This Photo Fill In is going to be absurdly large. However, I am marginally hyperventilating about my impending departure from Salzburg and am seeking solace in how beautiful Croatia is. Also, there are so many incredible photos from this trip I didn’t know what to cut out so I decided to just not bother.
My next few posts after this one may be laced with a degree of sadness, as I have only one week left in my beloved Salzburg. I am in denial about this small fact and have chosen to ignore it completely for the time being.
Also I do not want to pack. ever.
These pictures barely do it justice. My memory barely does it justice. It was unreal.
I have just arrived back in Salzburg after a weekend in Croatia with my bests. We had the opportunity (BLESSED) to hike and camp in Plitvice National Parks over the weekend.
I am sunburnt and blissful. I will of course elaborate tomorrowmonday at some point and fill you all in on the Park itself, our marginally illegal activities (we may have jumped infallen), and our camping adventure.
It was an absolutely spectacular time. However, we are also extremely foolish. We were on such level of bliss and high off nature that we didn’t consider that we hadn’t booked a hotel/hostel/anything to sleep on Saturday night while waiting for our train in Zagreb. We arrived realizing we didn’t leave till 6 am and did what any normal 20something travelers would do.
We slept in the park outside the train station. We hung out with the youngsters drinking till 4 am, the people rooting around in trash cans, and the couples that appeared to be using the park benches for some special activities.
We stunk. My sincere apologizes to every person that attempted to sit by us on the train. But hey, it was fun. It’s always fun.
It was one of the top 5 showers of my life. Really makes you appreciate the little things….like a bed.
It is Tuesday and I have finished my Philosophy Paper. Simone De Beauvoir is applauding me somewhere I know it. I have finished my critical (and somewhat philosophical) critique on The Second Sex and I am the happiest Cassie.
Now that this paper is finished I can go to Croatia this coming weekend with nothing but finals looming over my head. Which I choose to blissfully ignore!
In other news, I should study for my Theology final as it is tomorrow but I am a member of the ‘people choose to express their spirituality in their own way’ camp and therefore no answer on my Theology final can be incorrect. Infallible Logic.
Also Thursday is my LAST EVER german exam. Which may inspire me to “study” for it by going to the Augustiner and speaking German with some comrades.
I have been putting off writing this post for the obvious reasons but mostly because it was just really hard. I didn’t really know what I wanted to say so I decided to sit on it for awhile. Also, I left my notebook with my notes from our tour at Auschwitz on accident. I take this a sign that all memories/thoughts that occur at Auschwitz are only able to be carried out in your mind. For this reason and 1,000,000,000 others, I was really struggling at what to say.
However, I am now either facing writing this post or writing my philosophy paper. You can probably guess which I chose to do (my apologizes that I cannot write a wholly serious anything).
Anyways, to begin for those interested in visiting Auschwitz stay in Krakow. The drive (via car, bus, or tour bus) is about an hour and Krakow as a city is a perfect supplement to your visit to Auschwitz. It will give you a far more dynamic picture of what Poland was like before, during, and after WWII. Nicole and I elected to take a tour out of Krakow. We started our day by going to Schindler’s Factory. I would highly suggest doing these two things together. If only because they truly supplement each other. The memories from the factory will still be fresh when you are walking through Auschwitz. The cost of the tour covered the bus ride, a guided tour of both Auschwitz and Dachau, and a scaring movie. If you have a car you should definitely drive yourself but my one piece of advice is to elect for a guide. The guides are all very blunt, have been trained and attended many meetings with survivors of Auschwitz, and have a deep history with Poland. They will absolutely enrich your experience.
I am going to limit my comments on the actual camp, mainly because I think that every person that visits experiences it very differently. My main thought about the camp is this: the air is thick. In a way that I have never experienced before. Every breath feels for lack of a better description either labored or like it’s filled with ghosts. It’s thick with what happened and it’s thick with what the visitors are feeling.
You feel what happened here everywhere.
It was moving. It was revelatory and it was impossible to describe.
Should you go?
You cannot visit Poland and not visit Auschwitz. It would be not only a true waste of a trip but it would not allow you to understand Poland. Polish history and the current issues facing the country are so intertwined with what occurred at these camps that you will have a very shallow impression of this country if you do not visit.
You may think it will be “to hard or to emotional” as I heard one person say while in Krakow. However, that is the point. It’s suppose to be hard and emotional. They have preserved it for a reason.
If you make this visit, I hope it enriches you, touches you, and really makes you think.
I know it did for me.
This week’s Confused Cassie involves a picture taken at O’Malley’s pub during my joyous night out.
It remains unclear what the hell happened to my hair in this 5 second snapshot. All pictures proceeding it and following it my hair is of normal volume. Was there a sudden gust of wind? Did I have someone suddenly ravish me? <<–(This did not happen…to my knowledge.) Did someone grab one side of my blond locks and just fluff?
So many questions. No answers.
When I asked my friend John if he had any potential reasons he responded with, “You always have crazy hair.” Thanks asshole.
I guess it will remain a mystery why it appears that I just went through a wind tunnel or had some very hot sex. Whatever maybe my dream came true and Danny from O’Malley’s finally fell in love with me and I was so overwhelmed with happiness I blacked out for 5 seconds.
Let’s hope it was that.
Some weeks I really am terrible at keeping up with this. BUT loyal readers it is purely because I have just been having one of those kinds of weeks. The kind that is so happy you don’t have time for anything extra except to revel in it.
My Salzburg family and I have gotten along unbelievably well, the sun has finally begun to shine, I have gone on some spectacular runs, was offered a position on my college newspaper for next year, and had one of the most fun nights out. Despite two term papers and finals approaching, I feel light. What a remarkable thing (unprecedented) and I am so thankful and blessed! This is the first week in nearly 4 weeks I will have not been traveling and I am having an incredible time with my Salzy family in the city that I love.
Needless to say, I am on a high off of life.
What I really wanted to share with you are some of the pictures from my various runs this week. The sun has finally begun to shine in Salzburg and I have been focusing on my fitness. I ran up the Kapuzinerburg three times this week! Each time reduced me to some sort of heaving wildebeest but the view luckily was worth it.
On Thursday, my Salzy family and I realized this may be the last opportunity for us to attend karaoke night at our beloved pub (because of finals and other other obligations.) so we hit the town with delightful results.
The real star of the night however, was my friend Kelsey who after watching this hysterical video:
Decided to replicate her own version with AWESOME results:
This week has been all amounts of magic. It’s weeks like this that you really realize just how blessed and lucky you are. I spent an enormous amount of time this week just reflecting on my new family, friends, and experiences in this past 8 months.
My past weekend in Krakow was an absolutely wonderful and simultaneously haunting 3 days. Krakow is a city that bears its age and it’s history on the surface. It is both beautiful and ugly for multitudes of reasons. You can feel it’s history everywhere.
For these reasons, and so many more, I had an incredible time here. It was incredibly reflective, possesses the greatest museum I have ever visited *Schindler’s Factory* (high praise), absurdly fun nightlife, the most beautiful pottery, and delicious food to put in said beautiful pottery.
Here’s my photo fill in of my (much to short!) stay in Krakow:
Still to come: Visiting Auschwitz. Stay tuned.
Excuse me while I go unpack, drink coffee out of my beautiful new mug!, and try to warm up Krakow is cold!