AG fest in Salzburg: a good, good night

Monday, August 31, 2009

In this post, I mentioned that the night before our hike up to Monchsberg, we attended a Studentenfest -- AG Fest, to be specific.  AG stands for AktionsGemeinschaft, which is a student organization at Uni. Salzburg.  They're always hosting really fun events, and this one was no exception.  Called "A Good, Good Night", this event was named after the Black Eyed Peas' hit song "I Gotta Feeling" which has been a huge hit in Salzburg and around Austria.  I had no idea it was a Black Eyed Peas song until Jenny told me and I was shocked to hear that it was playing on all the radio stations in the US; I tend to think that Salzburg is this isolated community and that everything I experience here is specific only to this area.  But no -- turns out, this song isn't special at all, as evidenced by the fact that it's sung by Fergie and Will I Am.

It was really fun to get ready in my bathroom before a night out -- just like Caroline and I used to do together.  It was even more fun to walk into Spoon (the venue) and see so many of my friends.  Since Caroline and my other American friends are gone, I've been feeling really nostalgic and generally blue, and having the company of all my favorite European friends made me feel more like myself.  Sergi and Roman, of course, were there, and they loved Jenny, just as I suspected.  They called her "Jenny #2."  

Another highlight?  The event was hosted by my Italian friend Francesco.  He's a DJ and I don't just mean "his parents are C-list celebrities so he DJs parties on the weekends and uses the money to support his drug habit."  I don't know if that's "a thing" in Europe -- maybe that trend is specific to the US.  The point being: Francesco is really good and his parties are really fun.  And of course he DJs every show with an Italian flag on his table!

At one point, he played a remix of Blink-182's 'All The Small Things' (sounds so lame, I know, but stay with me) and sang the lyrics, "Always I know, you'll be at my show" directly to me while grabbing my hands because, well, it's kinda true.  I'm always at his shows.  He plays Beyonce for me, so, obviously.

But perhaps the best moment was walking in and seeing Andy.  Andy is one of my favorite friends I've made here.  He's from the U.K. and lives at Europa Kolleg, which is just one bus stop down from I.K.  Walking into the party and seeing his face made me so happy.  He's the best dance partner and always makes me laugh so much.  His accent is so British it sound fake.  Does that make sense to you?  It does to me.

Or perhaps the real highlight was watching Sergi's dance-off in the center of the dance floor......

Actually, no -- the real highlight was when this young man (see in the background) approached Jenny and asked her a question in Spanish.  When he realized she didn't speak Spanish, he turned to me and asked me.  He told me that he gave her and her family a boat tour 3 years ago in the Dominican Republic.  I told him that I didn't know if she'd ever been to the Dominican Republic and that he'd have to ask her.  She asked her, again, in Spanish, to which she responded, "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" Much to her satisfaction, he did!  She told him she'd never been to the Dominican Republic, but he remained unconvinced.  They argued back and forth it about it for quite some time.  I don't know if ever truly believed her.  He was just so convinced he had given her that boat tour and did not want to hear otherwise.

'Twas a good, good night indeed.

Gablerbräu for dinner and dessert; Hotel Stein for dessert again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gablerbräu:  Gablerbräu has special meaning to me because of ____ night.  I knew I had to take Jenny there.  My meal was great but the polenta Jenny ordered was outstanding.  I can't wait to go back and order that next time.  Gablerbräu's interior is beautiful but I prefer the outdoor seating -- the ambiance is too good (although in winter months, you have no choice, so inside it is!).  Jenny and I had an ongoing joke, where after we ate a really delicious meal, we would look at one another and proclaim, "Best meal of the trip."  Gablerbräu was one of those "best meals", likely due in part to the Apfelstrudel we had for dessert -- a Salzburg must.

And after dessert #1, we decided to go for dessert #2 at Hotel Stein!  Hotel Stein is one of the best spots in Salzburg.  At first, I was intimidated to go here; Hotel Stein is a very expensive hotel as it is prime real estate in Salzburg, and to get to the rooftop you have to (gasp) enter the hotel lobby -- a place only heiresses and CEOs belong.  But once you get over that part, it's fine, and you get to do things like drink espressos!  And eat second desserts!  I ordered my go-to Hotel Stein dessert: strawberries and cream.  Jenny ordered the Sachertorte, which, technically, is a Vienna staple but who's counting?

And the view's not so bad either, am I right?

An hour in Mirabell Gardens

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mirabell Gardens is the tourist trap of Salzburg, simply because of Sound of Music.  I love Sound of Music, but that's not why I love Mirabell Gardens... I just have so many happy memories here and, besides, it's so beautiful.  Normally when I take visiting guests on "my tour", we pop in Mirabell Gardens, take some obligatory pics, and then leave.  Jenny and I spent about an hour there, though, just taking it all in.  It was so fun and memorable.  And of course she picked an Edelweiss or two for a souvenir.  :)

And we can't forget the "Do Re Mi" archway, now, can we?

Views from Monchsberg

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hiking up to Monchsberg (not even really a "hike", more like a strenuous walk) is so, so worth it.  I take all of my visitors up here.  The night before our walk up the mountain, we had stumbled upon an AG Fest and decided to go.  Several of my friends were there (Francesco, Sergi, Roman -- that group).  It was so fun, but lasted so late, which meant we didn't go to bed until 3:30.  It didn't matter, though; we slept for 5-6 hours and then woke up, wide awake, ready to start the day.  But back to Monchsberg -- I don't think the view gets much better than this.  See for yourselves:

A Walk Around Leopoldskrone in Salzburg

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's impossible for me to hear 'Leopoldskrone' not in the voice of the woman who announces the stops on the bus.  For that reason, I kept speaking in that woman's voice (so, the voice of an automated robot) all afternoon.  Remarkably, Jenny didn't even seem to mind!  I think it's because she was too distracted by the beauty around her to care.  And can you blame her?

Jenny swears she saw Capt. Von Trapp and the Baroness visiting.  She supposes they were visiting from Vienna that day... we'll never know, now, will we?

A day in Salzburg's Altstadt

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Throughout Jenny's entire visit, she kept a list of her favorite cities and updated the rankings as we traveled.  I believe we made it to 11 cities total and I am so very proud (but not at all surprised) to say that Salzburg was by far her favorite (her words, too!, not mine).  In fact, there were a few occasions on which I would show her a particularly breathtaking 'corner' of the city and she would immediately have goosebumps all over her arms.  I only wish she could have seen it in the wintertime, too.  That is when I first moved here and fell in love with the city and ever since then, I've been a firm believer that there are few things which can compete with the beauty of Salzburg in the snow.

Either way, Jenny loved Salzburg, and I'm so glad.  Here are some photos of our tour through the Altstadt.

I have no idea why this was her favorite city.  Do you?