8 Sep

and so it ended. about two months ago already actually, but for some reason i never remembered to update this blog when i got home. the last week i spent in innsbruck going through all the sights one last time before having a great time in italy with my friend A (who was also in innsbruck).

getting back home was fine, but do take note that unless you feel like paying a lot there is no direct flight from milan to helsinki. it’s a good thing the copenhagen airport is one of my favourites, didn’t mind a stopover there. luckily the good weather continued in finland so it wasn’t that bad to get back home, but getting used to the normal things took a while. going to the grocery store is surprisingly different here, not to mention the public transportation systems seem to have nothing in common.

now that i’ve been back to school here i notice how much we actually studied in innsbruck. if you didn’t take notes there you ended up in trouble by the time the exams and final assignments rolled around. in innsbruck the teacher did stick to the schedule a lot more, but i think that was because of the fact that most courses there were only one week. i do miss that actually, i liked having intensive courses instead of long courses that last the entire semester. i feel like i managed to learn so much more when i had different courses and subjects even if the teachers didn’t always have that much time to get in depth of all the issues. another thing that i notice is that every time someone finishes a presentation or something similar, when it’s time to clap for them my first reaction is to knock on the table. that’s one of the things i really wish that could be introduced here too, there is just something about it.

when i think of the practical things in innsbruck i am surprised everything went so smoothly. sure, i had my buddy to help me register with the city, but doing the de-registration by myself went extremely well. the accommodation via oead housing was good and at least i got really lucky with my room, having so much space. it was definitely one of the early bird catches the worm cases. the sooner you apply for an apartment from them, the better one you’re going to get. the public transportation in innsbruck works really well too, the buses might be slightly late at times but generally they run really well. and the six month student ticket is only 120€, which is incredibly cheap. i feel like i didn’t have any major problems in the city, but of course i had the advantage of knowing german.

all in all, i am extremely happy i spent the four months in innsbruck and at mci. they provide good education, there is always someone to help if you have questions about classes or assignments. their international office deserves a special mention as the people there are wonderful and you can ask them anything and they will do their best to help you. ibk is an amazing city, there is so much to do and it’s easy to travel around. if i were asked if i’d like to go back, i wouldn’t hesitate to say yes. i think every erasmus students says this, but those really were the best months of my life.

last days.

24 Jun

so, it’s been a while, huh. i am trying to do a quick recap of the past month.

at the end of may went to vienna as part of my ‘understanding austrian society and culture’ class. did a hasty city tour which didn’t really teach me anything new, went to the opera in the evening and didn’t really see a thing but liked the music. finally saw the schönbrunn castle and was a bit disappointed, possibly had too high expectations. spent the afternoon at prater (the amusement park), experienced nice adrenaline rush and then spent six hours on the train back to innsbruck because the train broke down for an hour. not exactly fun. passed an exam with flying colours and fell ill. (which in turn ruined my plans to spend a long weekend in graz. noe i never got to see that city.) had an entrepreneurship course with a misleading name, but learned probably more than during the two similar courses i’ve had back in finland. spent few days in amsterdam and a day in brussels. loved the former, majorly disliked the latter. did airplane spotting, wrote essays. this week i’ve sat on ‘the rise of asia and understanding the west’ lectures, and now i am finally done. as of today i am finally on holiday, it feels like everyone else has been done with school for at least a month. this weekend i will need to try to pack (so much stuff, i will never get it all back home) and some official things to do next week before i leave. my friend A is coming to visit me next week also, so i will need to schedule everything. after that we’re off to italy (sun, sightseeing, the national!) and oh, on 7th of july i am flying back to finland. it’s so weird, i feel like i just came here and in two weeks i will be back in finland. i have such mixed feelings about that.

as i am writing this blog for school and everything, i figured i should do a recap of all the courses i took. just in case someone is coming here in the future and wants to know a bit more than i did when i randomly picked courses based on their names. so here goes:

alpine tourism: was interesting for someone who knows very little of anything to do with skiing. i enjoyed the day when we talked about the promotion of tyrol, but there were some days that simply felt too long because of the topic. environmental issues are important, but when you listen to stuff about them for 8 hours it’s too much. the trip to st. anton was awesome, the one to zugspitze not so much. it’s 5 credits though, so even with a quite a big assignment on summer product for st. anton it’s worth it.

