21 Days in Europe: Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, & Paris!

 

 

Image

On our first day in Salzburg, I explored the grounds by Schloss Leopoldskron with these beautiful ladies. (Left to right: Jessica S., Laura H., Skylar L., and Erin E.)

Image

Erin E. and Jessica S. look so adorable walking down the path (:

Image

These scholars are already getting together and thinking about what it really means to be a global citizen. Together we’re going to find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Either that or maybe we just made some friends from Louisiana and decided to pretend to be statues. It was really a combination of both; Salzburg Scholars are overachievers and multitaskers (; (Left to Right: Megan L., Carissa L., Baylie M., and Beth B.)

Image

Then I went for another walk when I ran into Jessy G., Carissa L., and Megan L because you really can’t get enough of that beautiful scenery and fresh air by the Schloss. Here we met Kenneth H. also from Louisiana!

Image

Jessy G. looking fabulous as always! We took a photo of each other taking photos as walked into town.

Image

(Left to Right: Jessy G., Megan L., and Carissa L.) I love these people and their beautiful smiles. It’s funny that we didn’t have to submit photos when applying for the Salzburg program, but all the students and faculty from SJSU and all the other schools were so good looking (;  Don’t believe me? Check out our GCP 58 group photo! I suppose that says a lot about the powerful little light that shines within us fueled by our brilliant minds and unique personalities.

Image

Ran into Jessica S. and Laura H. in town. One of my favorite things that we did on this trip, was riding bikes together, singing Disney songs, and exploring Salzburg.

Image

Taking photos around the lake together with our friends from Louisiana. That’s the Schloss in the background! (Left to Right: Mia D., Patience M., Nichole Y., Baylie M., Ianander T., Codi M., Erin E., Emily L., and Cagney B.)

Image

One of my only pictures with Codi M. turned out blurry, 😦 but here she is with Jackson J. aka “Mr. President” and a duck she caught! Disclaimer: We let the duck go after we took some photos despite the “Duck Dynasty” jokes going around…

Image

“You guys wanted a duck, so I got you a duck.” – Codi M. One of the best parts of this trip was I really broke out of my shell and got to know a lot of students and faculty from all parts of the world, and from my own university as well. We took a GLST course together before attending the seminars  but at the end of this week, I think most of us would agree we really went from classmates to friends. My hope is we’ll continue to learn more about each other, but this trip definitely showed me a lot of fun and interesting sides of people we didn’t get a chance to see during class. After she caught this duck, Codi and I got to talking, and I learned that she has raised so many different animals and she knew so much about them!

Image

Megan L. and Joy F. looking effortlessly stunning walking down the steps of the Schloss. We were celebrating our only day of sun!

Image

These next two photos are my favorite! Jessica S. and I attempted to take a roommate picture, and we were photobombed. In this first one, you can spot me in the back. (Left to Right: Joey R., Paolo L., Nichole Y., Laura H., Jessica S., Patience M., and Jonathan P.)

Image

This has to be one of the best photobombs because in a matter of seconds more people appeared. In this one, you can see Jessica, and the corner of my eye behind Paolo. After this, we were called back inside, so we never did successfully get this roommate photo, but we had a lot of other pictures (; (Left to Right: Joey R., Carissa L., Jessy G., Paolo L., Nichole Y., Jessica S., Laura H., Patience M., and Erin E. Andy D. is behind the camera!) 

Image

At the final banquet. I love these guys, everyone is lookin’ good! (Left to Right: Paolo L., Erin E., and Andy D.)

Image

Jessy G. and I at pre-banquet! This was one of the most beautiful rooms, and they replicated this room for the ballroom in “The Sound of Music”. We took so many wonderful photos with everyone on this night, and they are scattered across multiple cameras, so I’ll just include one.

