Right after I announced that I would be moving to Austria for the summer my friend Conner sent me a text asking how much a flight would cost? At that point, I didn’t really know, as everything was still so new. I was still trying to figure out if moving to Austria was real or if I was dreaming!
Needless to say, moving to Austria did happen. And, fortunately, I was blessed to have three amazing friends join me for my first week in Austria. In fact they arrived just around 48 hours after me. I can’t necessarily explain what its like to be in a new, unfamiliar place other than to say it’s uncomfortable. However, when you’re able to share in the newness with people you love, it makes the transition so much easier. This rang true when I moved to California last September and my friend Ian traveled with me down to the Bay Area. And it rang true my first week in Austria, having Conner, Rebecca, and Trisha visiting. We aren’t meant to live life alone, not to say that we can’t, but sharing in life’s experiences with others makes it that much better. Whether it’s with friends, family, or people you’ve just met don’t be afraid to share life with those around you.
On the first day of my friends’ visit, a Sunday, we decided to venture up to Salzburg. Thankfully, my company provided me with a car for my first weekend so that I could get around town and explore. However, I’ve never driven in a foreign country before…let alone on the Autobahn. I guess there’s a first time for everything! Once we figured out which direction to head and could understand what some of the basic road signs were we hit the road.
Three things I immediately noticed on the drive were that the scenery was breathtaking, there are lots of tunnels between Villach and Salzburg, and I have no comprehension of how far a kilometer actually is. With Conner manning the radio and the girls reading up on sights to see once we arrived at our destination, the road trip was going quite smoothly…until we got close to Salzburg.
See we had planned to park outside the city and ride public transportation into the city. The goal was to purchase a Salzburg card, which would allow us to ride public transportation for the day, as well as “free” entry into numerous museums, castles, and other landmarks. However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, everything’s closed on Sundays. We just happened to be in Salzburg on a Sunday! So, we moved to plan B, drive into Salzburg and explore on our own.
As we made our way on back roads into Salzburg I was in awe of how beautiful it all was. However, there is one memory that will be etched in my mind for a long time. We had just come around a corner where our view was somewhat hindered and were now on a straight open road in a valley. Directly in front of us, atop the next hill was a majestic castle. I’d only seen pictures of castles, but this was the real deal! So for the rest of the day we explored Salzburg’s old town and castle; peaking into churches, window-shopping, people watching, and the occasional tour.
Around lunch-time, we started the hunt for a place to take a break and grab a bite to eat. As we walked up and down the narrow streets, we happened upon an open square filled with food vendors, picnic tables, and a large stage at the front. It turns out there was a classical music festival taking place. The four of us walked from vendor to vendor attempting to decipher what kind of food was available, how much it would cost, and how exactly to order. In the end, we landed on a typical Austria/German meal: bratwurst, sauerkraut, potatoes, and beer. Mmmm!
Salzburg definitely had a lot to offer. While we were there for only one day, we made the best of it and I’m so glad Conner, Rebecca, and Trisha were there to share the experience with me.