Saturday, January 31, 2009

Far too late...

Hey, so...I bet no one's gonna read this one but my Mom said I should finish it for history's sake so here I am. Plus she can't print it if it's not complete.

I've been home for over a month now and it's definitely interesting. I'm not terribly Salzburg sick, although I do miss a bunch of people and food and sites. Coming home and jumping back into things makes it feel as though I've never left. Sometimes I see things I got over there and brought home and that opens up a ton of memories.

I've made a scrapbook with all my tickets for those of you who know I collect tickets. It's like a little Salzy yearbook. My parents and brother came on the 17th after a stressful evening of delayed flights and non-working cell phones. I met them at the train station, we got dinner and I dragged Dave out for beers and Kultfest.

It was great having my family there, but it was weird to explore Salzburg all over again with them. The weather was pure Scheiss the whole time. Not once did the three of them get to see an Alp, as it was dark when they arrived Wednesday and raining straight through until Monday when we left. Despite the dismal weather, I tried to give them the most accurate Salzburg experience. I think we hit it all except for a late night sausage. We walked around the Christkindlmarkt a few times, took a trip out to the charming markt at Hellbrunn, visited numerous coffee shops, including Mozart's favorite, took in the dinner concert again, took the Festungsbahn up to the Fortress and clearly...visited the Augustiner Brau DAILY. That's right folks! My dad, the previous non-beer drinker, swiftly came to love Augustiner's Marzen and the atmosphere that we found ourselves walking there quite a bit.

The weirdest part about Wednesday night was not getting to see everyone before they left. I wanted to, but because of my family's travel mishaps, I missed both the dinner and the bar crawl. Then the Boston bound people left at 2 AM. It was as if people were actually disappearing into the night. Ja left early that morning when I was in a sleepy haze and suddenly my room was empty. Throughout the weekend, others tapered off. The saddest scene though was helping Catherine, Jess and Piotr move everything out of Saint Sabby's on a rainy Sunday morning. The four of us awkwardly hugged underneath our umbrellas and as they walked away from me and I joined my family in a nearby cafe, I knew that all the life that was breathed into Salzburg was suddenly sucked out. Saint Sabby was a ghost town.

It started with Geoff leaving on Wednesday. My phone hung silent on the wall, a stalwart way of saying, "If I'm not ringing with one of Geoff's prank phone calls, then I'm not ringing at all!" The excellent Fussmassages were over, the wacky 20 minute parties in Zimmer 307 were no more. After Ja had left, I suddenly felt like I was renting a hotel room. All I was missing was my two-in-one shampoo and conditioner and my individually wrapped Q-tip and I would have been living a single serving life. My side of the room carried on with it's usual disorganization but it felt insincere and bizarre. Jess slowly moved into IK, but it was a strange transition because she was still in Salzburg...but now a lot further away. Now there was definitely no hope of Zimmer parties. Jeff disappeared Friday night. Eric and I saw him off in the rain as he left for his train to Munich. I held back tears as I hugged goodbye my first and very important study abroad friend. Eric left the next morning. I'm still hard pressed to find someone as awesomely cynical and hilarious as he is. "Frage" will never be the same question. Catherine was the final straw. As I walked down the hallway for the last time, I thought of all the numerous times I had clunked down the inexplicably colder than the rest of the building hallway in a pair of heels and a bottle of Wodka under my arm. I thought of all the times I approached eager to watch Gossip Girl and force Catherine to come with me somewhere because I was too insecure to go alone. In my walk two flights down, I reflected on all the Omelettezeits we had, pouring over all the debaucherous details of the night before, and pooling our food resources to make the most delicious breakfast. Nothing better to bolster the spirit than a hearty meal. That and a long shower.

When my time came on Monday afternoon, I'm sorry to say I couldn't leave Saint Sabby with a definitive click of the door and a wiping of my hands. My thoughts instead rested on how many times before people have had to literally close a door on a huge part of their life and walk blindly into another. I was no different than anyone else in that situation, but I was sure those people got through, and I have too. I tore off the band-aid quickly and never looked back. Okay, well, maybe wave to Murat.