Image

Me and Dr. Rostankowski! If it wasn’t for that little boost of encouragement she gave me last October, I never would have reapplied for the Salzburg Program this year, and I would not have shared this amazing week in Salzburg with everyone. Thank you again Dr. Rostankowski for being one of the most inspirational and supportive people in all of our lives!

Image

With some of the presenters from this year’s seminar on our last day in Salzburg. Astrid, Johen, Xenia’s husband, and Xenia is behind the camera! It was privilege getting to know them, hearing their stories, talking with them after seminars, and they just have such a great sense of humor.

Image

After Salzburg, Sophia G., Erin E., and I visited Vienna. At the Hellbrunn, we saw the gazebo from “The Sound of Music.” Unfortunately, they locked the doors, and Sophia G. joked that perhaps it’s because too many people have tried to dance in it. I’ll admit we did sing a little bit of “16 going on 17”!

Image

My dog friend from Vienna! I won’t bore everyone with all those photos, but this was the most playful dog. He put his head down on my knee, followed me around, and rolled over too. Sophia G. and Erin E. can tell you how much this dog loved me haha!

Image

On a cold and rainy day, we got lost, walked for at least two hours, and successfully made it to the Sigmund Freud Museum. This was his old apartment/office. As a psychology major, it was a treat for me to walk up the steps, ring that doorbell, see all the photos/papers, and observe the small details of a place Freud once lived and worked. Thank you Sophia G. for navigating, and Erin E. for accompanying me!

Image

In Vienna, Erin E., Sophia G., Mary O., and I went to Schmetterlinghaus, where we saw butterflies! The room was so humid, that our cameras fogged up, but I managed to grab a few quick shots of some of the butterflies. Erin E. made a great choice going here!

Image

Sophia G. and I! In Munich, we caught our first couple days of consistent sunshine! We visited the Alte Pinakothek, and then sat outside on the grass to watch some of locals player soccer…or football, whatever you want to call it!

Image

Me and Erin E.! Love these ladies ❤

Image

After Munich, we hopped on a night train to Paris, France. One of our first meals included escargot. A French family at the next table, kept watching and smiling over at us. How do you say in French “Don’t worry, we know we’re eating snails?” 😛

Image

Don’t worry we didn’t eat this bunny, even though we took pictures of all our food 😛 Just a cute little French bunny gnawing on a carrot by the Eiffel Tower.

Image

Sunset and view of the Eiffel Tower from the top of Montparnasse Tower.

Image

Ticket up the Eiffel Tower! Sophia G. and Erin E. successfully woke me up early to go wait in the line for a little trip up the tower. While we were waiting, this man put on a scary mask to keep us entertained. His best moments were slipping in between couples, putting his arm around the wife, pointing at something, and getting her startled reaction when she turned and realized it wasn’t her husband standing next to her.

Image

Teehee! “You must be this tall to ride.” Look how tall I am! Guess I finally hit that growth spurt from stuffing myself with delicious rolls and all the tasty menu items back at the Schloss 😛 We made it up to top of the Eiffel Tower.

Image

Where are we? I can’t quite “put my finger on it.”

Image

Just kidding! We spent a few hours at the Louvre. Sophia G. and Erin E. will tell you, it is extremely overwhelming to try and get through this museum in a few hours. We were exhausted!

Image

We couldn’t believe this either! As we were heading out, we ran into our fellow scholars and friends! What are the chances that we would be in Paris, France, at the same spot in the Louvre, at the same time? To think, I was planning on messaging them that night to ask if they had made it to Paris yet. (Left to Right: Paolo L., Erin E., Laura H., Jessica S., Sophia G., and Nichole Y.)

