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By Andre Basora-Oliveira and Ramon Madrigal

Sausages, pretzels, blondes in lederhosen trousers or dirndl dresses, and beer. That’s the Germany/Austria people imagine even though they have never been to either country. We were able to experience a Germany and Austria that many people wouldn’t think about experiencing. We learned about the beautiful history of each country, embraced the culture of each of the countries we were embedded in, and appreciated the purity in nature with the spectacular backdrop of the Alps. We would not have been able to know about or see all that history and culture if it weren’t for the great tour guides we had, especially our main guide Chris and our bus driver Michael. We can speak for the whole group when saying that we had so much fun on this trip that we would do anything to replay the whole thing again.

From Rothenburg to Vienna there is a story of each city and of our exploration and love for each of them. Rothenburg’s small town feel gave us all a cozy feeling that was further exemplified by the ancient wall that surrounds the city. We did many activities in the city, such as eating the city’s main pastry called Schneeball and walking atop the ancient wall during the night. After leaving Rothenburg, we spent two days in Munich where we visited Dachau Concentration Camp a short distance away, explored the main center of the city, and went to the Mass on Easter morning which was celebrated entirely in German. We also went on a bike trip through Munich and its famous English Garden experiencing the city as residents do since many travel the city using bikes, later we took a trip to the Olympic Village from 1972 Olympics where we climbed the Olympic tower which had a beautiful view of the city. Of course being guys, before leaving Munich we had to go see the world headquarters of BMW. We visited the BMW museum and spent many euros in the gift shops there!

After leaving Munich we spent the following two days in Salzburg, Austria where we explored the city famous for being the backdrop for several scenes from The Sound of Music. We visited Mozart’s birth home, and also went underground to a salt mine that was in the middle of a mountain! The last two days of this great trip took place in Vienna, Austria where we were shown the main plaza, the square of the government buildings, the main shopping and tourist area where the main cathedral of St. Steven’s is located, and attended a wonderful organ recital in St. Peter’s church that had the most angelic choir most of us had ever heard.

This trip made many of us fall in love with Europe, making us want to be engulfed by its culture and be a part of it every single day of our lives.

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