It seems like it's been longer, but I've been in France for a whole week as of today. Not wanting to miss anything, we've done so many things that the days run together, my feet and legs are constantly sore, and it feels as though we've been here for a month. I've ultimately decided that over the course of these six weeks, I'll never catch up on sleep - but, I'm okay with that.
This past weekend was my first trip outside of France, as well as my first time traveling alone! At the conclusion of class on Friday, I made my way to one of the main train stations in France and boarded a high-speed train to go to Munich, Germany. Having learned German for six years in school, I was excited to finally be able to put those years to use and experience a culture I'd heard so much about.
While the walk from the Munich train station to my hotel at 10:00pm was less than desirable, I made it, somehow, in one piece. I settled into the room and tried to go to sleep as quickly as possible because I had an early train in the morning.
The alarm went off at 5:00am and I frantically got ready in order to catch a train leaving at 5:53am to go to Füssen, Germany, which is a tiny town perched along the Austrian Alps in southern Germany. I barely made the train - it started moving about a minute after I boarded.
Even though it was a two hour train ride early in the morning, it was incredible, simply because of the sights out the window. I saw fields covered in bright yellow flowers, little villages settled in valleys of mountains, and expansive lakes dotted with red-roofed homes. It was spectacular.
Upon arrival in Füssen, I wandered the town for a while before making my way to Schwangau, a town that holds the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, the same castle that inspired Disney World's Cinderella Castle. The area around the castle was stunning, with a large, clear lake surrounded by alps. I took a tour of the castle and then made my way down to the lake to eat lunch.
I wasn't quite sure what was next on the agenda, but I spontaneously decided to take a bus to the next town over, Tegelberg, where I took a gondola up to the top of the mountains, right in the Austrian Alps. The views were incredible and I'll let the photos speak for themselves. People were also parachuting and hang-gliding off the side of the mountain, which was so fun to watch. I hiked in the area for an hour or so and made my way back down via gondola.
At the end of the day, after walking 13.34 miles in total, I was ready to head back to my hotel to go to sleep for the night. As it would be, I had another early morning to explore the city of Munich, which I'll talk more about in the next post.
PS - A perk of traveling alone? No one is there to stop you from having ice cream for dinner. :)