Sunday, November 4, 2012


This has been a whirlwind Herbstferien (Fall Vacation) so instead of recapping everything, I'm just going to mention some highlights and observations.
  • Went to Vorarlberg, the western most province in Austria.
  • The train ride was long, but very beautiful. Part of the ride was on a mountain, so I was able to look down into the valley below. Beautiful, but a little scary!
  • Stayed with another TA and her family.
  • Walked into Switzerland, which is possible from Vorarlberg. Luckily, we did not get stopped, because I did not have my passport with me. (Switzerland is not part of the EU, so you need a passport crossing into it.)
  • Ate veal for the first time.
  • Also ate venison for the first time. It was served in a gulasch.
  • Just generally ate a lot in Vorarlberg. Some other highlights of eating this week include polenta, quiche lorraine, Knödel (dumplings), chocolate cake, apple cake, a sponge cake with berries and finally, cheese! My friend's mother has a knack for buying the most delicious cheeses, especially soft cheeses.
  • After a few days in Vorarlberg, my dirndl that I just bought probably does not fit anymore.
  • I learned that I do not have a talent in buying the right kind of cheese. When I got back home, I bought some Brie from the supermarket and it was awful.
  • Visited Bregenz, the capitol of Vorarlberg. Walked around, saw one of the biggest lakes in Europe (Lake Constance), went to the Kunsthaus (art museum) and saw a bizarre exhibition of line drawings and a good one on art and photography from Nairobi, Kenya. Which just fueled my interest in visiting Kenya some day. Maybe that will be my next goal: move to Kenya!
  • Went on two long walks. One in a snowy forest and the other completely up hill.
  • Also learned to never trust Austrians when they say "We're going on a walk!" I know I have mentioned this before, but I feel like I will never learn this lesson! 
  • Railjet is one of the nicest trains I've been on in Europe. It even has wifi!
  • Spent the night in Salzburg with some other TAs. Who happen to have a very nice apartment!
  • We went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant and then out for beers afterwards. Unfortunately, I did not get to eat the schnitzel I've been craving.
  • Stayed up way too late on Friday night. Walked home from the bar and stopped at McDonald's on the way back.
  • Went to Prien am Chiemsee, which is in Germany. This is also a very big lake, though not as big as Lake Constance.
  • Visited one of the islands that has a castle. Apparently the castle was modeled after Versailles, but was never finished.
  • Didn't go inside the castle, except to eat, but did see some reindeer in the gardens. However, I just learned that they were not reindeer, but in fact, fallow deer!
  • A week's vacation didn't feel long enough. I don't feel ready to go back to school!
  • And the best news of all, bought a ticket to go to Berlin in a few weeks! Can't wait!

And now for some random pictures!

Cat in the Old City Bregenz.

Very friendly and even posed for us!

Blurry photo of Switzerland. I think.

Lake, ducks and Germany in the background. Or maybe it was Switzerland, I can't remember!

Lake Constance and me. The light was not the greatest for a picture!

Forgot to take a picture of the delicious cake I had before eating it!

This made me laugh. Don't know what that says about my maturity level.


Old Town Bregenz

More Old Town Bregenz. Hard to see, but there is a pair of antlers hanging over the tunnel.

Interesting cafe next to the art museum in Bregenz.
My friend's cat.

Snowy (and very wet!) woods.

View while on a walk.

For dog droppings. There were many of these on the walk, but of course, I ended up taking a picture of one that has graffiti.

View on the boat going to Herreninsel on Chiemsee.

Some other TAs and me on the boat.

The castle on Herreninsel.

Human body, but frog face.

I think this is a Greek goddess turning people into frogs and lizards.

Here are the frogs and lizards.

And the humans changing into frogs.

Another frog face.

Another fountain in the gardens.

I especially liked this serpent.

Not that impressed!

There was a reindeer! Actually a fallow deer, according to my Bavarian friend.

Attempting to ruin my pictures.

Wasn't supposed to take pictures in this room, but didn't see the sign until after I took this photo. Oops!


  1. Aww, I love the reindeer! And the cats!
    You did not like brie? :) Why is that? Isn't is pretty mild?

    1. Sorry, forgot to respond!

      I do love brie, but the kind I bought tastes awful!