We awoke in Strasbourg, then headed to Offenburg. From Offenburg, we traveled to Karlsruhe and from there, on to Munich. And you know what that means.... next stop: Salzburg. The train ride from Munich to Salzburg is so familiar to me; I've begun to know it like the back of my hand. Mostly because taking the Bayern ticket from Salzburg to Munich (and back again) is one of my favorite ways to travel here. You pay 20 euro for a single ticket and 25 euro for a group ticket (up to five people) and that allows you to travel anywhere in the entire state of Bavaria (Salzburg included) for the day (so long as you are traveling on Regio-Bahns and not ICE trains) (and so long as you leave after 9:00 AM -- can't forget that one). As you can imagine, my friends and used this quite a bit over the past few months. And that is, precisely, how I know the route frontwards and backwards, in my sleep and wide awake: Salzburg, Freilassing, Teisendorf, Traunstein, Prien am Chiemsee, Bad Endorf, Rosenheim, Großkarolinenfeld....and onto Munich it goes.
As we were nearing Salzburg, not only did we look worn-out, but we should have felt completely exhausted. In reality, we were thrilled beyond words to be approaching our destination at last. And what a destination it was: my home! I love living in Salzburg, of course, but I might love introducing people to Salzburg even more. Our school's cultural guide, Andreas, cites "sharing his beautiful homeland with visitors" as his passion in life, and I'm beginning to understand how he feels. No matter how long I've been in Salzburg, I still get butterflies every time come back again after having been away for a few days. In between Freilassing and Salzburg, the butterfly-feeling reaches its peak; so close, almost there!
By the time we took the bus into the city center, I was beaming with pride. Jenny was so excited for me to show her around, and while I appreciated her enthusiasm, I think that even if she had been totally apathetic and indifferent towards Salzburg, I still would have made my love for the city so known that it eventually would have rubbed off on her. Luckily for me, I didn't have to resort to that, because she loved it from the get-go! We stepped off at Mozartsteg and changed busses there to get home to my place.
After we dropped off our bags in my room and unpacked, we were off again -- no time to waste. We stopped to eat lunch at Indigo, one of my favorite restaurants, which is just down the street from my place, within walking distance. I love their sushi and curry and it's inexpensive which is, of course, my favorite quality in a restaurant. You add the spice yourself -- no numerical or star scale to worry about -- and the sushi is sold individually so you can try lots of different kinds without committing to a whole tray (primetime firstworldproblems, huh?). And each roll costs only a euro or two, so you can dine here for under 10 euro if you wish (but always remember to bring your own water, as buying water bottles can add up at two euro a piece!).
It's amazing how quickly your trip can turn around. Just last night we were stuck in the south of France without a clue as to how we'd get out. Less than twenty-four hours later, we were sitting at Indigo without a care in the world. Except we were a little concerned that there just weren't enough hours in the day to do what we had to do, and see what we had to see. But that's nothing new. That's just the double-edged sword of life in Salzburg.