business & strategic management: the entrepreneurship course with a misleading name. three different professors, two of them teaching together. a lot of real life case analysis and lots of good examples. quite a big amount of group work too. interesting things about personality types and how to use them in business environment. dealing with business cases that haven’t gone that well. 3 credits, two big essays which were rather easy if you did pay attention to in the classes.

destination management: one of the courses i did not like. neither of the lecturers knew how to teach and the material they used was not all that good. some parts about promotion and how to define destinations was okay, but with an exam of 90 true/false questions i don’t know if the 3 credits are enough for anyone to like sitting in these classes.

german course: this depends a lot on your level and who you have as a teacher, so very very subjective. (as if none of the stuff before wasn’t…) 3 credits, but you also need to pay 90€ to take this course. i’d recommend it still. especially if you don’t know any german, it’s only right to learn at least the basics when spending your time here. if you’re like me and have spent years sitting on german classes but managed to forget most of it because you never use it, well, still worth it. a laid-back teacher, teaching lots of random vocabulary and asking for one presentation and one essay in the end. not too bad.

intercultural management: my asbolute favourite of all the classes, even if it was rescheduled and that messed up my other plans. awesome teacher from hawaii, tons of real life examples, discussion about things that most classes do not cover. one essay to write, one that i actually enjoyed writing. only 1 credit though, and a bit too short. i wish there were more classes of this, i would have liked to get more in depth with this subject.

international tourism and leisure markets: this one is a bit difficult to evaluate given i missed half of it, but from what i heard those classes i did miss were possibly the most boring of the whole semester. which says something. the ones i did attend were about asia and while in a way i did learn some new things, i don’t feel like i really learnt that much about the markets there, i think the lecturer spent more time promoting his own institution. two massive essays, especially the one about asia-pacific took forever to write (well, not forever, but we’re talking 8 hours of just reading the literature and almost another 8 writing the essay). 3 credits, but still, i wouldn’t recommend it that much. if you can get something else, you might be better off studying that.

international tourism management: misleading course titles pt. 2. basically half of it was crisis management and half of it was about product innovations. crisis management was incredibly difficult and requires you to do a lot of studying. product innovations part was one of my favourites. amazing teacher, lots of group work and interaction. i would recommend, but it’s up to every individual on how much effort they are willing to put on this, because the exam is demanding and i only did as well as i did because i had a neverending train ride to study with someone who helped me understand some of the things. a lot of exchange students fail this exam, so really, think about it. 3 credits this one too.

the rise of asia and implications for the west: the last course of the semester and i think that showed. personally i enjoyed the course a lot, and learned so much new things about asia. not necessarily about the business possibilites, but about how to understand those countries and how to understand the news about those countries you’re bound to read on the papers. the lecturer was not a professional teacher, but i think he did a decent job. it helps if you actually read even some of the literature you’re supposed to before the classes and pay attention. one presentation in the end, which our group aced. (surprisingly we were the only ones who actually did stick to the assignment and did what we were supposed to.) i do recommend this one, it might feel a bit daunting but it can be so rewarding. even more rewarding than the 3 credits.

understanding austrian society and culture: 4 credits, trips to cafes, preparing food and baking, listening to music, one presentation, an essay and a trip to vienna. it’s a sort of a crash course to austria, but doesn’t really give you in depth information about the country. it’s a lot of fun though. got to say, i have no idea how this is going to be recognized in finland.

that’s it. there are some courses other people took but i skipped because i felt like i’d either had something similar already and just didn’t feel interested in them.


four months in innsbruck are coming to an end. i am going to miss this place a lot. to the finns who might be reading this: hyvää juhannusta!

this and that from austria and germany.

20 May

worst blogger in the world checking in! i think i should apologize for the long pause, i wish i had some proper reason but um, saying i was busy last week probably doesn’t cover the days before that when i could have updated. anyway, may in short so far: gauderfest, munich and parents visiting.

gauderfest happened on may 1st. to be honest, it did happen for a longer time, but that was the only day we went there. it was held in zell am ziller and it took about hour and a half from innsbruck to get there, changing trains in jenbach and everything. (obviously they were the local trains that stopped on all the small stations.) this is what lonely planet has to say about gauderfest: “–participants show off long-established rural skills: playing music, dancing and drinking heavily. the lavish main provession (participants wear historical costumes) and wrestling take place on sunday.” check on all of them except the wrestling because somehow it either didn’t happen or we managed to miss it completely. i wouldn’t be surprised if it was the latter reason. seeing all these traditional tyrolean festivities has been fun since we have nothing similar back in finland. i liked the procession with the costumes a lot, it’s not every day you see people with cannons and cows and lots of beer in one place.

