Day 12 – Austrian Adventures (May 19th)

Today would be our last day on the Plus3 program and it was also our free day. Almost all of our Plus3 crew decided to go to Salzburg together. However first, in the morning we had to go to COVID testing center because we needed negative COVID tests to go flying the next day. Me and Jason went together and we met up with Liam, Oday, and Zach who had just finished and were waiting for their results. We then went inside, got swabbed and went out and talked until we got our results. Unfortunately, our story does not start out nicely. Everyone in Plus3 tested negative except for Zach, who tested positive. It meant that he couldn’t come with us to Salzburg and he wouldn’t be going home with us on the plane. He would have to sit in his room for 5 more days and test negative to go home. Zach took the news suprisingly well. He handled it very maturely and wished us a good time at Salzburg.

The rest of us headed out at 10:15 for our train. We had to take 2 trains to get there, one to the Munich Hbf and then one to Salzburg. We get to the station only to discover that our train is delayed an entire hour. We all sat on the station while Vipin went to talk with some people to see if we could get there. He rushed back to tell us that we could hop on any train to Munich since ours was delayed more than 20 minutes. He also informed us that the train would be leaving in 2 minutes. We all had to run from one platform to another but we made it on the train and embarked to Salzburg. The rest of the train ride went smoothly. We transferred and arrived in Salzburg just in time for lunch.

We ate at an Austrian restaurant and I got a roast saddle of pork. It was very tasty and a good look into Austrian cuisine. It was also interesting that the restaurant also served burgers. A lot of people ended up getting them and they were pretty good as well. That was definitely not something I expected to be on the menu.

After we ate we went at the Mirabelplatz which had some beautiful gardens. There were fountains, statues, and a lot of flowers all over the place. They even had a little hedge garden that you could walk through. They even had a playground that little kids were playing on. The entire estate was very pretty and I’m extremely glad we were able to see it.

After the gardens we all split up to do different things. A couple of people went to get gelato (me included), some people went to Starbucks, and a couple others went to go souvenir shopping. We eventually up met up and saw Mozart’s place of birth before finally heading to the Hohensalzburg, which was the fort that used to guard the town. We took a cable car up to the top and then a set of stairs into the fort. The view from the top was incredible and we did a lot of photoshoots at each of the outlooks. We also saw a cat that was laying down in a little garden under the tree.

Lastly, we did the panorama tour which was included with our ticket purchase. It was a path that circled the castle and put us at the very top where you could see in all directions.

We then headed back on the train. This time, our train to Munich was fine but to get back to Augsburg we were supposed to have 30 minutes to change trains. But instead, we got 5 minutes so we had to rush again to get on the train. And not only that, we were told that this train also had an issue so we had to transfer to a different train again. And then to top it off we were told that information was incorrect and that our original train was actually the right one. Honestly, I don’t think Dr. Feick was right about the punctuality of the trains here. They were honestly awful. They were always late and constantly had issues. However, although the trains were often not right I found the streetcars in Augsburg to be reliable and I enjoyed riding those way more. Also, they’re definitely better than the bus system back in Pitt.

Quick shoutout to Vipin for organizing our entire trip to Salzburg. He did an amazing job and really took on the responsibility quite well. It would not have gone anywhere near as smoothly without his planning and guidance. Huge props to him for doing that.

At night, we also payed Zach a visit. He seemed to be doing well. We all wished him the best and then went back to out own rooms.

And with that, our last full day is over. I just have the return flight and then a reflection on the trip. I can’t believe it’s over. I guess, I’ll see what happens back in America. See you soon.

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