The Living Hills: Austria

I and the rest of the MC Singers arrived in Munich, Germany at around nine-ish “here time” (US is seven hours behind) May 11th, 2016. The first thing we did was get on a bus and drive for about two and a half hours to Salzburg, Austria. I remember being exhausted as I filled up a bottle of water with Emergen-C (I refuse to catch anything from anyone), and the next thing I knew I was stretched out on the long back row of the tour bus (five whole seats to myself!). When I woke up we were still on the highway, but on either side of us were the beautiful mountains. The view was never-ending. I remembered seeing the view from the airplane window, and I had to keep reminding myself (and my friends) that we had actually made it to Europe!

The first day we should have slept. For experience’s sake we decided to forgo sleeping, because sleeping is for losers. ; ) We checked into our hotel and began our journey to the fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg). We began our trek with lots of stairs and steep inclines. I was in the perfect outfit for it, of course with tight jeans and flats. It wasn’t until we reached the gate to the entrance that I realized we could have taken the tram up into the fortress, and then there was the matter of our tickets. So, one of our choir members who speaks fluent German walked back down the mountain and back up so we could get in the gate. all in all it was a fun and tiring day! We ended the night laughing.

This morning we woke up and loaded the bus before having our own days out on the town. Several went on the Sound of Music tour, others to Mozart’s house. I chose to go to Mozart’s house because I was having a little trouble getting the ATM to take my card (Oh no! But one message back home and we got it fixed!), and then I sat down to buy a ticket for the Sound of Music tour, but both times for the day were sold out. However, Mozart’s birthplace, and his actual house were something I am glad I did not miss. If you are familiar with the tune of “Lacrymosa,” it has been playing in my head non. stop. If not, I encourage you to look it up. It’s beautiful and the piano guys do a cello cover of it mixed with Adele’s “Hello.” Wundebar!
Next stop was the Mirabell Gardens where I and my roommates spent most of our time. The flowers, the birds—where do I start? As a place that has been marked on my bucket list for years it was far more than I could have expected it to be. There were hidden tunnels and a stage we found after wandering a trail. I made friends with a man from Holland who took a group picture for the lot of us that ventured there. He was very sweet, and made us say “cheese” until he deemed it to be good enough for the picture! Such a fun day. 🙂

I am now sitting in Linz in a hotel room alone blogging. It is so nice to be around people and have fun, but it is so nice to look back and reflect on my time spent here in just the past two days. I’ve been itching for a time to get away, truthfully, to pursue what may lie in my thoughts that I have yet to stop and discover. The mind is so interesting to me. If we don’t stop every once in a while we may miss something, or forget something. It is my mission to retrace everything chronologically on this trip, so as to never forget anything. Though it not be possible to catch even single detail of my days abroad, I will still chase that hope.

This trip has been talked about since first semester of junior year, and I cannot believe the sights around me. I’m reminded of something a friend of mine said of herself, “I’m the kind of person who can be entertained by the way a leaf looks in the sunlight.” She has always reminded me to appreciate the small details, the little things in life that God has made beautiful. So, today in Salzburg, Austria I did just that. I’ve always been one to appreciate aesthetic beauty, so the mountains served my vision well. Standing in front of views of the city, in between giant hills and breath-taking mountainous landscapes that looked as if they had been painted—like they weren’t actually in front of me, but maybe still on my Pinterest board—made me so….small. There is so much beauty in looking at what is in front of me, how big everything is in front of me, and knowing that I serve a God who is so much greater than I can even see.
My camera couldn’t possibly capture every moment, nor do any of the views justice, but here are a few more pictures of the little things. Isn’t it truly is a blessing to see God everywhere we turn? You don’t have to be in Austria, or Germany, to appreciate Him. He is sovereign, and by His grace we are here.
I’ll speak more on that later, but for now enjoy what little I did to try and capture the beauty that is Salzburg, Austria.

photo may 13, 7 19 49 pmphoto may 11, 8 48 56 pmphoto may 11, 8 44 01 pm

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