Ever since February, I was so excited to board my flight for Salzburg and immerse myself into Austrian culture. From the moment we stepped foot in the Munich airport to our afternoon strolls in the Old Town, the first week of our trip has been filled with unexpected twists and surprisingly good turns.
I have already learned, just in our short time here, about the importance of learning to go off schedule and embrace whatever is thrown at you. So far, we have been trying new foods, new drinks, new restaurants, new routes through town, etc. – all of which carry their own special meaning.
With class Monday through Thursday from 9-12, the group has begun to develop a consistent routine. The afternoon is left open for us to roam free and explore on our own; this freedom has given us all flexibility and the chance to do things in the spur of the moment.
One of my favorite off the cusp moments happened on Sunday at Konigsee, a beautiful lake that lies at the base of towering mountains. We arrived at the lake and began by walking through an endearing small town, perfect for doing any kind of shopping. Once we finished walking, the crystal blue water appeared and we strolled right on up to give our feet a refreshing dip.
After we sat by the lake for almost an hour, a group of us split up. I assumed I would search for a good restaurant or do some shopping, but I had a willing change of heart. For some reason, I felt it best to walk a trail through the woods with another group simply to experience something different and hopefully catch a nice view.
The trail was beautifully shaded, provided good exercise, and did not require any kind of hiking experience. As we followed the path, I had many moments of reflection; I thought to myself how beautiful my surroundings were and just how blessed I am to be on this trip. Soon enough, I glanced to my right and I laid my eyes on the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.
There was a slight opening in the trees and straight ahead the leaves strikingly framed the lake and its contrast with the mountains.
I stood there in awe of the view and shared with a fellow student just how amazing it is that we are finally here.
This day was filled with adventure – aside from this spontaneous trail, a small group of us explored the small streets of Berchtesgaden on our own and missed our bus on the way back to the train station. It is through these unplanned moments that the adventure ensues and you experience everything to the fullest. I am looking forward to encountering more surprises like these during the trip!
Make sure to follow my hashtag, #WasIstDasWednesday (which translates to What is that, Wednesday), for some photojournalistic elements of our trip!