"Down here at Cape Spartel is the celebrated cave of Hercules, where the hero took refuge when he was vanquished and driven out of the Tangier country. It is full of inscriptions in the dead languages, which fact makes me think Hercules could not have traveled much, else he would not have kept a journal."

-"The Innocents Abroad," Mark Twain

Friday, October 28, 2011

So, I wrote this yesterday...

October 27, 2011

I am currently sitting in the library here in downtown Salzburg, where, unfortunately, I have not been able to find a wifi network to connect to. So, this will (hopefully) be copied and pasted later this evening. And, I must admit, after I finish typing this, I am going to check out the bakery that is downstairs…

So much and so much of nothing has happened since I last posted! Last week, I went to Italy. Yeah. So that’s the “so much” part – however, it feels like forever ago since that actually occurred. I stayed with a host family there, as well. My class (minus two or three people) rode down on Saturday for about 9 hours, going through Switzerland on the way. Here’s a picture in Switzerland (yes, another picture book–post!):

We stayed in the town of Lecco, which you probably haven’t heard of. While there, we went to school for two hours, ate, went out, ate, saw the town, ate, shopped, ate, went to the lake, and ate. Just not exactly in that order. Yes, there was a lot of food and it was SO GOOD! We had pizza and lasagna and some other type of pasta and some other something kind of like pizza but not and paninis and I had a sandwich one day that was essentially a loaf of bread with cheese & Italian ham and cookies (“biscuits”) that a friend of my host family brought us from Sicily and Italian chocolate. I think I should stop with the food - I really am making myself hungry. Okay, one last food comment – we also went to a chocolate factory’s shop. Alright. I’m done. (Haha, but here’s a picture!)

Two cities that we visited and you probably (or at least maybe) have heard of are Genova and Milan. Milan/Milano/Mailand was large and I wish we had been able to see more of it! There were plenty of high-end, buy-this-and-your-mom-will-kill-you stores, as to be expected in a fashion capital. And the historical aspect was not too shabby either. Just to give you an idea:

Genova is on the sea and was gorgeous, a little bit warmer (we were in the northern part of Italy, remember), and extremely windy. It was wonderful. I have to say that it was probably my favorite place that we went to because it had an old city, the sea, and a modern part to it. Also, this is the city where George Clooney has a villa. No, we did not see it or him – it was on the other side of the lake. Pictures:

Where we had lunch! And the picture below is inside:

Alright, just looked at the time, and I need to be going soon. I have my first orchestra rehearsal tonight! Wish me luck!

I think that by this point, I don’t really need to say that I hope you’re doing well, but I’m saying it anyway. Much love!

mary beth

P.S. Almost forgot to mention – I got my visa on Monday and am officially legal for another year!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I love this country! That pretty much covers everything, I think. Hope you're doing well!

Alright, so I do have a little more to add to that. 

It has been cold here! For the most part, we have had freezing rain. Joy. When I was coming home from Salzburg Saturday evening, there was snow on the ground by the road. Oh, yes, I met one of my friends in Salzburg!She is staying in Vienna during her year here and came to see this beautiful city I now consider partially mine. We went and saw Mozart's birth house, among other things (including eating pizza, which we both needed). 

This past week, I got a viola! Here she is, in case you have not seen her yet:

and chocolate hedgehogs my host mother surprised me with:

(Sorry, not the best picture, but I cannot take another, as the hedgehogs are no longer photographable, if you will excuse my English as well.)

The next time I write will hopefully be from Italy!
mary beth

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Lovely evening, isn't it? I arrived home yesterday from a trip with my family to Wien! I am not really sure what to tell you, so I will make a picture book for you. Okay, sorry, it's not a book. A selection of pictures with captions, if you want to be so literal.

We left Saturday morning and drove for about 3 hours. Along the way, we stopped (here) along the road by the Donau river (you probably know it as the Danube). Here, I am pictured with Richard the Lionheart, who was held captive in a nearby castle. Please note and choose to ignore the fact that my eyes happened to be closed, as it was particularly bright at the moment the shutter went off.

After we arrived, we met up with my aunt and uncle (pictured, right) to go and eat. We ate at a huge area that used to be just a market and is now mostly made up restaurants, known as the Naschmarkt. Above, you can see the number of Schnitzel eaten since January 1st ( 16,201,556; this photo was taken October 1st at 2:13PM). Afterwards, I went with my host father to see several things, including, but not limited to:


Random street performers

The Opera House

In the evening, the four of us attended the event that took place throughout the city (and in others in Austria) called Lange Nacht der Museen. You could buy one ticket and go to over 100 of the city's museums with the single entrance fee from 6PM to 1AM! We went and saw an art museum, a modern art museum that was really interesting but did not entirely seem to have a point, and an exhibit of marzipan in a chocolate shop! 

The next day, we went to see Schloss Schรถnbrunn (above), home to the famous Sissi and Franz Josef. We also saw the HundertwasserHaus (below), designed by Gustav Klimt. Right after, we went to the KunstHaus (in relation to Gustav Klimt, but has ever changing exhibits), which is the most wonderful modern art museum. Ever. It actually is logical in a fictitious way. I don't know how to describe it and do it justice. Pictures are not permitted, which, in this case, I am actually happy about. If you are anywhere near this city, bring your favorite porch swing, toadstool, pile of hay, whatever your preference may be, with a thick notebook and pencil. Go and be inspired. You will not regret it. AND YOU WILL LOVE IT!

The following day, we went shopping before taking the train back. 'Nuff said.

<3 from home, Mary Beth

P.S. I apologize for such a long post and hope that you had beautiful weather for your weekend as well! Also, as far as things you have to do go, if you are in the state of Maryland, I highly suggest you attend this event on Friday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2SDJDg1f8I&feature=youtube_gdata_player