Our free day today was sadly our final day in Germany, and we decided to go to Salzburg, Austria. I’d like to commend Vipin for planning out the day, as he made sure we all had train and lift tickets.
One of us unfortunately wasn’t able to accompany the group to Salzburg. This morning, Zach received a positive covid test, and he has to stay in Germany for at least another five days. In the end, Zach had a miserable 26-hour journey home after being cooped up in his room for almost a week. Props to Zach for taking the news so well, and for enduring a week of suffering! He was certainly missed in Salzburg today.
Vipin, Anna, and I had already passed Zach on the way to the covid test, so we were all really anxious to get our results. My test administrator saw my name on my sign-in form, and was like “oh, thats my name too!” I was in shock. I’ve met a Benjamin Kraus before, but never someone with my exact name. That definitely helped calm my nerves a bit.
After we luckily received negative tests, Vipin and I walked about 2 miles around the city of Augsburg for one final time, and bought as many Augsburg souvenirs as we could. I bought a snow globe. I also saw a dog just sitting without a leash on the side of the street, watching their owner inside the nearby bakery. I found that dogs in Europe are generally better behaved and don’t need a leash, as they are generally “less stressed and very well socialized,” according to holidaybarn.com. I’m curious as to what makes European dogs so much more well behaved than in the U.S.
The 17 of us later took the train at 11:00 to Munich, which connected to Salzburg. But it wouldn’t be a proper Plus 3 Germany outing without some sort of delay or complication! The train was first delayed at the Augsburg station for an hour, but Vipin and Liam saved the day by finding another track to Munich. As soon as Vipin heard about the train leaving in five minutes, he told us we only had two minutes to get to the next track. Once we got to the Munich station, we were kicked off the train when there were technical issues, but just as we got off, the train was fixed, and we boarded the exact same train.
As soon as we got to Salzburg, we ate lunch outside at a nearby restaurant. It wasn’t until I read the menu that I realized the national language of Austria is German! I know there isn’t an Austrian language, but I hadn’t really thought about it before. At the restaurant, I ordered a burger with fries. It wasn’t anything to write home about. I sat next to Jason at the restaurant, but we unfortunately didn’t continue our trend of feeding each other. It really wouldn’t have worked with burgers anyway.
After lunch, we took a walk to the beautiful palace, which is somehow open to the public! We walked around the palace for a few minutes, but time was not on our side, so we left relatively quickly.
After our palace visit, we all split up to do different things. I went souvenir shopping and bought my final few shot glasses, one of which said “There are no kangaroos in Austria,” and another which was a candle holder but I thought looked pretty cool. This brought my grand total to 13 shot glasses, an average of 1.1 shot glasses bought per day. We also walked past Mozart’s house, which really wasn’t anything special.
We spent the rest of the day at the city fortress, which we took cable car to get up to. I would have enjoyed walking up rather than taking the cable car, but I also had already sweat through about 3 shirts a this point, so taking the cable car was probably the right decision.
The view from every angle of the fortress was absolutely stunning, and the fortress itself was really cool too! There was the occasional cannon or large stone wall, where some people had decided to lay back and read a book.
We spent most of our time at the fortress taking some great photos of the view, and we ended our time at the fortress with a panoramic view at the top, which may have been the most beautiful view on this trip. There was also a small museum before the panoramic view, which displayed the stages of the fortress construction, which started in the year 1077.
By the time we made it back to the train, I had walked a total of 15 miles! On the train ride home, I taught Vipin how to play the card game spit, and he got pretty good at it. We ended the night with one final visit to döner kebab, and I proceeded to immediately went to sleep, as I was exhausted from such an active last day.
I’ll see you in 2 weeks for my reflection. Tschüss für heute!