We decided to skip out on our last night in Salzburg. A combination of the weather and my antsy-ness and frustration of being the last AIFSer in town as well as our early flights Tuesday morning prompted us to go to Munich the night before. We dined at this delicious Augustiner Brau (What! Mere hours out of Salzburg and I'm already cheating on the original!) and made our way to the Hofbrau Haus. I was pissed at myself for not going while I was in Munich the first time, and finally on my last night I was able to make it up. I also got some Kaiserschmarrn and knew that Geoff would be smiling in Cleveland and not be sure why he was.

The last day was wildly eaten up with travel, transfers, waiting, small food portions, more waiting, sleeping at the airport, exchanging money in JFK and getting back more than I should, promptly ordering Starbucks with the extra money that I had gotten, turning on my cell phone for the first time in three and a half months, waiting for a phone call from my family saying they had arrived in Newark, finishing Into The Wild, waiting again, and finally climbing into the car for the ride home...'s the part that's caused me to wait to write this entry. Cliche time! So, to all of you considering a travel experience:
Should you go? Yes.
What should your philosophy be? Mine was to not turn anything down as long as I wasn't too tired. Can't translate what you're thinking about ordering on the menu? Order it.
Should you travel alone or with someone? Definitely with someone. Obvious safety reasons aside, not everyone is going to want to hear your stories when you get home; it's nothing personal, it's just impossible to relate to. Find a partner in crime. Find two. Just find someone and you'll be forever happy you have someone to share everything with.
Will you learn something about yourself? Yes, and whatever it is, you won't be expecting it going into it. Also, it might not be pretty. Sometimes you need that kick in the butt though, and hopefully it causes a strong enough impact to rouse you to action. Also, I learned I have a pretty kick-ass sense of direction.
Where should you go? Anywhere. Just go. Do. Keep your eyes and ears open at all time. Try things that scare you. Interact with people you wouldn't normally. Don't think too much. Eat things that look weird (unless their head is still attached). Try to learn the language. Get gifts for loved ones. Be a good ambassador. Wear sunscreen. Take thousands of pictures that royally screw your hard drive. Talk less and listen more. Talk less and listen more. Talk less and listen more. There are hundreds upon millions of people in the world just dying to tell their story. Make their day and listen to it. You just might learn something.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Slow Sunday Morning

Greetings all!
So the title says it all. I'm sitting in my room, sorting some 3 loads of dirty laundry for the wash, listening to some jazz, answering emails, and basically bumming around. Who misses me?? Show of hands?? Well, I miss all of you too. As Salzburg decorates for Christmas, I'm filled with predictably wistful, yet nonetheless emotionally comforting feelings. Tomorrow is December 1st, which means I need to begin my third annual Elf-Quote-A-Day campaign in preparation for Christmas. First though, I wanted to share with you some of the festivities of my surroundings to get you in the holiday spirit. Now, try not to be too jealous, because it's a lot less tacky here than it is at home.

These first three pictures are from the Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, while the last one shows a bit of the snow we've had here.
These three are from the Thanksgiving dinner AIFS organized for us on Thursday. We enjoyed parts from Mozart operas in between our courses. For some reason, whoever I handed my camera to that night cut me out of every picture a little bit. Conspiracy? Probably.
These two are from Innsbruck's and Hall in Tirol's Christkindlmarkts. Hall in Tirol actually displays their advent numbers on the building! How quaint.

Innsbruck is quite the cute little town situated between some gigantic mountains. I got some great Christmas presents there, and stole a mug from the Glühwein stand. Oops :) souvenir. If you haven't had Glühwein, you haven't had a Christmas drink. I think I'm going to bring a bunch of the packet mix back home. 