Image

We went to Notre Dame because Sophia G. heard about a night show they have there. While we were waiting in the bleachers, there was a small concert going on. Then I felt a huge drop of something down my leg, I was worried it was bird poop at first, but luckily it was water. Was it really lucky? Literally one second after that first drop of water, the rain came pouring down hard! It was as though someone had dumped a huge bucket of water over us. Everyone ran towards the church to duck for cover. The amazing camera woman Erin E. was quick and managed to capture the entire thing on video. Unfortunately, we never got to see the night show :/

Image

My favorite museums we visited in Paris were the d’Orsay and l’Orangerie. We respected the signs not to take photos in the museums, so this is just a quick photo outside the d’Orsay. One of the best decisions we made on this trip was buying the Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie passport ticket, which gave us a pass to both museums and we were able to avoid the massive line at the d’Orsay.

Image

Since I fell in love with Monet’s paintings at the previous museums I mentioned, I had to visit Monet’s House to visit the gardens. At this point, I was all alone in Paris, and this was my first time being away from home for longer than a week. I was so proud of myself for making the reservation, waking up at 5am (Erin E. has given me the nickname me “Sleeping Beauty”), navigating the metro, staying safe, and successfully getting there. It was well worth it! There was an amazing assortment of flowers, and it was really calming walking through the place. I also really appreciated seeing Monet’s collection of Japanese woodblock prints. I messaged my travel buddies later letting them know I was safe, and that Sleeping Beauty was woken by the light touch on the lips by Monet’s paintbrush.

Image

Can you spot the Eiffel Tower? I’m ending this post with love from Paris; our final destination. Sophia G. and I walked 300 steps up Sacre Coeur. I want to thank Sophia again for being on her knees for 10000 minutes with her hands in the air forming different heart shapes just so I could get this photo.

If a picture can speak a thousand words, than I wonder how many words are in the 2000+ photos I took on this trip? (; That was quite a shock to me, when I arrived home yesterday and uploaded everything onto my computer. It will take me a while to filter through everything and share those with everyone, but I promised Carissa during the trip that I would get some photos up on the blog. Better late than never! 

On the airplane home yesterday, I spent a few hours sleeping, rewatching “The Sound of Music”, and then I decided to finally open up that goodbye packet. I had avoided opening it before we left. I teared up just a little bit going through it, and I really think it’s because they included the group photo! 

I took the time to talk with people during meals and when we were just hanging around the Schloss, and I have to admit there are quite a few people that surprised me. For instance, one faculty member sat down next to me at dinner, and I was dreading the next hour because I did not know what to say and I was afraid I was going to sound stupid. We ended up talking for so long that someone had to come remind us that the next seminar was in five minutes. I had quite a few unexpected encounters like this throughout the week. To be very honest, some of the people I will miss the most are the ones I was most afraid of talking to at first. I appreciated how much people were willing to share about themselves, how easy it was to talk to anyone, and I felt so impressed by the things people knew and experiences they have gone through in their lives.

This was my second time applying for the Salzburg Program, and I am so unbelievably grateful my application wasn’t accepted the first time. If I had gone to Salzburg two years ago, then it would have been a completely different experience with different people. I think everyone part of GCP58 were similar enough, but still uniquely different in the most perfect way. There was an amazing group dynamic, and I feel most of us got the sense that we really belonged to something amazing.

I will miss a lot the friends we made on this trip, but it was from this experience that I’ve began to really understand how important it is to cherish the time we share with people, and not always assuming that we will see them again in the future because even if we do bump into each other years down the line, it might not be the same. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a part of life. Sometimes our paths cross for a little bit so we can learn something about ourselves, shift our perspectives, or share a bit of our time with others. Then paths might diverge briefly so people can move on to accomplish greater things, like what all of us will be doing in the coming months with our globalization projects and other personal goals. This is why it is so important to always wrap things up and take a moment to say goodbye, say our thanks, and let people know what we admire about them because sometimes people don’t always know how awesome others think they are. I’ve learned so much through our interactions and experiences in Salzburg, and there are too many people to thank for that! So this post is just my quick warm thank you to everyone I shared this once in a lifetime experience with, and all of the people that got us there!

Stay well! And we’ll hopefully be in touch (:

– Nichole 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s