It’s finally got to the point where I’m having to back date blog posts – I guess the year abroad life has finally got the better of me! The last two weeks have been pretty intense to say the least, it really feels like I haven’t slept at all, in the best way possible.
Almost two weeks ago, my Monday morning started with a meeting with my study group for my Interkulturelles Praktikum. I then met with Adele to have a coffee and a gossip at Kaffee Alchemie, then headed to the gym. That evening was the main Salzburg Krampuslauf, and we made the mistake of getting caught up right in the middle of it. I’m not sure what I think of this tradition, from my experience, it seems like an excuse for men to be overly aggressive towards women and children, in the guise of “fun” and “tradition”. Despite only wanting to spectate, I came away with a hand print on my face and bruises that lasted for a week.
Tuesday was a more conventional day: my early morning literature lecture, a quick trip to Hofer, my seminar in the afternoon, and then basketball. Wednesday was also fairly chilled; I went to the gym, had a history lecture, then went to a university event with the girls where they were giving out free (free!!!) drinks and food, before popping over to O’Malley’s. Thursday was a national Feiertage, so all lectures had been cancelled, and I used the day to sleep in and attempt to fix my laptop once more (with varying degrees of success). By Friday, I was desperate for company, so after going to the Europark to do some Christmas shopping and going to the gym, I went round to Adele’s to drink tea and watch Django Unchained.
On Saturday, I got to the Hauptbahnhof at 11am to meet Kitty and Paddy from Munichwho were coming for a day visit. As luck would have it, the weather that day was beautiful and I was glad they got to see Salzburg in it’s best light. We started the Salzburg tour at the Schloss Mirabell, before moving onto the Linzer Gasse, Altstadt and then on to coffee and strudel at Cafe Tomaselli. It felt strange being a tourist in the city I live in, but strangely nice to have an excuse to do things I’d otherwise be embarrassed to do. After our coffee break, we took a wander through the Altstadt and dipped into a few of the expensive shops there so that Paddy could do some Christmas shopping. We then walked through the Christmas market, through the Dom, then on ward to the Monchsberg elevator. We then had a break from the city, and had a beautiful stroll through the autumnal woods on the mountain above the city. By this point, we were fairly peckish, so went to my favourite traditional haunt, Zirkelwirt, for a hearty Austrian meal. It was now getting dark, so we headed to my favourite part of Salzburg at Christmas – the Schloss Hellbrunn Christkindlmarkt. I took them round the market and of course we had a Gluehwein or two! As the evening drew on, the temperature dropped, so we headed back to the city to meet Adele and the Alchemiste Belge for a quick beer before I had to drop Kitty and Paddy off at the station once more. In an impromptu change to my plan to get an early night, Adele tempted me round to her place to eat brie and sing karaoke!
On waking up on Sunday morning, I still didn’t know exactly where I was going to end up; I was due to meet Anna at the airport at 9pm in Munich, so I wanted to make a day of it. Devoid of a travel companion, I ended up calling on Paddy and meeting him at he Schwabing Christmas Market in Munich. Here, we had a few Gluehweins and a Dampfnudel, then took the U-Bahn to the Tollwood Winter Fest, a kind of alternative Christmas market filled with artisan craft stalls, edgy art installations and, of course, a lot of food! By now, it was quite cold, so we headed back to Paddy’s tiny, low-ceilinged apartment in the north of the city for a quick cuppa, before I headed to the airport to meet Anna. What could have been a wash out of a day turned out to be very rewarding; Paddy and I bonded more than we have done for ages, and I finally got to see Anna again. Needless to say, after such a hectic weekend, I fell asleep immediately.