The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Music

You sang that title, don’t lie.

I most anticipated my trip to Austria and it did not disappoint – it was infact my favorite place I’ve visited so far.

After we left Munich, we took a drive through the alps and stopped at the salt mines to take a tour of the mines and see how salt was harvested. It was super interesting and the jump suits were even better

We took trains deep into the mountain, got to see salt lakes, amazing caverns, and even got to go down a slide

Next we left for our hotel, which was beautifully cradled in the side of a mountain. We had the hugest hotel room, complete with two balconies overlooking the mountains, and an even bigger shower – it was a huge improvement to what we had in the other countries.

We also left the doors open the whole time we were there – it was a great change to the hot summer air we have been used to on this trip.

This hotel also had an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, a game room, and an outdoor patio that the whole group put to good use. Many times. Sometimes all of us at once, to the dismay of the hotel staff.

That evening, we sat outside and played card games and laughed and talked for most of the evening. When we got too rowdy, we were asked to go to the game room and continue our shenanigans down stairs. Unfortunately, we planned to hike early the next morning and needless to say, we got four or so hours of sleep, max. The next morning, at five in the morning, we took off up the mountain and saw some of the most beautiful sights I have seen. I don’t wake up before the sun often, but when I do I never regret it

It was a brutal hike; completely uphill to the point of almost having to run to get momentum upwards for almost fifteen minutes straight before getting any sort of break in the incline – my legs were sore the next day. To be honest, it was one of the best activities I had done all trip and was good for the soul. I do love the mountains.

We also made a friend along the way. We named her Daisy.

We hiked for almost four hours and then went back to the hotel to prepare for our white water rafting excursion. Another one of my favorites; we poured ourselves into extremely tight wet suits, put on even more flattering helmets, and dove into the Jade green river through the alps. There were three different rafts with our group on the trip – ours was filled with all the former student athletes and needless to say, we won the apparent “race” to the end of the river. Jokes aside, we did have an easy time with rafting and the guide told us we were his best group he’s ever had. I had a blast. I’d do it again in a heart beat. When we were done, we swam in the icy cold river, I saw Jaci completely face plant in the river trying to run and jump into the water, and sore from laughter, went back to the hotel grateful for the mountains, the cool fresh air, Austria’s beautiful sights, and for a place that was the best for my soul and mind.

I thank you, Austria.

Blossom of snow, bloom and grow forever.

Next stop, Italy.

Ciao, Bella.

T

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