Phoebe Katz, May 18 and May 19
Today was a big work day so I woke up at 9 and headed to the University with my group at 10. We wanted to practice and polish our presentations. I was done with my part and feeling pretty confident, but I did not write a script so I appreciated the repetition. The other members of my group were also very well prepared so it was not a very stressful morning. We were able to practice in front of another group and get some pointers. We had lunch in the Mensa again and it was pretty good again. Then we reunited with our groups and had a little bit of prep time before presentations. I took a brief nap and then found a good seat in our classroom, right next to the window. Everyone’s presentations were very good and the four hours went by a little quicker than I expected. I was very proud of my group. Our final group activity was a German dinner in town. We had a special German pizza thing (sour cream instead of normal tomato sauce and the crust was made out of different bread) as an appetizer and then I had schnitzel for dinner. Once we finished eating, we had to say goodbye to Korbinian (the German TA for the class) and all of the German friends we had made which was very sad.
On our second to last day of the trip, we had a free day to do whatever we wanted. Most people needed to get a Covid test today to get back into the US. However, I am staying in Europe for a few weeks, so I got to wake up a little late. My breakfast was fine, although the hotel eggs tasted worse than the first few times I had them. Then I met up with the rest of the group to go to Salzburg. I did basically no planning for the trip so I was grateful that we were able to make it work. The train we were supposed to take was delayed but we figured it out and managed to get to Salzburg around when we intended. Our first mission was to find food and luckily, we found a cute place that had enough space to accommodate all 17 of us. We sat in the back, which had beautiful trees (with giant leaves) and lots of shade, which was fabulous, given the heat. Our waitress had wonderful energy and I had a pretty good burger with mediocre fries.
Then we walked in the direction of the fortress, which brought us past a lot of old buildings and fountains. I walked through one of them, in a pretty successful attempt to cool off. We walked through a gorgeous garden and I lost my phone for a bit. Luckily, my friends had it and I got to take some pictures with a unicorn. Then, I went with a group to Starbucks (I got a brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso and a cup of ice) and we decided that it might be easier to navigate through the day in smaller groups. A few of my friends and I began wandering around on our own. We continued in the direction of the fortress, but took some small detours. I loved the overall vibes of the city, it was less busy than Munich and there were lots of large open spaces mixed in with cute little alleys.
The fortress also provided a beautiful view of the city. I did not particularly enjoy all of the war history in the museum but it was interesting to walk around and explore. From the top, I was able to look around and see lots of other tall stone towers and the like. We met up with the rest of the group in the fortress and we all walked down to the train station together. We got there early enough to grab dinner before boarding. I had a decent sandwich while most people got fast food or smoothies. The smoothies were mostly disgusting, which was funny. Although I think my sandwich had a bug on it for a while. The train ride back was fine. I packed and then went to bed. The day was very bittersweet given that it was our final day together but we were in such a beautiful place.