Wandern auf Eis

 

So that’s it, I’ve finished my semester studying in Salzburg. Ok, so I’m not leaving for another few weeks, but the studying, the lectures and the exams are over. On Monday, I had my Interkulturelles Praktikum seminar once more, but was only really interested in the free food. Afterwards, it was down to business – not studying, but arranging the ins and outs of mine and Adele’s forthcoming Scandinavia excursion over coffee on the rooftop terrace of the unipark. Then, it was off to study for an hour, before hitting the gym.

On Tuesday, I skipped my early morning lecture and spent the day studying before going to my final literature seminar in the afternoon. Maybe because it was the last class of the year, but I actually found myself able to concentrate and engage for the full 90 minute seminar, which was a vast improvement on a few months ago! That evening, after a quick nap, it was time to brace the -15 temperatures to make the journey across the city to basketball, before heading home and face-timing my parents over stuffed peppers.

Wednesday was the day of my Austrian history exam which, mercifully, the professor had actually asked me to do not only spoken, but in English! This was a pretty dreamy scenario, so I took it pretty easy that day and went to the gym, then got coffee with Adele and Toni, and then spent a couple of hours studying before the exam itself. I have to say, it went pretty well and was almost enjoyable at points (almost). I stopped off at Adele’s on the way home that evening to reflect on the exam and watch some Netflix, until we remembered the German exam we had the next day…..

On Thursday, I had an early gym session before spending the day revising for my German speaking exam later that afternoon. Exams like these are pretty difficult to study for – you could be asked to talk about literally anything – so it’s fair to say that this, combined with a little too much coffee, meant my concentration wasn’t at it’s optimum. That being said, the exam went well and I got full marks, but upon receiving my grade for the entire course, I was gutted to find out that I was 0.5% off the top grade. After a couple of hours moping, I watched some Brooklyn Nine-Nine (I am obsessed with that show) and went to sleep a free woman.

On Friday it was strange to be waking up with absolutely no commitments or work to do, whilst all my friends were still studying for exams. It was a beautiful day however, and only -3, so I took advantage and did a “tourist’s day of Salzburg”. I walked into town along the river, strolled through the Altstadt, then took the bus to Schloss Leopoldskron, where the lake had completely frozen over. There were so many people on it, ice skating, playing ice hockey curling, walking their dogs, cycling; it was so strange. With the mountains in the background, it was a beautiful scene and put me in the mood to explore. I found a cute footpath alongside a stream, and followed it through this semi-rural area of Salzburg for 45 minutes, marveling at the view. Sometimes, you have to be alone to be able to appreciate these things properly – it was truly beautiful. All too soon, it started to get dark and I realised that I didn’t have a clue where I was, so I made my way towards where I expected a main road to be, and was lucky enough to stumble across a bus stop which took me straight to the gym.

Later that evening, I met with Toni and Adele at Adele’s place to chat and drink wine. At some point we made the questionable decision to head into the city in search of some life, in spite of the unbelievably chilly temperatures and, somewhat predictably, ended up in O’Malley’s until the early hours of the morning with a load of other Erasmus students who’d clearly had a similar idea. Fortunately (kind of), I’d come out without my wallet, so couldn’t get drunk, which I was grateful for on Saturday as this was the day of the final Erasmus party, which promised to be a biiiiiiig one. As per tradition, we met at Toni’s for pre-drinks, then stumbled across the river to the College Church (lol). It was great both to hang out with the other Erasmus students for one last time, and to run drunk through a church……. After a while, the party moved to Watzman…. possibly…. and, by 4.30am, it turned out that I was the only one left. One the way home, I had a very scary and sobering experience, which made me realise that, no matter how safe you perceive a city to be, nowhere is entirely safe, especially for a drunk young woman. The next morning, I had my closest experience to a hangover, and spent the day in bed watching TV.

It’s strange thinking that my time here is almost over. I’ve done so much and learnt so much, about both myself and the city, and it’s sad to think that I’ll be leaving soon. I’ve just signed my amended contract for my work placement in Munich, and have printed my tickets for the Scandinavia trip, so I guess this marks a time of transition for me, and, as scary as it is to leave somewhere I’m so comfortable in, I’m hella excited.

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