the week before my trip to munich (6th to 8th of may) i mostly spent trying to study for my destination management exam. i did study, but apparently not as much as would have been required. i did pass the exam though, so that’s the most important thing. anyway, munich. it was so warm there when i got off from the train from innsbruck (again, one of those trains that stopped on the small stations, thank you deutsche bahn). dropped off my stuff at the hostel and headed to town to attend a free walking tour. wonderful tour, learned a lot of stuff from the guide who was a great kiwi guy. truth be told, somehow i had never paid that much attention to munich’s history, so it was awesome to have someone who knows all the essential things to walk us around the city. after the tour i just spent the rest of the day walking around the old town and taking lots of photos and enjoying the sun. good day. had a nice evening too, but i am fairly sure some drinks are invented by the devil. never again. on saturday i went to a third reich walk because i love german history and, i don’t care how weird it sounds, world war 2 era stuff. the guide was so excited about the topic and ditched all the political correctness, so i think more than one person must have been giving him odd looks when he goes and says stuff like “this is where the nazis did…” and what happens when you let around ten people explore the hofbräu haus on their own? it’s like we all suddenly were ten years old again and went all “oh look at this!”, “hey, cool!” and such. one of the most significant places when it came to the topic after all. after that tour i took the underground and went to check out the olympic stadium and surroundings. for history and olympics geek munich is a brilliant place to visit. i don’t think the olympic stadium itself was all that spectacular, but i loved the surroundings with a park and lake and so much green and people just chilling in the sun. (did i remember to mention it was warm and sunny again?) and as one cannot go to munich and not visit the bayern münchen stadium, allianz arena, i of course had to see it too. not my favourite team, so seeing it wasn’t all that special to me and quite honestly, it looks very much made of plastic. it might look better when they have the red or blue light on there though. i think i was more excited about the train station architecture than of the stadium. oops. sunday was all reserved for seeing the deutsches museum where i headed right after breakfast trying to make it there before it would be full of people. let me say this: one of the best museums in the world. students only have to pay 3€ and you get to see the whole museum with ships and submarines and planes and space themed exhibition and so on. a bargain. i spent most of the time with the aviation section as i’ve always been fascinated with planes, but i recommend the space exhibition too. at least i managed to learn so much new there. another favourite was the pharmacy section since, despite the name, it also offers a lot of useful and interesting information about diseases and such. i’ve been saying the museum has something for everyone and i hope there is someone who agrees with me.

as much as i liked munich i have to say berlin still continues to be my favourite german city. then again, when you’ve only seen those two it’s not the most valid comparison. not that i care, i love berlin so much. so, when i got back from munich it was time my parents came for a visit. it was lovely, it’s been such a long while i saw them and having people to show around this city was beyond great. not to mention all the free meals and stuff i got from finland. :D i think we managed to do pretty much everything. walked around the old town, went hiking, visited swarovski crystal world, took the funicular up to the mountains, saw the bergisel ski jumping stadion (and ate the best pasta in my life up in the restaurant, talk about a fantastic setting), made a trip to the ambras castle, checked out hofburg and in general had absolutely wonderful time. now i finally feel i’ve seen pretty much everything one needs to see in this city. i also went to school to have intercultural management lectures and so far it has been my favourite course. the professor was from hawaii and we basically just talked about cultures and differencies between them. it’s such a shame it was only day and a half and one credit, i would have loved to have more of those lectures. paper for it is also done already, i don’t want to have a massive deadline panic. this week i’ve had international tourism and leisure markets classes and if nothing else, the professor from hong kong told some very interesting stories. paper for that needs to be written at some point and i need to figure out how to sort out the fact that i’m missing the other to lectures of that course since i’ll be on a trip to vienna that is part of another course. (80% mandatory attendance here, hence it being bit of a problem.) oh well, i’ll deal with all that and some other stuff that’s come up next week. the weekend here should be warm and mostly sunny, so i’m going to enjoy my time outdoors.

enrollment for courses in finland starts next week apparently. here’s hoping i remember to do that on time! and that i find a way to catch up, since i seem to be missing a hell of a lot credits i kind of should have acquired. good thing i still have a year and a half to get everything done. with that, until next time. hopefully it’s going to come sooner rather than later.


