New Home Sweet Home

Thirteen days have passed, and Innsbruck still amazes me. I have fallen into a rhythm now, and it almost feels perfectly natural that I am temporarily living in Innsbruck. This past week has been a really busy one. I spend my first weekend in Innsbruck, and I’m so glad I decided to stay and explore more of the beautiful city. My first stop was the Hofburg Imperial Palace right outside of Alstadt, or Old Town. It was really beautiful, and most of the original furniture from when the palace was redecorated in the 18th and 19th century was still there, but unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take pictures.

My next stop was the Hofkirche, or Court Church. Inside is Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I’s large and intricate cenotaph, considered to be one of the greatest cenotaphs in Europe. My mom and I had looked everywhere for this monument when we were here two years ago, and we never found it. I’m not sure why, because the Hofkirche is in plain sight right next to the palace. The church was definitely worth the two-year wait, and it made finally seeing it even sweeter.

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For lunch I met up with one of my friends at a more traditional Austrian restaurant. I ordered Käsespätzle, and of course I absolutely butchered the pronunciation. It is loosely like macaroni and cheese, but it is doughier and thicker, and there are crunchy fried onions on top. It was absolutely delicious.

The next day I decided to walk aimlessly around Innsbruck and see where I ended up. I eventually found myself in the more residential area of the city. All of the houses were absolutely adorable. They all had beautiful gardens and little flower boxes on their windows. I came across a church called St. Nikolauskirche. I couldn’t go in, but it had the cutest and most scenic cemetery I have ever seen. I am a sucker for European cemeteries.

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After a while I came across a palace called Schloss Büchsenhausen. I’m not sure what its history is or what it’s used for now, but it had a pretty bold façade. It’s located on the side of a mountain, and the view of the city below is incredible. Being a Florida girl, I don’t think I would ever get used to the scenery if I lived here.

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Last Tuesday I went to King Ludwig’s castle Neuschwanstein with my Fairy Tales class. This was my third time visiting the castle, but I was still so excited to see it again. At this point it almost felt like coming home. If only. It was pouring rain and freezing the whole time we were there, so it made the experience slightly less enjoyable, but it didn’t detract from the magnificence of the inside. The castle’s interior is decorated with paintings depicting scenes from Richard Wagner’s stories, which we had learned about in class. It was interesting to view the murals and actually know what they were portraying. When I had visited the castle the previous two times, they were all just meaningless scenes to me.

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I have fallen so in love with this city and its culture that I don’t know how I will ever be able to leave. I am so excited to see what the next week will bring. I can already tell that I have changed and grown so much thanks to all of the amazing experiences I’ve had so far. I have always heard people tell stories about how they came back from their study abroad adventures completely altered in their characters, but I never knew how true it really was until now.

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