This past Monday, we didn't have class (very happy about that). Instead, we went to Filzmoos -- about an hour north of Salzburg. Our group took a bus there, then split into groups of 8 for a horse-drawn sleigh right to the top of the mountain. The temperature was in the single digits (Fahrenheit) for the ride but it was so, so fun. Sandy I sat together, naturally, and we were snuggled up the whole time in attempt to keep warm, but even that didn't help. The ride itself was 30 minutes, so they gave each of us a wool blanket. It was easily the coldest I've ever been, but the ride so so beautiful that it truly didn't matter. We saw skiers off in the distance and it made me so excited to go skiing. Hopefully Roman and Sergi can get a group together and we can go up to the mountain to ski one weekend in the near future. I would hate to be living in the Alps and not ski at all this winter.
Anyway, once we finally reached the top of the mountain (at which point we couldn't feel our fingers or toes), we came upon a traditional alpine hut, where we'd have lunch. Inside, the atmosphere was authentically Alpen; men dressed in lederhosen and women dressed in dirndls.
Not to overuse the phrase "best meal of the trip" but this really may have been the best meal of the trip. It. was. amazing. We had bread and soup (goulash for Sandy, garlic for me) and then for dessert was had traditional Kaiser-Schmarrn, which was incredible. It's sort of like shredded French toast served in a giant skillet sprinkled with powder sugar and then garnished with a side of apple sauce or plum sauce. I wish I could have gotten a picture of everyone's faces when they set the skillet down on our table; we were in heaven.
While we were inside the hut, Sandy and Kayla took a trip to the bathroom. Sandy thought it was just the 2 of them in the walls and she asked Kayla if she could serenade her (stall-to-stall) with a Pi Phi song. After Sandy finished the song, she and Kayla emerged from their respective stalls and were received by a group of Austrian women, all clapping for Sandy's song.
We could only spend one hour eating, as it's not safe to leave the horses outside in such extreme temperatures. So just as we'd warmed up inside the hut, we had to brave the cold yet again and head back down the mountain. None of us could get over how tiring it was. We weren't doing any work at all, but the by the time we reached the mountain top we were all extremely famished. And then by the time we reached the bottom, we were exhausted. I slept the entire bus ride home to Salzburg.
Exhaustion aside, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So magical.
Quote of the day: "I am so full that I am angry." -- Sandy, after eating the Kaiser-Schmarrn