Some of the very best moments of this semester have happened as a result of my friendships with some delightful girls.
This week, along with the stressful moments of turning in paperwork, doing last-second Christmas shopping, studying for final exams, and packing, it has been a high priority for me to spend time with my beautiful friends.
This is one of those hard times of the year when everything seems to reside permanently at a “high urgency” priority level.
But, I find that making some “final” memories with my closest friends here in Salzburg really brings me back to realizing what is important.
My last evening with my dear friend Sybille took place at the perfectly quaint Salzburger Christkindlmarkt.
We spent a delightful evening perusing the stands, meeting a new friend of Sybille’s, and finished off the Abend with a visit to the famous Cafe Tomaselli– the fanciest Kaffeehaus in Salzburg.
Before this night, I had never before visited this cafe… I had walked past it many times per week, but had never taken the time to go in and order a pastry and hot drink. I am so thankful that my first visit to such a beautiful place was with such a dear friend.
Personal opinion: Cafe Tomaselli has the best Heiße Schokolade in Austria.
Sybille and I enjoyed exchanging Christmas gifts, and she once again helped me gain even more insight into the Austrian way of life. I loved hearing her explain which goods at the market were most traditional, which things she often purchased for her Oma (Grandmother), and which market treats were her favorite as a child.
Once again, I have learned so much more from the eyes of an Austrian than I ever could on my own. I am so grateful.
My last evening with my dear friend Sigrid took place in Vienna at the Karlsplatz markt.
We spent a nice time (in the rain) attempting to stay warm by eating warm sweet crepes, trying different kinds of punsch, and snacking on toasted bread with gobs of melted real cheese on top. Can you say yummm?
When we both got too cold, we retreated into Sigrid’s father’s stall, where he was working on glassblowing projects and helping many customers.
I have LOVED getting to know this incredibly creative family. Knowing Sigrid has been such a joy. I will miss her enthusiasm for life and her contagious laughter. We were very sad to say goodbye.
My dear American friend Morgan and I had a lovely goodbye-dinner one night after acing a final. We walked ourselves out to a new restaurant by the train station, and were surprised to find the best steaks we have had all semester!
If the food was lovely, the company was even lovelier.
I know without a doubt that Morgan and I will continue to be friends for a long time… hopefully until we are old and grey!
Saying goodbye felt more like saying “see you soon!”
Saying goodbye to my dear friend Bettina was so difficult.
After weeks of meeting together, sharing our lives, homework, and meals together, we have grown very close.
Bettina and I have also shared creative interests– I introduced her to calligraphy and art journaling, and we spent countless smiles and “oohs” and “ahhhs” over each other’s artwork. Creating was so much more fun with the promise of a Wednesday lunch with Bettina coming up, when I would get to share it with her.
We inspired each other, encouraged each other, and grown with each other over these past four months.
For our last Wednesday lunch, we met at Bettina’s cozy studio apartment. She prepared curry for us and we chatted about our reflections over this semester, and our future plans.
Later, we embarked on a quiet afternoon of art journaling together– one of my absolute favorite past-times. We selected a quote, and each illustrated the quote in each other’s journal in our own way. This way, when we each move forward with our lives, we can look back and hold a piece of each other.
This goodbye was so poignant, and so inspiring. I will never forget my darling friend Bettina.
Saying goodbye to my close friends in Austria was difficult, and I cannot lie. I shed a few tears riding away on the bus, each time.
Yet this was what I came to Austria for– I came to know the people. To immerse myself in the life of the Austrian. To grow close to this place and to make close friends.
I am so incredibly thankful for this experience.
“It’s a perfect ending.”
“No… It’s a perfect beginning…” -Empress Marie, Anastasia