By Katelyn Schmidt
Thursday as a class, we took a day trip to Antwerp, Belgium. It was a short train ride from Brussels, so we had most of the day to walk around and experience the city. Although it was a rainy day, we were able to make the best of it. We visited a couple museums, one being more architectural and one being more cultural. The first museum we visited was the MAS Museum.
We were able to go to the top and view the entire city from above. After we left the MAS Muesum we headed over to the Red Star Line Museum. The Red Star Line was the shipping line that brought immigrant from Europe to the United States and Canada in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s. The museum was in an old warehouse that actually served as the check in port for immigrants leaving Europe. It was not only interesting to see what people went through in that time to get to America, but very humbling to experience the museum the way we did.
Friday Sarah, Amber and I decided to make a trek to the southeastern corner of Germany. We set off early Friday morning to Munich. When we arrived we checked into our hostel and headed straight to the Marienplatz. This is the center of Munich’s old town. The circular platz (plaza) is filled with retail shops and little restaurants up and down the streets leading to the center. In the center of the larger plaza is a smaller main plaza, similar to the Grand Platz of Brussels.
We walked around for a while just taking in the scenery and German culture. We ended up finding our way to the famous Hofbraühaus of Munich. Needless to say, the beer hall that serves all the traditional German food and beer kept us entertained for the rest of the night. We made some new friends and learned some helpful German customs.
On Saturday morning we caught the earliest train to Salzburg, Austria. We had mountain fever and figured it was only a couple of hours away. About ten minutes into our train ride our faces were glued to the window as the Austrian Alps started approaching. It was so gorgeous and very exciting to know that’s where we were headed.
We got to Salzburg and dropped our bag off at our hostel and started towards the old part of the city, knowing that’s where we wanted to spend our day. We started walking and not even 5 minutes later we were totally regretting our coats; 55 and sunny. We were totally spoiled weather wise.
We had done a little research and found that the Festung Hohensalzburg was a culturally and architecturally rich place to visit. Not only that, but it has a complete 360 view of the city. We definitely got our money’s worth for this tour. It gave us great, in-depth information; not only about the fortress, but about Salzburg as a city. We were able to spend as much time up there as we wanted, and wandered back down to the city at our own pace.
We completely enjoyed our free travel weekend, and took advantage of the days off. We spent a lot of travel time, but it was 100% worth it.