I definitely want to get further out west in Austria before I leave, and the weekend of the 12th might be the best time to do it. We have a 4 day weekend coming up from the 5th-8th, and I am trying to go to Mallorca. Woah. Todes random. It's not too too expensive to fly, and as long as I can find someone to come with me, I am so booking that flight ASAP.

So, preemptively, I am starting a list of things I will miss about here and things I miss about home (this is the Christmas wistfulness coming out):

Things I'll miss about Salzburg:
-Obviously, all the close friends I've made here and all the amazing times we've shared. We're spread too far out across the States and Europe as well, but it gives me a good excuse to travel to California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Poland or anywhere else in between. As Cowboy Mouth cheesily points out: "People may come and go but the truly great moments survive." If Salz had a yearbook, that would be my quote.
-The nightlife. Sorry Georgetown, Worcester (kind of sorry) and even Boston. Salzburg on a bad night still typically holds more promise.
-Traveling and the ease of it. Public transport in the states has a lot to aspire to and I could practically run to Germany from here.
-Walking around a historic city and pinching myself from time to time when I find myself taking it for granted.
-School being really easy. Sorry, it's just not the main point of studying abroad.
-Seeing a gigantic mountain from my window...or any window for that matter.

Things I miss from home:
-Also obviously, my family, friends and everything they entail. The hardest has been wanting to share moments with people from home and not being able to.
-Being able to exercise in the basement...exercising in general.
-The top sheet on beds.
-Being able to understand everything that I read.

Okay, time to get down to showering business, finishing some postcards and maybe starting my second of two (yup, two) essays for the whole semester. AssCo should take a hint. 

Until December, I am fondly yours!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow in the Mountains

Well, I was trying to nap, but apparently some higher power wants me to remain completely unrested throughout this whole semester and sleep would not come. So what do I do? Whatever any other hung over person in pajamas eating cornflakes out of the box at 3:15pm on a Tuesday would do. Blog.

It's been a while again, so I think I'll make it a good one.

Last you heard were stories from Hallstatt. It feels like ages ago. Today marks the one month remaining date, but since my family is totally awesome and is coming to visit me, I get to stay for another 6 days. That makes my EDA December 23rd for all of you who have missed my cute little face.

Last weekend AIFS took us to Prague. The city was pretty fantastic. Architectural building styles from different time periods stand next to one another on each cobble lined street and souvenir shops stand next to other souvenir shops selling the same crap. It's like that Starbucks joke. But Starbucks in my book is no joke, and I was very happy to find one. Czech currency is strange - not relatable to the dollar or euro - and so when I exchange 50 Euros and get 1190 Kronas, I don't know if I've lost or gained money. All I know is that a tall Mochaccino cost 95 Kronas and a beer cost 30. Starbucks is still ripping people off from behind the Iron Curtain. Saturday in Prague, after a great night sleep on a super comfortable bed with *shock!* two blankets, a bunch of us set off to explore Prague
zu Fuß (after the incredibly disturbing Prague subway story one of our group members told us). I navigated us to a Monastic Brewery for lunch - great dark beer - and we got a fantastic view of the city from atop the hill. Next we checked out the Ghost Museum, where I experienced some of the most poorly translated English (except for Polish Kleine Piotr's classic text messages) and some weird sort of haunted basement. Made me wish the Sex Machines Museum wasn't so damn expensive subsequently making the Ghost Museum look cheap.

Saturday night, we celebrated baby Jeff's 20th birthday. Brian, Seth, Scott, Piotr, Machs, Taylor, Jeff and I (ya, the only chick) checked out the 5 floor disco, much to our disappointment. All the guys wanted to leave since there were too many guys. Tut mir Leid, Ich care nicht. Eric tried to make it out with us, but unfortunately, going shot for shot with Polish kids and wodka is almost as foolish as Jess going shot for shot with Kim. Just as she ended up babbling on about drugs and ruining Josh's shoes, so Eric only remembers pre-gaming and then waking up in his room the next morning. Unfortunately, no one's sure how he made it home, least of all him.
Die Manner von links bis rechts: Scott, Piotr, Seth, Eric, Brian, Jeff and Machs

