Day 14: Alpine Center

Today, Harris and I slept in until 11:00.

When we finally awoke, we walked over to the supermarket in search of something to eat. I ended up with a cereal called CiniMinis purporting to be similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch while Harris grabbed some Greek yogurt and grains.

At 1:00, everyone met in the lobby and boarded the bus to go white-water rafting. While we were on the bus, it alternated between drizzling, pouring, and not raining at all.

We arrived, grabbed really tight wetsuits, and drove out to the river.

White-water rafting was fun, except for our Austrian instructor. Somehow, Harris and I ended up in the boat with the angry, moody one. For the first half of the river, he wouldn’t let us paddle at all; for the second half, he made us paddle the entire way. The other boats had a much more normal experience. However, even the evil instructor couldn’t take the fun away from jumping in the river and letting the current carry you downstream.

We got back to the hotel and pretty much just chilled for the night. Dinner was more Americanized: roast chicken and french fries. After dinner, I cracked open my bottle of Austrian wine and shared it with people in the hotel bar.

The label on my wine was entirely in German and is reproduced here:


Wuerzig lieblich und harmonisch wie reife Zwetschken.
Ein koestlicher Begleiter zu Palatschinken und Mohnnudeln.
Ideal bei 16-18 C.

Wegenstein Lieblich: Das ist feine Weinqualitaet aus den bekannten Weinbauregionen Oesterreichs. Traditionelle heimische Sorten, fruchtsuess ausgebaut und von perfekter Trinkreife.

After plugging it in to Google Translate, it makes a little more sense to an English-speaker:


Spicy sweet and harmonious like ripe plums.
A delicious accompaniment to pancakes and poppy seed noodles.
Ideal at 16-18 C.

Wegenstein Lieblich: That’s fine quality wine from the famous wine regions of Austria. Traditional local varieties of fruit, sweet and perfect extended drinking time.

Day 13: Munich, Salzburg, Alpine Center

Today was another travel day.

We woke up this morning and said goodbye to Germany. We set off in the bus for Salzburg, Austria.

Salzberg is the hometown of Mozart, so we stopped for lunch and Jamie led us to Mozartplatz, where a statue of Mozart is located. We then split up and walked around the city. After grabbing something to eat, I ended up sitting by the river and people-watching for a while.


Following our visit to Salzburg, we set out for the small Alpine town of Wagrain, where our hotel is located. A relatively short bus ride, and we arrived with a ton of time to spare. Harris and I checked into our room, which has three beds, and then visited the market to purchase some provisions. As we’re in Austria, I figured that I’d buy an Austrian wine (which I still haven’t tried).



Dinner was somewhat of an awkward affair, as the hotel restaurant was very understaffed and quite unused to dealing with English-speaking Americans. Unfortunately, we were unable to communicate our desire for tap water and ended up having to pay for bottled water.

After dinner, we adventured out into the little town of Wagrain and found a few bars. We ended up at a particular one because it was “Ladies’ night” and women were served a free glass of Prosecco. The beer wasn’t too bad and I had two glasses of Edelweiss beer.

When the bar died down, I left back for the hotel and went to sleep.

Tomorrow: Sleep in, then white-water rafting in the afternoon.

Day 10: Black Forest, Rhine Falls, Swiss Alps

We woke up at 6:30 and enjoyed a German breakfast at our hotel. By 7:30 we had all boarded the bus heading for the Black Forest.

When we arrived at a little part of the Black Forest, we went into a cuckoo-clock workshop and were instructed in how cuckoo-clocks were constructed. All the clocks were very pretty: intricately carved and painted with good mechanisms. However, they were also super expensive.


After enjoying the clocks, a bunch of us went for a hike in the Black Forest. The hike was beautiful; we followed a moderately sized stream and found a few waterfalls and a man-made partial dam. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.




We then left the Black Forest and drove toward Switzerland. We crossed the Swiss border without incident (they didn’t even check our passports to give us stamps) and rode toward the Rhine Falls, the largest (but not tallest) waterfall in Europe.


Following our visit to the falls, we arrived at the Grand Hotel Europe in Lucerne, Switzerland. The hotel was nice and included the first really good shower of the trip. Almost everyone got dressed nicely and headed out to our Swiss Folklore Dinner Party option.

At the Folklore Dinner, we enjoyed traditional Swiss music, dancing, and games before and after our meal. The meal was good and included some real veggies (why have they been missing everywhere else?), which made everyone happy. The games were a bit dangerous and a few people got hurt (but nothing is broken, as far as we can tell). Due to construction on the mountain road, we couldn’t stay in Illgau (the town on the mountain where the folklore dinner was located) past 10 PM. On the bus ride home, it turned into a bit of a party (but I fell asleep).

We arrived back at the hotel and fell asleep promptly.

Tomorrow: More time in Lucerne, journey to the small country of Liechtenstein, and end in Munich with a Bavarian dinner and some beer at the Hofbrauhaus.