The past few months have been so amazing and I am so grateful to have been able to experience so many cool things not only in Austria but in Germany and Czech Republic. The highlights were definitely all the Rotary Events including language camp, Hiking weekend, Vienna weekend and City Tour. Outside of Rotary I enjoyed exploring with my host family. We visited a sculpture park, wineries, the Piber Lipizzaner Stud Farm, and an open air museum full of traditional Austrian farms. I also loved visiting the Graz Oper with my host family and I hope to go again soon! Another highlight was Aufsteirern where I really got my first sense of true, traditional Austrian Culture. That also reminds me of when we visited Vienna and me and some exchange students went to the Wiener Riesenrad. That was such a fun and spontaneous night!
I am definitely sad to see the warm weather disappear, today was very foggy and chilly and left me reminiscing about the hot summer days I spent at Attersee. I also thought about all the fun times at language camp and how fortunate us exchange students were to be able to walk down to a lake surrounded by gorgeous mountains and just jump in. I also remember visiting Hallstatt and how beautiful that city was.
So far in Austria I have visited Vienna, Ried im Innkreis, Altmünster, Hallstatt, and Salzburg as well as many other small towns and sightseeing spots. My favourite spot in my city is Schlossberg. This is where atop the hill, the famous clocktower is looking over Graz. The view of the mountains from up there is amazing but I am not sure how much of a view there is now that winter is rolling in. It was really nice during the warmer months were you could see in all directions and especially in Herbst(Autumn) when the leaves started to turn colours. Schloss Eggenberg is also very pretty and they have peacocks roaming the palace grounds.
Recently it has been dark when I wake up every morning, which is very Canadian. But, when I am taking the bus to school every morning the surrounding hill tops disappear into the fog. Halloween was very fun, I got to carve pumpkins with my host sister which turned out to be very good bonding. As well, my inbound councillor took me and her two daughters out horseback riding with her two Icelandic Ponies. It was my first time riding an Icelander and it was really weird but cool! Her two little girls are so cute and they remind me so much of my sister when she was younger. It was also really good German practice since they do not speak English. My German is coming along nicely, I am not at a conversational level yet but I understand all my work from my German classes and I understand almost everything my host mom says to me(she speaks to me in only German). School is still very boring but I have my Matura Ball on Saturday which is basically Austrian Prom. I am very excited since we have nothing like this in Canada. All the girls dress in gorgeous white dress and dance around just like a real ball. But, since I am not in the graduating class, I am only there to watch and enjoy. Today I had my German class at the bilingual school and it was great because I get along really well with the girls in that class. However, most of them will be leaving soon as they were only here for three or five months. It’s unfortunate that I am only just getting to know them so well. The next Rotary trip is in the beginning of December and this is when I will also have to say goodbye to all the Australian and New Zealand exchange students. Although it will be so heartbreaking to see them all back to their countries, I am so grateful for all the fun times I have had with my Oldies.
So there is a little summary of the past three months in Austria and a little update:)
To note, the photos I will include are only recent ones. I have plenty of photos of the past three months on other blog posts.