Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School

Hi Everyone! So today was the first official day of school at the college. Yesterday we had an orientation of the building and the town. The school is inside an adorable pink building on Ursulinenplatz, right along the southern bank of the Salzach, and carved into the cliff face of the Mönchsberg; one of the hills surrounding the city with an abbey on top. The school is small and quaint, with little classrooms, and the 24 of us have it to ourselves. Brigette, the chef, cooks amazing meals for us at lunch in the cafeteria, which reminds me of TAB, back at COA. Today's classes were Art History and Austrian Civilization, which is taught by Dr. Krecht, the program director. Ruby and I are going to share a book for Art History, and it must weigh about thirty pounds! Austrian Civilization also has a lot of reading, but some of it looks very interesting.

Our house though is in the most idyllic part of town by far! It is in a nice neighborhood, at the northern edge of town, and right behind it are beautiful fields, little woods, brooks and paths that run along a hillside and zig-zag through the meadow. It's really gorgeous-I've already taken several walks and runs back there. If you follow one of the paths for 20 kilometers, it will take you to the nearest hill-town, and past some cows and the stables for the city's horses, which pull carriages through town. You can ride your bike, walk or take the extremely prompt, convenient and electrically run bus just about anywhere. There are even some tennis courts nearby, and if I was any good at tennis/had a pal to play with, I totally would.

Salzburg is a very pretty town, and it is chock-full of churches with architecture from every age; Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, you name it. My host parents go to one closer by that is actually in a recycled factory building. There is a great castle on the hill to the south that over looks the city (we'll visit it with the school) and beyond that are the Alps. The Alps are absolutely magnificent, and they make Cadillac and Katahdin look like meager hills. And I have already been to the best vegetarian restaurant in town-the Bio Bistro! Serving excellent vegetarian and Indian cuisine, and the puffiest naan you've ever seen.

So, this week is a little crazy, and a period of adjustment. But once I get into the swing of things, I'm sure everything will go much more smoothly. I must thank Nyssa for helping me out with a monetary issue today (Kudos!), and it's been great to hear from everyone since I've gotten here. This Saturday the school is taking us to the Salzkammergut, the lake region, where I suspect the water will be absolutely freezing, but I'm sure it will be very beautiful. It's also the location of the oldest settlements here from the Neolithic period! Well, it's off to bed before another interesting day...