On the way home Sunday, I got to see another world heritage town called Cesky Krumlov. Geoff spent most of the time asking our tour guide incredibly random and personal questions like whether he likes to paint watercolors (that was the opener - he doesn't paint), how many cats he has (none), if he believes in aliens (yes, but we won't be able to prove their existence in our lifetime), which Indiana Jones film he likes best (The Last Crusade), what type of car he drives (I think he misinterpreted this question somehow), what his favorite beer is (Pilsner) and finally, if he has Facebook (of course, and Geoff got his business card too). Basically, Geoff is one of the most hilarious people I've ever met. He brightens up my life.

The weekend prior, Geoff's dad was here and Catherine and Jess and I tagged along on their drive to Zagreb, second trip to Croatia in a month. That's kind of a strange sentence. The hostel we shared was more of an apartment in need of some serious love. I'm not sure how it was a self sufficient apartment though, as it lacked anything that could remotely be called a kitchen. Two bedrooms with low, thin cots and a bathroom with a shower missing a shower curtain. I forgot my towel too. So. Saturday morning, I dried myself off with my sweater I wore Friday, and Sunday morning I dried off with the fitted sheet.

Zagreb was pretty awesome though. On Saturday there was a music festival in the main square and we saw a band that sounded similar to the Ramones or the Clash. We didn't understand a single word, but I swear the lead singer looked like Coop from Wet Hot American Summer. Same haircut too. There were people giving out free hugs, so I took one and it cracked my back. Croatian money is strange too, but everything was much cheaper there and we got a yummy dinner and then went out for drinks. Catherine may or may not have punched a guy and between the three of us, we said JA GENAU far too many times. Still funny though.

Okay, so I may have fallen asleep in the middle of this blogging process. Let's see if I can wrap this one up with a picture. There. I put one in.

PS. There is snow in the Alps right now, ever since last night. The world is really pretty awesome.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fancy seeing you here...

So now that I've been here for about seven weeks, it's time for me to share with you all the things that are weird about Austria and Salzburg. 

  • There are tons of bikes around here and everyone seems to love to ride them with their arms folded across their chest. I tried this once and almost fell off my bike.
  • Everything closes really early. I used to think making it to the packy before 8 in Connecticut was tough...try making sure you have everything you need for your dinner before 6pm otherwise it's Krainer or Kebaps for you.
  • The doors always look like they're not completely shut since there's an extra unnecessary lip that overlaps with the frame.
  • The toilets have a big flap that you press in the wall to flush, and there's no tank.
  • They speak German...what's with that??
  • They actually believe in the honor system. You will hardly ever get checked to see if you have a bus pass or ticket when riding buses or trains, so technically you could ride for free (although you do risk a fine if caught). I rode on two free trains into Munich on my trip back from Neuschwanstein.
  • Drinking is acceptable any day of the week and any hour of the day. (This is actually really cool, not weird). I saw a man buying a beer with his breakfast at a rest stop on my way to Croatia at 7:15 in the morning. Made me wonder if I was missing something with my OJ. 
  • Find me an ice cube, I dare you. And while you're at it...find me a freezer for my stuff, because I sure as hell can't.
  • People wear jackets in 70 degree weather. I meanwhile stick out like a sore thumb in a tee-shirt.
  • There are bakeries everywhere but fat people are hard to find.
So, sorry I've been MIA for a while. Rest assured that I've been taking many pictures, writing many postcards, attending class, traveling (Schloss Neuschwanstein, Italy/Slovenia/Croatia, and Vienna), getting too little sleep, drinking too many beers on a Tuesday night, swearing off drinking for a while, getting more sleep, trying to exercise, marrying a Kebap stand employee, trying to cook eggs after my dorm has shut off the power to the hot plates at night, making lists, doing massive amounts of laundry after "missing" my laundry appointment, trying to have nights where I don't pay for a single drink, paying for a few of the drinks first on those nights, visiting museums and palaces and abbeys, riding bumper cars and roller coasters, cooking, missing people and places and time periods and holidays back home and trying to find myself in moments and experiences. 

