I am sitting at a desk in our dorm room, listening to the cheers of over a thousand people gathered across the river. They are watching the World Cup finals on an enormous video screen in the center of the Altstadt. These Europeans take their soccer very seriously.
We woke up early this morning and headed downstairs for breakfast. I was very pleased with the food. They had lots of meats and cheeses, as well as bread and a Nutella knockoff, which was quite tasty. We filled up on food and then met outside with a large group of people in the law school program Kendra is attending. The University had sat up a biking tour, which turned out to be delightful. We rented bikes from a small stand in the Alstadt, and biked eight miles through beautiful Land Salzburg. We passed a dam on the river, and soon after, a small boathouse! We even saw a rower out in a single. We pedaled on to Hofbrau Kaltenhaufen, a beer house outside of Salzburg. The food was decent, however we both ordered a liter of water and they were $8 each! It really is much cheaper to drink beer here. We ate with some really nice students from the University of Pacific, the school in the USA that runs this program.
After lunch, we hopped back on our bikes and enjoyed the scenery once more. The mountains surrounding Land Salzburg are gorgeous! We crossed over a small bridge, and the water flowing into the Salzach was aquamarine from all of the minerals flowing down from the rock face of the mountain.
Kendra is a serious cyclist, and I had trouble keeping up with her, as she was pedaling so fast. We were the first to make it back to the center of town! In total, we biked 16 miles.
Kendra spent the afternoon preparing for tomorrow’s classes while I napped. The University held an opening dinner for us later tonight at the Festung Hohensalzburg (The Hohensalzburg Fortress). We traveled up the cable railway, which was a bit like an amusement ride. The meal was in a huge banquet hall, and we somehow managed to sit at a table that was comprised of almost all non-University of Pacific students. The girl across from us goes to the New England School of Law, and the folks to our left went to a variety of schools, though none in New England. There were also several people who were tagging along, like me! The food was tasty – we started with a potato-leek soup, which was my favorite. Kendra had the grilled turkey, which she enjoyed, and I had the spinach lasagna, which I liked about as much as Kendra liked the Kilkenny beer. Dessert was fruit and ice cream.
After dinner we wandered through the fortress and got an amazing view of the city. The sun was just setting, and everything looked so beautiful.
On the way back to the dorm, we passed the crazy soccer fans. I can still hear them now, as I finish this entry. Tomorrow Kendra begins her first day of classes. I am going to find a café so I can finally post these entries.