Another pretty busy weekend, filled with two day trips and a day spent relaxing in Salzburg.
Our weekend was another two-day weekend, which is somewhat unfortunate considering we only have two weekends left here (WOW), but it was a really fun weekend nonetheless.
Our “weekend” started on Friday – with an excursion for our Human Geography class to Golling, a small farming village outside of Salzburg. Most of us were a little sad that it was taking away what could have been a three-day weekend where we could have flown out to another country or whatnot, but the day ended up being a TON of fun.
We started out by heading to a cheese-producing business that also owned a farm. This area is a very rural one – huge, wide open fields, few houses, and mountains in all directions. Two of our teachers, Frau Mag.a Huber-Ebner (our Human Geography professor), and Eva (our Fine Arts professor who also went to Italy and Greece with us), both lived in Golling, so it was really cool to see their hometowns. Frau Mag.a Huber-Ebner was really excited to show us around – she’s like the sweetest lady ever – and the cheese-producing farm was no exception. It could have been totally bland, but her excitement and the man who gave us the tour made it a lot of fun; we got to play with the farm animals and see how cheese was produced, as well as try some freshly-made, home-made cheese. And wow, let me tell you – when cheese is produced on a local farm and not filled with additives and whatnot that are thrown in when they’re produced, like in the US, it’s absolutely delicious. Blue cheese and apricot marmalade? Fantastic. Peppery, spicy cheese with strawberry marmalade? Delicious. Every single product that they gave us – whether cheese they produced, to the marmalade that they made themselves, to the chocolate using their milk – it was absolutely, phenomenally delicious. It’s hard to explain just how good it was.
Anyways, as I mentioned, we got to play with the farm animals – sheep, cows, horses, and a cat(!) – and it was a TON of fun. We learned all about the production – the milk industry in Austria seems to be a lot more… humane than it is in the US. A lot more organic, a lot more natural, a lot less additives and chemicals and GMOs and genetically modifying the animals producing all of that. Like, it’s a small farm – most farms are family run, naturally, but they treat their animals like pets, rather than animals for exploitation. At least that’s the vibe I got.
From the farm, we headed into the village of Golling itself. It was a little bit of a walk, but it was really nice nonetheless. We checked out Golling (a cute little Austrian town) and I bought a little cake that’s apparently pretty famous in Austria and only comes out of that town – I don’t remember the name, but I definitely see why it’s sought-after. It was delicious – it was basically a strawberry and meringue based cake, filled with whipped cream, then topped off with more meringue and was breaded. Anyways, after that, we checked out a local castle, which Eva had worked at directly after she got out of college, so she gave us the “insider’s look” even though we didn’t actually go in.
A really interesting part of Golling was that it’s a small town, so everyone knows everyone – I’d never been in a town like that, but Frau Mag.a Huber-Ebner was waving and talking to so many of the people she saw on the street, and she and Eva knew each other prior to the Kulturprogramm because they both lived in the same town. I thought it was really cool, actually! Here’s Golling:
From “central” Golling, we headed to a restaurant that was recently opened by Frau. Mag.a Huber-Ebner’s friend. It was a really fancy restaurant, and the food was delicious – we had fresh meat and cheese (as it’s a farm town) and some delicious apple juices. I was honestly surprised that we were allowed to cram 24 or so of us into that tiny little restaurant because it was pretty fancy. But they provided us food and drinks, and then at the end, we each got a free glass of wine! I’m not a huge fan of wine, but it was a really nice gesture. So, if anyone happens to be in Golling, I’d recommend it; they’re called Döllerers Enoteca & Weinhandelshaus; you can find them at https://www.weinhandelshaus.at/.
It was a perfect way to spend the day – a lot of fun at the farm, free tasty food, a cute little town, and some good time spent with good friends. I really, really enjoyed the day. Then we headed back to Salzburg!
On Saturday, I decided I was going to Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria. Mattie joined along, so we headed out in the morning to Braunau am Inn. We got there and explored the town – it’s a gorgeous little town – very quiet and serene.
Mattie and I walked around Braunau for a little while, and then we headed to the Mahnstein.
Something important to know about this town: it’s Hitler’s birthplace. I knew that the house would be destroyed fairly soon, so I figured I should see it because it’s a historically important place. There’s an interesting discussion regarding it – some people think it should be torn down because of neo-Nazis visiting it (which is very valid), while others think it should be turned into a museum to raise awareness of the Holocaust, or into a memorial for the victims (which is also very valid). I have a lot of feelings regarding this, but for the sake of keeping this fairly concise, I won’t share them here.