Can I tell you a little secret?

This semester kicks ass.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hard to imagine you can go so far in a day

Thank god school decided to give us Fridays off otherwise Ja, Jeff and I would have never made it to Hallstatt. (Well maybe on a Sunday, but that extra day is so key). 

Hallstatt was named a World Heritage site about 10 years ago and you can see why from photos. There are only about 1000 people living in the city, and probably about half the amount of tourists on any given day. I'm going to steal a photo from Wikipedia because, of course - es regnet immer in Hallstatt - it's always raining in Hallstatt, at least when we were there. 

The frequent rain makes it difficult to see the huge mountains in the background. Even just yesterday (a perfect fall day here in Salzburg) I learned of some views from my dorm window so you can imagine this scene with low-lying fog coming off the mountains and me watching with an umbrella in my hands. And gloves covering my fingers wrapped around the umbrella. 

To get to Hallstatt (which is southeast of Salzburg), we had to take a bus - 3 actually. The first brought us to Bad Ischl, a town where no one works at the train station. This makes it incredibly difficult to figure out where we are supposed to go next. We walk into the town from the bus station to find the information center which luckily has the bus schedule...since the bus station didn't. And so, after enjoying some lunch and coffee at the pastry shop, we boarded the right bus, which quickly flooded with school children. Ja and I talked to one particularly helpful girl because we were still unsure if we had to umsteigen or not. Turns out we did, but we didn't find that out until the bus driver was sitting at a stop for some time before shouting "HALLSTATT". We grabbed our things and umsteiged onto the next bus.

This bus was a quickie and we hopped off at the next stop to find ourselves looking at this:
Not bad, eh?

From there we wandered into the church graveyard, where my obsession with foreign graveyards has only been furthered. Best part? Jeff tells me how to use the "Best Shot" feature on my camera. BAM! My pictures are instantly better. Thanks Jeff!

From the graveyard we wander up a path in the mountains to get a better view of Hallstatt and the lake and I take Jeff's photo for his new emo album, due out whenever he pulls it together enough to stop cutting himself.

From this path, the view is incredible, despite the weather. We stand over a waterfall that we saw when we first got off the bus and finally we find a more suitable lookout point in the form of a gazebo.

The three of us set our cameras on a timer and figure eventually one of us must have gotten a good shot. Mine's not so bad.

From the path, we journey back into the city, looking for information on the ferry to take us on our train to Linz, northeast of and therefore east of Salzburg. At this point it is raining a bit harder. Ja and I run into a cat, a bit shy at first but then my day is made when it hops up onto my leg as I was squatting down to pet it. I picked it up. And held it. And it felt like home. Jeff meanwhile, not liking cats, is patiently waiting while Ja and I flip out for a little bit in front of the tram Kasse that brings people up the mountain into the salt mines. 

From there, we come to meet some ducks playing in the incredibly fast current of one of the lake's tributaries. I wish for a tube.

We meander through the lower part of the city. I buy a few postcards and we stop in at a general store where Jeff gets a traditional Austrian hat.

This is Jeff waiting for us after we had to use the €0,50 bathrooms. :(
I tried one on too, but it was too large, so Ja photographed me in a children's sized hat. Sadly, it fit. 

We board the ferry that we thought we had missed and scoot across the lake. Despite the now thick raindrops, I step outside for a bit to take a picture of Hallstatt from the water.

After further transportation confusion (theme of the day), we catch the train to Linz, famous for music and...well actually I don't know. You see, we didn't get there until 6:45 and by then we were all pretty ravished. It was dark out when we exited the train station and so after a little back and forth with orientation, we walk down the main street which seemed to have every kind of store (including a watch store with watches costing more money than I have budgeted for my whole semester) but no restaurants. Finally we find one, a beer hall naturally, and we go inside for a fantastically rewarding meal and a bottle of wine. Jeff gets a quick lesson on wine etiquette. Thankfully, it wasn't poison; it was actually quite delicious!

