Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Munich in the Rain

June 1st to the 3rd was endlessly rainy. Rainy and very, very cold. From everyone I've spoken with, it's a very unusual summer. Very unusual. And the unexpected rain has generated unprecedented summer flooding, the likes of which hasn't happened in more than a decade.

It's a good thing that a majority of our activities in Munich were indoors, namely churches, cafes and museums!

Our first night was spent navigating to our respective hotels and then meeting for dinner at the famous Hofbrauhaus in Munchen (Munich), also called a beer garden.

Venison Stew with dumplings

Suckling pig with dumplings

Giant pretzels for sale!

Munich celebrating the night of the championship game!

Hofbrauhaus band

Beer garden in the Munchen rain!

"Traditional" German/Austrian dress for men and women on the way home. These are very popular and VERY expensive! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Out and about in Salzburg!

Between lectures and with limited time off, I had a bit of time to explore Salzburg with friends. Here are some pictures about town. Salzburg is beautiful, even in endless rain...

Walking into the city we pass by a beautiful fountain

And one of the oldest cafes in Salzburg which makes amazing....

Hot Chocolate

On the first Sunday after our arrival a group of us attended Sunday mass at the Dom. The choir that performs is incredible. When I have time to edit the video, I'll share it.

After Mass we had a short time to explore before heading back to lecture at the seminar. Outside the massive facade of the Dom, I bought watercolor paintings of the city from a street artist. I also bought a pretzel at the market (major item on the bucket list!) and decided to explore the catacombs of St. Peter's Church in the time we had left. The catacombs have amazing views of the Dom and a beautifully cared for cemetery.

Pretzels in the market outside the Dom

View of the Dom from the catacombs

Cemetery outside the catacombs

Carved into the side of the cliffs is a medieval chapel. Inside the darkened and dank space was an altar and frescoes only visible through a camera lens.

Fun fact about Austria: There is limited space in many cemeteries and because of this graves are rented rather than owned. They require monthly rent from the family and once no one is able to pay the rent, the bodies are exhumed and placed in a catacomb.

Walking back to Schloss Leopoldskron and lunch...

That night, I decided to spend a bit of the evening writing in the library with a friend. It was an incredible experience to work in this beautiful and historic space, with ancient stucco and carvings, the smell of old books, and polished wood. I sat on the second floor where there are several desks in front of small round windows that face the Schloss grounds. It was an incredibly inspiring place to write.

On our other free afternoon of exploration, I set off with some friends, again in the pouring rain (I'm skeptical at this point that summer ever comes to Salzburg)...

 Salzburg painted eggs shop, one of the most unique place for souvenirs in the old city

Although we had already eaten lunch, we decided to have a second lunch and check off some more bucket list items in Salzburg :)


 Balkan Curry Sausage stand line (seriously amazing food!) For 3,50 one gets two sausages in a hotdog bun with curry powder, onions, mustard, and parsley. It is delicious, especially the kick of spice in the freezing cold rain. My friend and I hid beneath a protruding porch in the medieval alleyway and ate our Balkan Sausages with lemonade soda before trying one of Salzburg's infamous treats...

The Salzburger Nockerl at the famous Mozart Cafe

....a souffle dessert with berries underneath. After a lunch at the Schloss, and a second lunch of Curry Balkan sausages (my friend an I were determined to sample as much of Salzburger cuisine as possible) it was very filling, and absolutely delicious.

Gingerbread at a market stall on our way back to the Schloss

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Food at Schloss Leopoldskron

We laughingly called them 'feedings.' The Schloss and SGS provided us with three amazing meals each day, as well as tea or coffee with snacks in between. I believe the general rule is not to exceed three hours without giving guests food.

The food was prepared by three chefs and a host of culinary students. The food has to be considered cuisine. I didn't get pictures of all of the food (as I was too busy eating it), but here are some:


Friday, June 7, 2013

Schloss Leopoldskron and the Meierhof

Well after the delicious hostel breakfast, we headed to the Schloss Leopoldskron for the Salzburg Global Seminar.

The seminar is in its 58th year and students attending our session were selected from private and public colleges and universities in California, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. Our instructors span the globe, with faculty who are American, Israeli, German, Indian and Austrian.

Throughout the week we discussed significant issues facing the world with emphasis on how we can approach cohesive understanding and empathy for other cultures, particularly through reflection about ourselves. It was an enlightening experience to say the least.

Here are some pictures of the Schloss (palace) and Meierhof (stables) where we lived. The property was built by archbishop Leopold and later owned by the famous theater director and founder of the Salzburg Music Festival, Max Reinhardt, who worked hard to restore the palace to its former glory and make it a home and venue for entertainment.

Reinhardt remained in the United States after the Nazi invasion, while the Schloss was occupied by the Nazis until the end of World War II, when it was returned back to his estate.  Schloss Leopolskron became home to the Salzburg Global Seminar in 1947 when Reinhardt’s widow, Helene Thimig, offered the founders, Clemens Heller, Scott Elledge, and Richard Campbell use of it for their first seminar. 

The Salzburg Global Seminar program aims to bring leaders from across the world together for the pursuit of enlightenment and peace. Half way between the United States and Russia, it was once a neutral meeting place for high-ranking officials from both countries at the height of the Cold War. Today, it continues to host world leaders, academic minds, and college students, all of whom are pursuing a higher purpose and state of being. The luxury of the palace and the relaxation that the Schloss and Meierhof provide, really do allow for creative thought and open mindedness. It is a place for whom an appropriate motto was selected: Pure Inspiration.