So something I found interesting, and a good decision, is that the stone in front was taken from Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In Mauthausen, there was a quarry, where prisoners were forced to carry hundred-pound-plus, or thousand-pound stones up the Stairs of Death, where they were beaten and killed WHILE carrying them (hence the name). The fact that they used a stone from such an evil place to honor the victims is really powerful, in my opinion, because it shows the evil that one person can inflict upon the world. It really brings things full-circle, I think – in front of the birthplace of a monster, a memorial to the victims of said monster, FROM the victims of said monster.
Anyways, a translation:
“For peace, freedom, and democracy. Fascism never again. The millions of dead remind (us).”
From the house, we checked out more of Braunau am Inn, then headed to Germany, as Mattie hadn’t gotten out to Germany yet.
In Germany, we wandered around for awhile and found a little café/restaurant, where we decided to eat. It was oddly refreshing to have someone actually speak to me in German when I order in German – even though I have conversations with regular people (like the people in Hofbräuhaus), generally, if I’m with other people and the waiter/waitresses hear us speaking English, they just talk back in English when I order in German. However, the lady kept the conversation entirely in German, which was very refreshing. I’d say more often than not, when I’m with a group (especially if they hear English), they just speak in English, unless I’m solo and ordering in German.
Anyways, the food was delightful and it was a wonderful afternoon – a nice meal spent in the sun in a quaint, quiet little town. However, we realized that our two trains were two hours apart and there wasn’t much to do in Braunau am Inn, so we wanted to catch the first train, but we had to literally sprint across the entire town to catch it – quite the workout. We definitely didn’t think we would make it – it was a 38 minute walk, and we had around 18-20 minutes until our train left, but we made it with 8 minutes to spare!
Then, we headed back to Salzburg, I took a HUGE nap, then Mattie, Kranz, and I headed out to dinner, and we met up with another group for a night at Schnaitl, then headed back to the Center.
I woke up on Sunday feeling the urge to get work DONE. I ended up working the entire morning to clean out my desk – papers, documents, books, trash, etc. – and organized my stuff for my German presentation on Wednesday. In the afternoon, Active Minds had a little “meeting” at the park by the AG, where it ended up just being a small group – Trudi, Joslin, Gaby, Abby, Megan, Eric, Kylie, and myself – talking, sharing memories, ranting, etc. It was a fantastic afternoon, and it reminded me just how much I love the people I live with. Sure, it may be exhausting living around 27 other people 24/7, but man am I lucky to know them. I really do love the people here and I’m beyond lucky to have them in my life.
After Active Minds, another group – Emma, Joy, Ruby, and one of my friends, the very talented Molly (CHECK OUT HER BLOG HERE! She’s a very talented photographer and a wonderful person!) who I had political science with last year and who was visiting Salzburg (she studies in Galway, Ireland) – was heading up Kapuzinerberg to watch the sunset. I caught up with them a little later, after eating dinner, and we had a little emotion-sesh on Kapuzinerberg as the sun set. We reflected on a lot – from movies, to music, to the memories we’ve made over the year/semester (for Molly), to how much we enjoyed living in Europe, to hopes for the future; it was such a wholesome way to end the day, and it was really nice to spend time with a group I don’t normally hang out with much – that being said, I’d consider all of them close friends and it was just a lot of fun. Plus it was nice to see Molly since I haven’t seen her since last year! (I really admire her photography skills [as well as her social skills lol – she’s like one of the nicest people ever], so it was fun getting to see her in action.)
Anyways, we headed back to the Center, but not before stopping for some gelato at Café Habakuk, and I worked on my metaphysics presentation on Friedrich Nietzsche and the Will to Truth. Probably one of the most confusing things I’ve ever read and written, but I guess we’ll see how it goes.
Anyways, that’s all for this weekend. I’m not sure what I’ll do next weekend, but I’m sure I’ll travel somewhere – I was looking at Ukraine, but I need someone to join me, and so far everyone I’ve found is traveling. Maybe Copenhagen, maybe Riga, Latvia. Who knows. Then I’ve got my trip to Stockholm, Sweden, and Trondheim and Oslo, Norway. I’m super excited for that trip, but I’m sad that the year is coming to an end – as of writing this, I’ve got 20 more days in Salzburg, then my month of backpacking, a week of which I’m doing with Emma!
No video for this one, as I didn’t take any video clips. Sorry!
Mit Liebe aus Salzburg, Braunau am Inn und Golling,
P.S.: Wow, I’ll miss this city and this part of my life. I’m so grateful to have experienced this – from Salzburg itself to the travels and the memories and the friends I’ve made. What an incredible life I live. I will be back for graduate work, or for travel. That’s for sure.
Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft: “Association for Subordinate Officials of the Maintenance Building of the Danube Steam Shipping Electrical Services” – that’s one word! I just thought it was funny – not related to anything this weekend.
“Still Commit Crimes” by Good Morning. Just released this weekend, and a really good song. I dig it.