We literally run to catch the 9:15 train home to Salzburg. Bye Linz, you're probably really nice but we were just too hungry and wet to care about seeing anything besides food going into our bodies!

Probably the strangest train ride home. I thought back on some of the trips I took from Boston to Worcester and the creepos I encountered there. This guy took the cake. Drunk and high off his ass this large black guy oscillated between English and German, speaking mostly with Jeff. He repeated himself constantly, didn't respond either accurately or at all to anything we said and once Jeff turned him down for some  - earmuffs - euphamism: "male bonding time", he quickly became hostile and told Jeff, "Ich schlage dich einmal, du gehst zum Krankenhaus". Roughly, "I hit you once and you'll go to the hospital." Greatt. 

Finally, we arrived in Salzburg (without Jeff having to fight the guy) and got off the train to see drunk teenagers riding around on machinery with Stiegls in tow, three wasted old Scottish men in kilts trying to walk, and a lady pushing around an empty airport luggage cart. Oh god, get me back to my room. 

Overall though, a fantastic day, and now, 3 days later, people are loving the story about Jeff attracting gay guys. If that doesn't constitute a good experience...well then I don't know what does.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The strangest two week vacation

All the walking doesn't stop. In fact, it seems to be all I've been doing since I've arrived in Salzburg. I've walked on a panoramic trail to the Hohensalzburg Fortress twice, once in the rain and once in the sun. I've walked to the Bräu Haus, but that was never begrudgingly. I've walked down the majority of the Gaisberg...well slipped mostly, wet roots are not safe to step on. I've walked back and forth to German class every day - a 50 minute round trip. I've walked to buy a bike, failed, and walked back. I've walked down 4 flights of stairs everyday to leave my building because the elevator only goes up from the first floor (All ya'll logistical peeps are gonna tell me that doesn't work. Trust, it does. There's only a button for the elevator on the first floor). I've walked to and from Hellbrunn, about 6 miles. I've walked and walked and walked, and it's all beautiful. 

Just please, a bike, eventually.

Today is exciting because it's finally nice out. I think we've had one nice day here besides today. Otherwise the weather has averaged around 50 degrees and drizzly. It might even get up to 70 tomorrow!

So many things to write about, and I'm completely lacking the brainpower to do it, so instead I'll give a sentence or two about some funny pictures.

The Augustiner Bräustübl: Tasty beer + expensive prices = a good time nonetheless

A view of Altstadt and the fortress from the footbridge.

The panoramic view from the hike

The fortress from behind.

OMG Bergs. The alps.

Heyyy look! It's me! And my favorite statue! In the Mirabellgarten!

Another view of the Mirabellgarten

Out to dinner. From left my roommate Ja, Kristen, Jeff ruining the picture, and Jeff's roommate Jon.

Cool! A mountain view from atop another mountain (Geisberg)

I wasn't the first person to verbalize the Misty Mountains LoTR reference, but I may have been the first person to think of it.

A view from the bell tower at Hohenwerfen.

The Birds of Prey show. Hawk up! Norris would be so stoked to see this.


The trick fountains at Hellbrunn.

Jeff, Scott, Ja, Andreas, Matt and Liz getting owned by the table and stools. 

A bunch of us decided to walk up to see the hunting lodge and cave theater, which I unfortunately couldn't capture because my camera died. From left Geoff, Ja, Liz, Jeff, Sarah, Taylor, Me, Scott, Jered, Hillary, Jon and Jared.

Last night at irish pub in Austria. Taylor, Scott, Seth, Seth's friend Florian from Berlin, Liz, Jeff and me :)

Bis Später!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Willkommen nach Salzburg! (via London/Munich)

The morning after Picadilly Circus, we took a tour of London. I hopped on a bus (a coach actually) filled with a lot of kids destined for Paris. Sightseeing brough us to statues and buildings, soldiers and Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Parliment and Big Ben, St. Paul's Cathedral (unfortunately, there was no feeding of the birds - forget tuppence, it'd probably be £5 a bag considering how expensive London is) Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and Covent Square. 