28 Apr

this is something i ought to have posted earlier since i’ve been home in innsbruck for a couple of days already, but thanks to laptop problems (hah, i didn’t even need to travel with my laptop, managed to get it broken at home) the first draft vanished into cyberspace and then school happened. so now, before i head to german class  i figured i could type this again.

switzerland was amazing and i met some wonderful people. (this is a shout out to all of those people, hi guys!) very expensive trip though, but that was expected. my route ended up being zürich-luzern-basel-lausanne-geneve-bern, which means i managed to see a good part of the country but then again i feel like i managed to see just a fraction. the funny thing is, most of the time i didn’t even feel like i was abroad, maybe because i did the whole trip comfortably on a train instead of flying like i usually have to do when i go somewhere from finland and because most of the time every spoke german like they do here. swiss-german which is completely incomprehensible, but german nonetheless. i mean, at least i could understand things when i read them.

of all the cities i visited i think bern is my favourite. it’s small, so you can discover everything comfortable on foot, but not too small that you’d get bored there. not to mention it is genuinely very pretty. sure, they don’t have massive attractions (they do have bears almost in the middle of the town though, so that’s quite cool. escpecially since one of the bears was born in finland.) but i think the beautiful buildings and old town make up for it. it also looks like a rather good place for shopping. it wouldn’t be me if i wasn’t rambling about museums, so let’s talk about those. in bern i visited the museum für kommunikation, which was wonderful. you learn a lot of interesting stuff about communication, mostly in switzerland, and it’s so interactive. you can take a test to find out what kind of a communicator you are and make your own radio show and write in many different ways. and even though i don’t usually care about stamps i took a look at the massive stamp exhibition they had and obviously had to check what kind of stamps finland had about 50 years ago. interesting ones, let me tell you that.

and i butchered the chronology i had intented just there, so i’ll just talk about randomly. zürich was okay. i guess it was the weather that affected my opinion on it a lot, it was grey and rainy on the first day and somehow i’m stuck with that although i got to enjoy better weather too. if bern was my favourite city, then zürich had my favourite people. i had so much fun there. and managing to see a band i basically knew nothing about but enjoying the concert anyway was great. if i’d recommend something about zürich, i’d say visiting kunsthaus is very much worth it. it’s free on wednesday, so all the more reason. i did go to the landesmuseum too as a friend had told me it’s a good one and while i liked it, it was a bit too much. you really need to plan your visit there unless you are willing to stay there a whole day. i should probably say something about luzern too, since i ended up making a day trip there. the bridge is impressive, cannot deny that. it basically dominates the town. i am a bit disappointed it’s not the original anymore, somehow i think that would have made me like it more. another thing you need to see there is the löwendenkmal which is very sad. it was much more bigger than i expected, so it left quite an impression on me. but other than that, i don’t think luzern is a city where you’d need more than one day to see all the major attractions.

basel was best in terms of street art. tons of graffiti and stickers and such everywhere. fine, we have some here too, but not as much and not as impressive. this might come as a surprise, but i am a huge street art fan, so seeing that all was extremely great. as a result probably half of the photos i have from basel are photos of graffiti. basel has a great art museum too, though it was not free. some nice sights, huge cathedral and rather lovely old town. sitting by the river is one of the best things to do there, nothing better on a sunday afternoon.

lausanne made me feel like i was abroad. everyone spoke french and since i do not know that language it was somewhat complicated at times. lausanne is also a nightmare if you suck at reading map and generally navigating your way in the city. which is what i at times do. despite that, i very much liked the city and especially ouchy, the part by the lake. very beautiful and looks like the meeting place for locals. lausanne also had my favourite museum, namely the olympic museum. slightly expensive, but absolutely worth it, 100%. well that is if you happen to like the olympics like i do. (well, i love the olympics.) a lot of items you’ll never get to see anywhere else, all the torches that have been used and so much history.there are things i didn’t know about the colours in the olympic rings and such. random tidbit, but did you know that finland was among the first countries to send female athletes to the olympics and that way managed to piss off the current president of ioc? now you know. i could write an essay on the topic why i love the olympic museum, but i know no one wants to read that, so i’ll spare you. just go visit it, okay. other things to see in lausanne include the mon-repos park which is lovely and of course the old town too. too bad it’s so hilly you really need to be fit to be able to walk around. and good shoes won’t hurt either. i also recommend that if you have some spare time, take a bus to the lac sauvabelin and spend some quiet time there. it’s like a nice little oasis in the middle of the town. and if you climb up to the tower there you get a breathtaking view over lausanne.

