The heat here truly is becoming unbearable. Kendra is entrenched in studying for finals, so I spent time by myself today, wandering the streets of Salzburg. My first stop was the Franciscan Church, which was by far my favorite I have seen in Austria. The walls and columns were rough-hewn stone, and the mood inside the church was very calm. Originally built during the 8th century, and rebuilt during the 13th century, it became the church of St. Francis in 1583. I spent a good deal of time just admiring the interior of the building. When I emerged into the sunlight, I strolled down a small street, taking time to snap pictures. My goal was to capture moments of life in Salzburg.
As I walked, I noticed the beautiful medieval buildings, elegant statues, and bustling crowds. For the first time since I have been here, I really noticed the people surrounding me – a bride and groom posing for wedding photos, a woman striding through the streets in her dirndl, and tourists crowding the narrow, cobble stoned streets.
Making my way through the old city, I next stopped at St. Blaise’s Church, which was built in 1327. Somewhat reminiscent of the Franciscan Church, incorporating similar stonework, the interior was dark upon my entrance. I quickly realized that was because the church was closing and tourists were being escorted to the exit. Snapping just two pictures, I returned to the street outside.
After taking some time to peruse artwork on the street, I continued walking, stopping next at St. Mark’s Church. Though I had not intended to make a pilgrimage to the various churches of Salzburg, I seemed to be doing just that! St. Mark’s was completely deserted. As I entered the huge front doors, I was surprised to see a rather small chapel, though beautiful nonetheless. Feeling as though I wasn’t really supposed to be there, my visit was short.
I finally reached my original destination – the Museum of Natural History. I spent some time looking at the fish in the pint-sized aquarium, and then proceeded to an exhibit about lightening. Given that there was no air conditioning inside of the museum, I quickly grew tired of walking through the exhibits, and opted to return to wandering the streets of Salzburg. Though I know I missed some excellent exhibits that I am sure I would have enjoyed had I not been tired, hot, and cranky, the temperature, and the fact that everything was in German, made me feel less regretful about leaving without exploring the entire museum.
Having finally succumbed to the heat, I headed back to the dorm. Kendra met up with me soon after, and I played on the computer while she had a study session in our room. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant a block away from the dorm. Sharing wine, antipasto, and good conversation with Jen and Mike, was a nice way for her to decompress. I, however, was drenched in sweat and still a bit cranky. I do not handle hot weather very well.
Tomorrow Kendra takes her exams, and at 1:30pm, she will officially be on vacation. We are going to see a few more sights in Salzburg tomorrow afternoon, before going to the closing dinner for the program. Right now, I need to quiz Kendra!