The internet is much harder to come by even in the big cities than I had thought. I have a hard time paying for an internet café, so this blog is being written with Word and going to be transferred to Blogspot as soon as I can get some kind of internet connection. I’m here in Munich—finally in Germany—in the oddest hotel I’m aware of. It’s seriously as if a two-year-old built a tower out of Legos and somehow the world’s worst architect got a hold of the tower, copied its designs exactly, and actually had it built. Some of the rooms have doors that don’t open even to a 45 degree angle because the wall is in the way. And if you weigh any bit over your recommended BMI, good luck getting through the coalmine-thin hallway. My room (my own room) is really big, but the weird thing about it is that the bathroom is across the hall. It’s a private bathroom—I have the key to it—but it’s across the hall. There are stairs in it. I’ve never seen anything like it. I heard one of our group say earlier today, “I am miserable in that hotel”. But I don’t mind it. Anywhere that will give me functioning bathroom equipment and a clean bed will be fine for two nights. Our other hotels have been quite a bit nicer. Though my room in Salzburg didn’t afford enough room for me and my roommate to stand side-by-side in it. It too was coalmine-thin. Really fun though.
I left Dorfgastein about four nights ago now and went to Salzburg. I really liked Salzburg. It’s a town with a lot of charm. Our hotel was a little outside of town, so we had to take the bus everywhere we went, and I’ll tell you all, I felt great on those busses. I honestly thought I was really good at figuring out where I was how to get to other places. Sure I only had to ever take two busses, but that didn’t matter to me—I still felt great.
We went to church in Salzburg which is always a fun thing to do. I love going to church in places outside of Utah. It’s so nice to see who the church members living in that area are. Plus it’s a confidence boost for my German to understand a lot more of what is said. Context is a great thing.
Any of you who have been to Europe may already know that everything is out-of-control expensive here. Drinks on a menu at most restaurants are the worst—about €2.35 for ¼ liter of Coke and €4.00 for ½ liter. With the exchange rate at about $1.28 to €1, a ½ liter of Coke costs over $5.00! And that’s with no refills and no ice. Plus apparently it’s “tacky” to ask for tap water. But honestly, that’s what I have to do. No wonder Germans spend so much of their income on food. One thing that I have loved about the German restaurant experience has been the amount of time you spend at a restaurant—usually several hours. It’s been nice to have time to sit and relax and talk.
Tomorrow I’m supposed to get on a train and head to Füssen—the town close to the castle Neuschwanstein. You’ve all seen pictures of it. I’ve heard rumors that it is the castle that Walt Disney designed to Magic Kingdom Palace after. I have nowhere to stay in Füssen as of right now, but I’m banking on the idea that I can get a room as soon as I get there. I’m not traveling alone, however, so I’ll be fine. I’m excited to get down there. Then it’s off to Nuremberg to see the Nazi rally sites and whatever else there is to see.
My time in Europe has been fantastic so far. The people in my group have been really great—we all get along really well and have a surprising amount of things to talk about and say to each other.
I’m glad to have the internet so that I can communicate with all of you. Thanks for all the emails. It’s a great feeling to open my inbox and see a bunch there. Write to me if you want. I’m pretty good about getting a very short, personalized response back.
Love to you all,