Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Austria traveling....

We met at the Institute early in the morning (Wednesday) and drove to Mauthausen, which once was a concentration camp. It was really foggy that morning while we were walking around, which I definitely think helped to set the mood. We walked around and saw some rooms with beds where the prisoners slept, we saw a gas chamber and a creamatory as well. We also saw a cliff where they would make the prisoners "sky dive" off or even push off their friends. We this really long set of stairs that they would force the prisoners to walk up carrying large rocks and if one fell everyone behind them would get knocked back to the bottom as well. It is so unfathomable for me to imagine anyone ever conflicting these types of pain on someone, on any one, no matter what sex or race or religion they may be. We next went to St. Florian Monastery and got to see some Catacombs. We sung a couple of hyms there because the acoustics were good. We finished our day driving to Hallstatt and having free time for the rest of the evening. The city is right on the edge of a lake and is surrounded by the mountains. It is one of my favorite cities in the world (that I've seen so far.)
They had memorials like this in so many different languages.
Jumping off the fountain at St. Florian. (Jen McCall, Claire Sorensen, McKinlee Covey, and I)
Happy to be at our hotel in Hallstatt. (Jen, Claire and I -- roommates for the trip)
Isn't it a gorgeous city?

The next morning (Thursday) we rode a tram up the mountain and went on a tour of a Salt Mine inside the mountain. We got to ride some slides that the miners used to transport themselves around and one of them was long and fun and we went really fast. Afterwards we went on a hike up to a waterfall, which was gorgeous. The only problem is I didn't bring good hiking shoes to Austria with me, and it was raining so my shoes and socks were totally soaked by the time the hike was over.

Loving our cute suits for the saltmines. (Jen, me, Claire and McKinlee)

Gorgeous view from a bridge above the city.

We made it to the waterfall! (Mirielle, Kasia, Cassandra, Sydney, Melissa, Claire, Camille, Allison, Rachel, Jen, Ali and I)

My hiking buddies. (Claire, Jen and I)

We spent the night in Salzburg. We went on a tour that morning (Friday), with the sweetest guide ever. We saw the Mirabel gardens, (that had parts of The Sound of Music filmed there) and also Mozart's birthhouse. After the tour we went to this great outlook where you could see almost the whole city, with the river and the castle on the hill, it was beautiful. We went on a short bus ride to schloss Hellbrunn and went on a tour there. The original archduke who had it built for him was quite a jokster so he had a bunch of random places throughout his gardens were water would come out and squirt people, except of course in the places where he would sit or be standing.

Beautiful view of Salzburg.

Walking on the fountain, like in Sound of Music. (Jillian, me, Claire, Jen, McKinlee and Melissa)

After we got wet from the trick fountains. (Nick Brewer and I - he got soaked on purpose)

A replica of the gazebo in Sound of Music. (me, Jen and Claire)

We rode two different gondolas up the mountain (Saturday). There was a few inches of snow at the top of the mountain and my feet were freezing. Luckily our hike was downhill from there so it got warmer and as long as we were keeping a steady pace my feet and hands weren't cold. It was gorgeous view from the top of the mountain, to see the green villages down below but to see the snow covered pine trees where we were. We went to a soccer game that afternoon, with a local Dorfgastein team, versus who knows. The boys were all probably in their 20s.

Riding up the gondola to the top of the mountain for our hike. (Claire, me and McKinlee)

Really cold and muddy on our hike. (McKinlee, Claire and I)

We loved the scenery. (Camille and I -- just for you Mom and Dad)

Beautiful view of Dorfgastein.

We went to a Catholic Mass, (Sunday) it was a special mass because it was their Thanksgiving Day. I didn't really understand any of it, but I could tell when they had a money donation and the sacrament. Because it was Thanksgiving a lot of people were dressed up in traditional clothing and they had a parade after the service was finished.

Posing with some of the men that were in the parade. (Jen, Claire, me, Sydney, Ali, Kristin, Tawny and McKinlee)

We had to wake up way too early (Monday) to hike up the mountain to a little cabin where we ater our breakfast. It was really steep and the altitude does all but kill me. But once we got to the cabin the breakfast was delicious, we had bread and delicious strawberry jam, and cake with powedered sugar on it, and hot chocolate, and scrambled eggs with ham. It was probably the best breakfast I've had so far. On the way down we fed some apples to some ponies and I pet a cat, which really made me miss Pipin. We had a 5 hour train ride back to Vienna, but somehow it didn't seem that long. The Greindl's have moved into their new home so hopefully McKinlee and I will be able to unpack everything again and finally in the next couple of days.

It was very foggy early in the morning, and still a little foggy when we got to the cabin. (Claire and I)

Petting the cute cuddly cat. (Nick Brewer)

1 comment:

Mom said...

thanks for the blog, I love pictures and information and your thoughts. Pipin misses you too.