Hello everyone! This is the first of a series of entries about my winter travels. After finishing exams on December 14, I went to my first Rosencrantz and Guildenstern rehearsal and out with friends after. I went home to pack and then headed to the train station at 6 am! I took the train to somewhere (I don't remember things that happen that early in the morning, as my tutors will confirm) and then transfered to a train to London and then took the tube to the train to Stansted and then at 8pm took an airplane to Salzburg, Austria. I then took a bus to the Salzburg train station and then walked to my hostel. In my head, when I planned this trip, it was train to London, plane to Salzburg, no problem. Somehow, all the little in between steps escaped my notice until it was too late to plan better. But I made it! I went to bed exhausted and ill, with a sore throat and cough. Yep, I caught whatever Genevieve had when she visited me, because we all know now that if anyone anywhere in the UK gets sick, I get it too. I woke up bright an early the next morning and wandered the streets of Salzburg for awhile.

I went to some Christmas markets and some old churches and other buildings. Finally, I went to the Mozart museum. Well, one of two Mozart museums, the one my guidebook recommended. Mozart lived in the house when he was small and the museum had a great exhibition of various instruments and images and letters relating to Mozart's life and times. There was a very informative audio guide. The whole thing ended with a room showing videos of Mozart opera performances. I watched The Magic Flute for about forty minutes and had a great time. I went walking some more before wandering back to my hostel for a quick meal and some letter writing and then bedtime. I was still feeling very sick. As you know, I don't speak any German at all, and that day I couldn't even speak English, having lost my voice. So I couldn't really communicate with anyone else... sad, but not tragic.

The next morning I awoke to find that Salzburg had been blanketed in snow during the night. The same city that had been rainy and dark the day before was beautiful and frosted that morning. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to set my clock back an hour, so when I walked back to my hostel from taking pictures, I realized that if I didn't hurry I would miss my train. Fortunately, I caught my train, with 30 seconds to spare! Quite and adventure. I was feeling better, and all the snow reminded me of Minnesota.

The train ride from Salzburg to Vienna was just lovely. I stared at all the scenery the whole way there. Now, I'm not sure if I imagined this because it was Christmas and I missed home or if it's really true, but the scenery reminded me so much of Minnesota that I began to understand why my ancestors had moved from Austria/Hungary to the Midwest. If you put mountains in Minnesota, I swear it would look just like Austria.

There are many more photos in my kodakgallery album. Here is Austria/Slovakia...



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