckily, I like the options and we all enjoyed the meal. And it was decently cheap too! I was expecting it to be more expensive because of how many people were in the restaurant with suits. After we ate, the waiter brought us inside to pay. We were amazed to find out how small it was inside. How did so many people fit in here?! No idea. It also was not fancy at all on the inside, it was basically a deli! Why was everyone in suits? No idea. One more odd thing: we went into the kitchen to pay. Why? No idea. That’s just where they decided to collect the checks, I guess.

I love all these quirky experiences and really enjoyed today. We didn’t really have a plan but it all worked out and it was a much needed relaxing day. Most of us slept on the trains on the way back. I love that I was able to spend the free day doing this, it was one of my favorite experiences of the entire plus3 trip.

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