Ok, so I've never been one to share my thoughts with the unknown universe and personally I think blogs are the best way for egotistical people to show the world how big headed they are. When blogging first started and became popular I vowed I would never ever do that. But now, I find myself half way across the world from my family and friends and have gotten several requests that I start a blog so they can keep up with what I'm up to and what I'm doing and seeing and experiencing. And. I finally cracked when I realized how much simpler this would be than getting everyone's email addresses. So, here we are. I'll try to keep this updated but I'm not sure how often that will be because I am currently putting off a pile of homework in order to write this.
Anyway, since it would be really difficult to catch you all up on everything that has already happened I thought that maybe I would just start at where I am right now. I've been in Vienna for about 3 weeks now and having a blast. My apartment is great and the couple I'm staying with are really nice. Tante Hanna (my host mother) is really neat and tidy and we are required to make our beds every day and keep the room clean. This is really good for me since I don't ever do these things at home. I'm hoping the habit sticks. Eventually (after I take some) I'll post pictures of the place I live so everyone can see the luxury in which I currently dwell.
We just got back from a week long trip to Halstatt, Salzburg, and Dorfgastein and let me just say, GORGEOUS!!! I have never seen anything so lovely in my entire life. The alps are so clean and bright and they really are alive with the sound of music. It's totally true. I've witnessed the singing myself.
We started our trip with a visit to a concentration camp in Mauthausen. It was really sobering and made me appreciate how blessed and comfortable my life is. Hopefully you don't mind that I don't dwell on that any longer. Not that I don't appreciate the magnitude of the events that occured there, I just don't know what to say on that subject. So, then we drove on to Halstatt (after visiting a couple monasteries) which is the most gorgeous place I have ever been in my entire life. We visited the salt mines there which are the oldest salt mines in the world. It was really corny but lots of fun. We got to put on cool suits and slide down these big slides that were once used as an easier access into the mines but are now just for tour use. It was tons of fun. Then we went on this gorgeous hike up to a waterfall. I don't even know what to say about it. I could post pictures, and I will, but they don't do any justice to how perfect everything was. Although it could have been drier (there was a lot of rain and my feet got soaked and I bought a jacket).
Salzburg was fun too. We saw a lot of the Sound of Music sights and went on a general tour of the city. And then Dorfgastein we went for a gondola ride up to the top of one of the mountains and hiked down through the snow and mud. I'm not much of a down person and I was being really slow and wimpy. So much so, that the lady from the Austro-American Institute with us gave me one of her ski-pole walking stick thingys to help me down the mountain. The next day we went to a Catholic Mass and saw a town parade afterwards. It was their Thanksgiving celebration. It was really interesting but all in Deutsch so I had issues understanding what was going on the whole time. And finally we started our last day of the trip with another hike up another mountain to an Alm which is a mountain farm and had a breakfast buffet.
Now if this thing gets any longer I'm gonna lose any interest I had from you at the start of this so I'll leave it at that. Let me just say, life is grand. I'll write more about my actual adventures in Vienna later. Viel Spass!