I’ve been living in Salzburg for nearly two months now, and it already feels like a home away from home. I’m no longer the disoriented person aimlessly (and slowly) walking through the Altstadt streets. I’ve gradually figured this city out, and now I’m the impatient one with all of the tourists! This semester, I may have escaped the pandemonium of Iowa State’s campus between classes, but now I’ve have to weave through hundreds of tourist when I bike to class or to the library in the Altstadt. It’s all worth is though. Getting around Salzburg is so easy with my bike. I have the bus system figured out, but it’s not particularly reliable… I was almost late to my first class because a bus that is supposed to run every 8-10 minutes didn’t show up to the stop for 25 minutes!
At Frisbee practice on Wednesday, I was talking with Alex, one of the team members, and he asked me how much longer I have in Salzburg. I counted the weeks in my head, and realized that I only have six weeks left in this city. I guess no matter what happens, you can always rely on time to pass… I’m missing my home, my family, and my friends, but who knows when I’ll be living in Europe again? I had better make the most of my last bit of time here. I have a feeling that these next six weeks will go by faster than I want them to. I don’t know if I could live in Salzburg for the rest of my life, but I’m definitely going to miss this place. And even after nearly 60 days of living here, the fact that I can see castle from my kitchen balcony has not gotten old.
This week has been rather relaxed, and I’m back in Mühlstatt this weekend visiting my family. I hadn’t planned anything until Saturday afternoon when I called my Oma to see if I could come back for a couple days. Of course she was excited to have me back in Germany. I packed my backpack and biked over to the train station. Today we met up with my uncle Franz, aunt Maria, and two cousins Franziska and Theresa in Rosenheim to explore the market that was set up for the last weekend of October. We walked around for a while and had a few snacks, and afterwards we were invited to their house for some tea.
Wednesday was National day in Austria, which is similar to Independence Day in America. It is the day that the State treaty was signed in 1955. Austria declared its neutrality, and the Soviets, Americans, English, and French occupying forces left Austria. I had the day off from class, so I decided to walk around the city a bit and try out some of the walking paths near the Festung. In the Altstadt, the Austrian military had set up tents and all sorts of activities for children. There were also several different military vehicles to look at, and right next to the Cathedral were seven tanks. I walked up the Festung hill and had a good view down to the Kapitalplatz (where all of the tanks were). There was a demonstration where they drove all of the tanks around the square! It was interesting to watch, but it felt kind of odd seeing tanks being shown off right in front of a Cathedral.
After the show, I kept walking along a path that took me to Mönchberg, and old outpost that used to be strategically important for protecting the fortress. I walked through the forest and got some beautiful views of Salzburg and the mountains. There’s nothing quite like a walk through a forest in late October.
I have lots of work to do for my classes in the next six weeks… It is a study abroad I’m doing, but my goal is to enjoy every single moment left of it.
“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana”
Anthony G. Oettinger