Living in the Alps means summer is quite different from what I’m used to. Oppressive heat and humidity are nowhere to be found. The Biergarten culture is alive and well under mature chestnut trees. I love spending time in Kelchsau during the weekends, picking strawberries and raspberries off the vines and going on hikes cooled air coming off the rivers. Last weekend Reini redeemed a birthday gift certificate from his sister and we (Reini, Kathrin, Cousin Eva, and I) went to a high ropes climbing course! Surprisingly I did much better with the heights than Mountain Man Reini, but we had a great time zooming around way up in the Alpine treetops. I wish I had some pictures of us in our gear!
There are lots of activities in Innsbruck too. My girlfriends and I like to bike ride to the Baggersee lake just on the outskirts of the city for some swimming and sun lounging. Evenings are filled with open air concerts and under the stars movies. Innsbruck is such a great small city. It has plenty to offer but is small enough that it really feels safe and comfortable.
It’s often hard for me to make time for all the fun things that an Alpine summer has to offer because I am still taking classes. The regular semester finished at the end of June and then I started to take summer classes. Because I’m classified as a “local Austrian student” (haha) I get to take the same classes as the kids from UGA and the University of New Orleans who come to Innsbruck for their summer study abroad, but I get to do it all for free. So I’m taking max advantage of that! I’m taking three classes which are all smushed into 5 weeks – pretty intense! Many afternoons we have field trips around the region, so I’m staying very busy. We first took a day trip to the Dachau concentration just outside of Munich to learn about some history that will not soon be forgotten. Next I went with my Management course to the BMW plant for a private factory tour for glimpses into the future. The robots they use are so cool! We also went to one of the region’s big banks and engaged in a strategic planning activity. Next week we will be headed over to one of the big GE locations with my Marketing class.
Immediately after my finals next week, I head to Munich again to catch a flight for my first trip back home since I arrived here for school in October! I look forward to being reunited with family, friends, and air conditioning 🙂