Episode 2: Dorfgastein ->Wien (Week One)

We made it to Wien!

Welcome back! To finish off episode 1 we spent the rest of the week in Dorfgastein doing “leisurely walks” aka hikes up mountains and waterfalls. On day 4 we hiked up the tallest waterfall in Europe, the Krimmler Wasserfälle (Krimml Waterfall) is 1,247 feet and is extremely beautiful.

The whole group with our hiking guide
The whole group with our hiking guide

On the 18th of August we made our way to Wien, making a pitstop in the beautiful city of Salzburg. Salzburg is the home of the infamous composer, Mozart. while on a tour we got to see both his birth place and his living quarters. 

The place where Mozart was born.
The place where Mozart was born.

 We also learned that Salzburg got its name from the large amount of barges that were traveling on the Salzach river, caring Salt.  Over Salzburg is a beautiful sight to see with the Salzach River running through the middle.

The Salzach River, Salzburg.
The Salzach River, Salzburg.

Later that day we took the train to Wien were we finally met our host families!! Yay! Meeting my host mom was something that made me quite nervous at first. Yes it can be very awkward also. However after settling down and learning all the ins and outs of living with your host family, everything seems to fall into place and all the nerves you had before seem small.

With great luck, Austria was experiencing the hottest summer yet and my host mom took me to her favorite swimming spot. What’s a better bonding experience than swimming?

After spending the weekend settling in we began our first week in Wien. On August 20 we had orientation and a walking tour of Wien. Then we started our first class at the Institute, with another walking tour. That week we had roughly 4 walking tours, which at first seemed overwhelming but each tour showed us a different part of the city. Wien is roughly 2 million people and consists of 23 districts and without those tours, we may not have seen those places on our own.

During the summer, swimming is very popular and therefore, we swam ALOT. We also rented a small paddle boat on the Donau river. Which in Wien, is spilt into three sections, the Donau, the New Donau and the Old Donau. We spent most of our time in the new Donau.

Overall the end of Dorfgastein, Salzburg and our first week in Wien was amazing. As we continue our journey, we learn new things everyday. We have found new places and areas everyday. And we have had fun everyday.

Stay tuned to hear about our trip to Budapest, Hungary. (:

Thanks for reading!

Melissa Rockow

Ponchos are the newest fashion statement in outdoor clothing. (:
Ponchos are the newest fashion statement in outdoor clothing. (:
Part 2 of the the 3 part waterfall.
Part 2 of the the 3 part waterfall.
Vanessa standing on a bridge crossing the river.
Vanessa standing on a bridge crossing the river.
Flat land! We finally made it to the bottom!
Flat land! We finally made it to the bottom!
The end of the waterfall.
The end of the waterfall.