Ever imagine walking up a bell tower to see the Alps towering in the distance. Or hike up a mountain to an abandoned castle that looks as if it came right out of a Disney movie? What about sitting on the walls of a 16th century fortress? I may be only 17 years old, but I've done a lot in my life, for instance being able to take a trip with the music department to Munich (Germany), Salzburg and Vienna (Austria) this past April. And in that trip I experienced a different world, one which I still can remember as if it all happened yesterday.
Oe delayed flight later my tired classmates and I finally arrived in Munich, where we met our tour guide Gerti. There she took us around the city, to the "Times Square" of Munich, the Town Hall Square. I walked through a 17th century Church and found gold incrusted Saints, adorned with jewels and so life-like that I thought they could talk to me. Then, I looked up, where the brightly colored mural of Jesus overlooking his Saints and Apostles. At that point all of this was overwhelming to my touring group and I, and we all just sat, and stared. But knowing we had little time, we moved on to the Glockenspiel tower, and that's where we didn't need to take a taxi and tour the city, we could see everything from up there. The Alps, St. Peter's Church, to the beergarden with all of its cheering members could be seen. I knew from that point on, I wasn't in my little town in New Hampshire anymore.
It was from Munich we traveled to the Neushwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. Now that hike was something different. See, my mom and I enjoy hiking on a regular basis, so this mountain wasn't so bad. Just keep a steady paste and you'll be fine. By the time I got up to the castle I was sweating like no one's business, but the view was what took my breath away. Like looking at the real Cinderella's castle, my little girl inside was satisfied. To get a real view of the castle, you had to encounter the wooden bridge built along with the castle, and it felt older than the castle itself. Being afraid of heights doesn't help when the bridge is moving underneath and the cracks are wide enough to see your death below you.
Then, we were off to Salzburg, with another hike, this time to the Salzburg fortress. We asked our guide whether our group should walk or take a trolley, and her words were "Oh the hike is only 10 minutes long". She neglected to mention the 75 degree angle that the route was on. But the pain in my thighs went away when I saw the view of the mountains, the city, and just nature itself. There my friends and I didn't care how little time we had, we put our bags on the ground, took out a drink, and watched time go by.
This was only a glimpse as to what I saw. I could write a book on what I did and saw. But, unfortuately this essay is too short to write a book. What I did and saw changed me. It made me realize that the world is a much bigger place than New Hampshire. When I left on my trip, my dad left me with a quote that the host of "The Amazing Race" always says, and I'll leave you with it; "The world awaits", and boy, it sure does.
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