A few of us stumbled away from the bus after the tour in search of food (being starved has become a regular occurance, nay reality, ever since my flight to London). After munching on a "pasty" (short a) and exchanging money in the lingere section of a department store (awk), we set off to find the British Museum. We found it an hour later and popped in for a bit, but honestly, museums not being my thing, I sat down after a while. My feet were mad at me. 

I split off from the group on the underground, returned to my room, blogged to you lovely folks about my previous night, shut my eyes for a bit, woke up to some cartoon blaring next door, got panicky that I wouldn't be able to meet up with anyone else from the group for dinner, decided to go write a postcard in the park, and found the post office closed. Luckily, people started trickling back into the hotel after their free evening and finally Kristin, Jeff and I made our way to an Indian buffet (I checked Mom, it is "eat as much as you'd like". Sounds better than "all you can eat" huh?) 

Afterwards, I had to make good on my promise to Dave to try to visit his bars. Jeff agreed to come along with me and we rode the underground to Putney Bridge to find The Bricklayers Arms. After getting lost a few times, we finally found the place. And Dave, let me tell are going to be so depressed that you weren't there. Not only were you right about the "who the hell are you?" stares we'd get upon entering, but you weren't kidding about it being one of a kind. Jeff and I just happened to stumble upon one of two annual beer festivals held outside. Roughly 30 beers were on tap, all of them I'd never heard of, and although some kegs were already kicked (we got there around 10pm) the guy pouring never led us in the wrong direction. 

We each had two and somewhere around the second we decided it was a good idea to stay up the whole night, rather than get a few hours sleep before our 5:15 departure for Heathrow. Idiotic? Maybe. Worth every step? Definitely. 

And so began our walk back to the hotel. Since our map of London was of no use (Putney Bridge was too far South) it never made its way out of the hotel. My sense of direction was "go up" (North, for those of you who know I always have a mental map in my head) and Jeff's was, "go East". So we did both. We walked past bars and people, closed shops and cars; we were all over the place really. Our second good idea came in the form of a bottle of white wine purchased about 1/3 of the way into the walk. The nice man in the liquor store even uncorked it for us! We forgot cups though, so you can imagine how classy we looked. Every now and then we'd stop and ask for directions, and most people would laugh when we said Hyde Park. I guess we weren't too close...

Around 3:30am we decided to call it quits. 5 minutes from our destination by taxi, we paid the man (in Pounds and Euros) and I crawled into bed at 4am. 

Zombie-like, I dragged myself to the bus a mere hour and a quarter later and was in and out of sleep en route to Heathrow. After a small breakfast of granola, yogurt and OJ, I boarded the flight to Munich where I slept uncomfortably for an hour. Upon arrival, we were met by another bus and a 3 hour ride (including traffic) to Salzburg. Our dorming information was handed out. All I wanted was food, and I could barely savor my Mozartkugel (a small chocolate that Salzburg is famous for) as it was my lunch. Finally we arrived. 

My new roommate Ja (who is from Thailand and goes to school in Wisconsin) and I got into a taxi, and I tried to say our address to the taxi driver. Linzergasse 41 bitte. Through my fatigue, it didn't sound so good and so I had to pass the paper up to the front of the car and point at the address. Yeesh. We checked into our building, which is actually a dorm as well as a youth hostel, and I barely managed to unpack. My shower refreshed me, and I was quite excited to use Ja's blow dryer as my hair has suffered since my first shower in London. I plugged it in, hit the switch and bam! Out goes the power. Greeeeat. Dinner was a blur, I could barely eat without feeling nauseated and I didn't talk much. I wearily came back to the room and fell asleep at 8pm. It was fantastic.