A Visit From The Parents & Castle Life… Oh and Paragliding

Hey everyone! I’m trying to catch up on these posts so that you all know what is going on and where I am in the world but I must say I am struggling. At this point in the trip I am in Lovran, Croatia. I am not sure how much you know about Croatia, but one thing to note… It’s warm and my hotel is right on the Adriatic Sea. Now, with that said… I haven’t gotten much blogging done partially because I’m in Croatia, partially because this is one of the most intense homework and class heavy periods of the trip. We have class most days and the homework has been piling up because we are trying to complete the bulk of it before we begin to travel full time. I have only 23 days left here in Europe (Crazy I know, I thought that 108 days was an eternity but there’s less than a month left! How time flies, my goodness) In the next month my group will go from Croatia to Italy, to Switzerland, to France and back to Italy and from Italy, home bound. This last month will be both exciting and challenging so I will try to keep you all posted about all that is going on!

With that said, I don’t think I post enough about the group I am here with. There are twenty five of us Bethel students on this trip. Here is a photo of us all below…

Top row: April, Brooke, Michael, Elliott, Tyler, Kassie, Ben, Jay, Kel, Kelly, Laura, Ripley (Professor).

Second row: Austin, Jay Kendall (My professor Peggy’s husband), Peggy (Professor), Layne, Madeleine, Sarah, Cat, DJ.

Bottom row: Steph, Billie, Beth, Ari, Jillian, Brittany, Alyssa and myself.


They are all such great people to be traveling with and I am having a blast with each of them.

Anyways, I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in a castle with the lovely people above. Here are some photos of the view from the castle, some angles of the castle and the grounds.

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There is a lake right in front of the castle and also the castle is on a mountain so there are surrounding mountains.

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It is such a beautiful place.

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The colors were so beautiful during the time we spent there.

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This angle shows part of the castle, the tower.

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The castle was on a mountain that overlooked other mountains and a lake. Many members of my group took advantage of our time here with all of the nature to go on hikes and walks.

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Ohp, for once I am on the other side of the camera for this picture…

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The town of Millstatt

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The sights my group got to see while just walking around the castle towards town truly seemed unreal.

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So after the first weekend in the castle, we all just relaxed and hung out and then had intense class time all week. After classes that following week, we all headed to Salzburg! But, not before my dear friend Francisca came up to the castle to visit me from Vienna! And just like any normal Austrians would do, we decided to head down to the dock and take a dip in the water on that cold October almost November day…


Before the jump… Happy as can be to be reunited


I realized my life-jacket had a whistle and that made me really happy…


I prepared for the jump, with about a million pictures and then…


We took a picture together and then…


We went for it…


The moment before my whole body felt like it was stabbed with a million icicles…


Oh no, here it comes… the trauma


Oh no…


Submerged in the coldest water of my entire life. It was so painful.


The smiles we put on for pictures though…


The moment before I screamed “GET ME OUT OF HERE”…


And, the warmth of getting out… ahhhhh yes


Jay jumped in right before us!


Then, that night we had some group games, a goodbye to my professor Peggy and her husband Jay because our other professor Ripley would be taking over the trip from there on out. We also did some fall themed games at the caslt and then the next morning we headed out to Salzburg for the weekend! I was especially excited about this because Francisca was coming with, along with my two Polish friends Domi and Ania who had made the drive to be with us as well! I was feeling so blessed, also I was going to get to see my parents! They were to arrive in Salzburg Friday. When my group arrived in Salzburg we went on the original Sound of Music tour, which was not as cool as it sounds.


This building here, used as the backyard in the movie. This is the lake the kids fell out of the canoe into with Maria.



Then, we saw the gazebo where I am 16 going on 17 occurred in the movie!



My favorite part of the tour was passing the RED BULL HEADQUARTERS. I WAS SO STOKED ABOUT THAT. How cool is this building?


We stopped at some mountains for pics…


Mostly selfies.


Francisca and I.



That night, Francisca, Brooke, My parents and I went to dinner and had a blast! I remember so clearly the moment when I saw my mom at the hotel, we were both jumping up and down, I was so excited to see her and my dad. Then, the next day my parents and I woke up for breakfast and then headed out with some people from my group to go walking around Salzburg. (Elliot, Layne, Beth, Kassie and April)

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Mirabell Gardens

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My dad, looking at some European building or another…

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I think he was looking at this, Robert Mapplethorpe Gallery showing. If you don’t know who that is, look him up. His art is well known and interesting to say the least…

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Then April and Elliot serenaded us all and sang us some Sound of Music, don’t worry I caught it on video.

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We wandered the gardens waiting for another group that was to meet up with us, Brooke, Francisca, Laura and my professor Ripley. In the meantime.. My group convinced me to go down this slide in a dress and I did… sliding across the ground is how that ended for me so that was fun. I got legitimate rug burn with scrapes and all.

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Then, we trekked our way up to the Salzburg Fortress. My parents ❤

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The group I was with! Francisca had to leave for a little while. Elliot, Layne, Brooke and Laura. Of course my parents and professor were with us also.

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After sitting on top of the mountain in the fortress with my parents, enjoying the view, we walked down and went to a street of shopping and saw this… A demonstration on not killing dog’s?

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Hermes… Yes please, if only

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We shopped a little

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Saw this ram walking stick, my dad was tempted because he keeps saying he wants a walking stick. My dad and I are both Aries, the sign of the Aries is the ram.

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That night, my whole group went to a dinner/concert. It was beautiful and Francisca came!

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Mama ❤

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My lovely parents and I before dinner.

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The dinner was very nice.

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This was the location.

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The next day we all traveled back to Millstatt from Salzburg together, I said goodbye to Francisca and my parents made their way with us to the castle. They were with me two days at the castle and then they went to Italy. That began my last week at the castle. Within that last week, the only noteworthy thing was that.. I GOT TO GO PARAGLIDING. The day before my group left Austria for Croatia, I was able to go paragliding off of an Austrian mountain… And I will share about paragliding in a separate post because it was so awesome. Stay tuned! Sorry for the delay but I had my last two finals today so I haven’t been able to do anything but study. Tomorrow I leave Croatia for Venice, Italy and from there, to Milan and then Paris by the weekend. I am going to be very busy. I will try really hard to update soon about all that is happening!


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