The past week has been crazy; please excuse my absence and lack of updating. We've had 3-hour German classes every day. My class starts at 9:30 and Sandy's starts at 1:00, so sometimes we pass each other on my way home from class and on her way to class, but other than that we haven't seen a whole lot of each other. My teacher, Frau Eva, is really intense, as I indicated in the last post. If it's possible for one's brain to physically hurt from hyper-concentration, then that is, in fact, what I experience each day upon leaving her classroom. I am learning so much, though, which is why I came here in the first place. Nevertheless, I'm learning way more than I expected. And although the class itself is really intense -- and the three hours seem to stretch on forever -- the view from my classroom with the snow falling down all around us is unbelievable. Hard work is hard work, but it certainly does help when you're working hard in the most beautiful city on earth.
I've been walking back from class each day with Kayla. I've mentioned her before, and I'm getting know her really well. She's from Seattle, and has the bluest eyes and prettiest cornsilk hair -- I've never seen anyone so (naturally) blonde in my life. We're in different German classes, but she's been waiting for me (or vice versa) at school so we can walk back together. It's a bit of walk and freezing in the snow, but these walks have become the highlight of my days this week. Salzburg is so magical and the atmosphere is just unreal -- walking home in the swirling snow, we'll make a detour here or there and just take it all in. It does not seem like a real place, and neither of us can really believe that we live here.
We've found some really fun places around the Altstadt during our exploring. One place we stopped in this week is a little Irish pub called Shamrock. We've actually eaten lunch there 3 days in a row -- we order a 5 euro pizza and drink Snakebites and it's quickly becoming 'our' very own tradition.
Another highlight of this week: pastry tasting! Kayla and I went together and sat with Caroline and our new friend, Lindsay. The four of us had the best time. Pastry tasting is just as amazing as it sounds; hosted at Cafe Schatz, we were invited to taste all of the pastries. During the full hour that we were there, they just kept bring treat after treat after treat, all for free, of course. Ingrid, our director, set it up, and when she told us about it, I was expecting a "sample" size, but the portions were huge. We also got hot chocolate, which was the icing on the cake (or rather, the pastry).
Life here is already passing by so quickly and I find myself wanting time to stand still. Every day is better than the day before and I'm starting to wonder if it's possible to have a bad day here at all?
I don't foresee a bad day in the near future, at least. Because tonight we have our Valentine's Day event, and then we have a 3-day weekend, and then we have a trip to the Alpine Hut next Monday.
Life is so, so good in The Alps.
Quote of the day: "Best hour of my life." -- Kayla, on our way out of pastry tasting