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Published: June 13th 2009
Eis, the number one city in the world, reuniting with aussies, and more rain:
That sums up my trip in the home country of our governator.
I will start with Vienna:
A big city with a sleepy small town feel, a lot like San Diego. In fact, it was recently given the title of being the #1 city to live in the world. THe drinking water is brought in from 80km away from the alps...and I did not see one homeless person. They have one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in all of Europe, and a wakeboarding pulley system that almost makes me want to move there:
http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogphotos/blog180_03waterski.jpg (not Vienna, but the same concept).
42.23 seconds after leaving the train I met 3 americans who I hung out with for two days. With these three BU graduates I enjoyed another pub crawl, sightseeing, and the worlds best coffee (its true, the coffee in Austria is divine, Tribble this is your dream cup). I really enjoyed Vienna, and it makes sense why it was ranked #1 to live in.
One thing irked me with Vienna. FOR THE 4th TIME IN A ROW I WAS NOT ALLOWED IN THE JEWISH SYNAGOGUE. London, Prague, Budapest, Vienna...why will no one let me in?? Is it because I don t have a jew fro, is it because my last name is German, is it because I speak english? Whatever the reasons are, it is really starting to upset me. The worst part, is how they charge for entrance to some. AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE GIVE US THESE ''CHEAP'' AND MONETARY STEREOTYPES. This really upset me.
I am in Salzburg right now, and it is, yep, you guessed it, RAINING AGAIN. Im hopping on a train to Munich and will continue writing in Munich.
Go watch the Sound of Music. The whole movie was filmed in Salzburg, and it really does the city justice as to how beautiful it is. The castle in the city center is enormous, and the fact that they built in the 1200s makes it even more remarkable. The views we got from the top of the guard tower are the most breathtaking I have seen yet.
Expensive restaraunts, a pristine river, hills, castles and trees, Thats Salzburg in a nutshell. There was one experience I had here that pales in comparison to anything I have done in Europe. The EIS caves!
On my second day, I embarkd on a 1 hour bus ride to a small, sound of music-ish, town call Werfen. We began our ascent into the alps from Werfen and arrived at small parking lot, nestled in the middle of a HUGE mountain. The bus dropped us off, and we proceeded to hike up to the steepest cable car in all of europe. As we ascended in the cable car(it was intense climbing) we carved our way through rocks, crags, cliffs, and clouds. There really is nothing that compares to the Alps.
After another 20 minute hike we entered the mouth of the cave, it was at least 30 feet high. At the end of this cave was a door leading to the ice caves.
The 42 km long caves are unique not only because of their length, but because the first km is entirey covered in ice. Words really would not do justice to what it was like in there.
One of every 3 was given a carbide lamp because their is no light in these caves. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and grabbed a lamp. When they opened the door to the cave all our lamps blew out from the freezing wind that was blowing at least 40 mph. Once inside the cave, our guide would light magnesium strips and illuminate the ice formations for us. Everything from a 10 foot elephant ice sculpture (all made randomly by mother nature by melting and refreezing over thousands of years), to a room with 125 foot walls of ice.When the guide spoke the word ''EIS'' he sounded just like Sanka from Cool Runnings. And I had everyone near me chanting the Cool Runnings bobsled song.
The ice caves definitely rank in the top 5 things ive ever done. I will post pictures when i get home.
I have been in Munich for one day. Within 16 minutes of checking in i ran into the girls I hung out with in Budapest, Vienna, and now here. I also saw the aussies and the guys from the night train! SUCH A SMALL WORLD.
I blame the next 12 hours entirely on the peer pressure from these friends.
After arriving at 1 pm, it took me 2 hours to be 3 HUGE beers deep and Hofbrauhaus. Once again, I did not come to Europe to drink, but every day I spend here the theme of my trip is changing from enlightenment and culturing myself (is that a word?), to drinking more alchohal then I did 4 years at UA, and that is no easy feat (sorry grandma)!
Second day in Munich:
Today I saw the Bayern Munich football stadium and hung out at a park 2x the size of central park. Everything from a nude beach (with old naked men) to a surfing wave. It was beautiful.
I have a 7 hour train ride through the alps to Venice today.
Alvitaze! (or however you spell it)
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