another day trip i made was to geneve. the only reason i wanted to go there was to see the internationl red cross and red crescent museum (pardon me for not typing that in french). i would recommend it for everyone too, but unless you are going to switzerland within the next two months, you have to wait until summer 2012 because they are closing it for renovation. one of those museums that teach you a lot and that make you appreciate the people who work for the organization even more than before. and well, on the way back to the city you get to see the united nations building. they make guided tours there too, but unfortunately i was too late to attend one. maybe some other time. i didn’t particularly like geneve, but seeing the massive water fountain was kind of fun. i mean really, it’s massive.

if someone has something to ask about switzerland, what to see or where to go, i will try my best to give suggestions. and as always, loads of more photos can be found on my flickr.

right now i am having a lot of free time. i had two days of school and next time i have something else than german is in mid-may. which is good because my parents are soon coming for a visit and i need to act as their guide. i am looking forward to that, it’s nice to have someone coming over. of course i also need to study for an exam, but that’s about it for the next few days. end of may and beginning of june with all the paper deadlines and exams are going to be exhausting, it’s been so easy so far. oh well, i picked the courses myself so i have no one else to blame. until next time!


11 Apr

hello hello. i’m trying to remember when was the last time i updated. last week perhaps? had to go check, apparently it was wednesday. well, not a lot has happened since. i had my presentation about finland and it turns out people have quite a gloom image of our country. a lot of discussion about depression, alcohol consumption and suicides. then again, on a lighter note we also talked about our once successful eurovision history and of leningrad cowboys. i guess it’s easier for the group to ask stuff about a remote small country like ours when they don’t know all too much. i did fine, my grammar was all over tha place and i kept forgetting words (why is potato even called kartoffel, why can’t they use the word that is pretty much the same in every other language?) so, that was thursday in a nutshell. because i’m sure no one really care about the fact that i bought new shoes. so on to friday we go.

on friday another finnish erasmus student and i made a trip to bolzano, italy. it’s somewhat bizarre to think that i can make trips to other countries just like that. it doesn’t really work like that back home. anyway. bolzano was lovely. very warm, well over 20°C, possibly closer to 30°C actually. it is a small city, beautiful with lots of old buildings and wonderful green areas. the big thing to see there is definitely the south tyrol museum of archaeology. why? it is the place where you can see the famous iceman ötzi. so of course we had to go there. personally i thought seeing the mummy was great, to think that something so old is still preserved in such a good condition, all things considered. the museum overall is very good, they’ve clearly put effort in making it interesting and displayed some of the items in a creative way. i liked a lot about the section of all that came with the finding of the mummy, all the books and tv clips and things like candy. yes, there was ötzi candy. a very good museum indeed, i highly recommend it for everyone.

unfortunately i cannot post photos this time because my laptop is acting up and won’t let me browse the latest photos. however, if you are interested, there are some pics here.

on saturday i went hiking with two finns and it was great. sure, it still isn’t the easiet thing to do and takes a lot of energy and strenght to get all the way up to the destination, but it’s always worth it. besides, the views here are amazing. i think that people really should hike up to the mountains at least once while they’re here. that was possibly the most exciting part of my weekend, so i won’t bore you with the rest.

tomorrow i’m heading to switzelrand for two weeks, so please don’t expect any updates in the next fortnight. it just isn’t going to happen. i’m spending my easter holiday in that neighbouring country and am very excited about it, even though i know i’ll be saying goodbye to large amounts of money. and yes, i know everyone travels with their laptop these days, but i’m going to make an exception. mostly because i don’t think my good old laptop would make it through it unharmed. so yes, that’s what i’m going to be up to the next two weeks. back to you after that!

spice up your life.

6 Apr

time for another update. since the last post i’ve been to st. anton am arlberg with the alpine tourism class, started two new courses and done a ten hour hike. yes, that is pretty much the tl:dr version of today’s post.

the trip to st. anton was a part of our alpine tourism course, there will be another trip to another destination in may. this one was very good, i enjoyed it a lot. then again, most of the time excursions are nice. st. anton is about an hour from innsbruck and when we arrived there we got a presentation about the destination and a little walk around the town. interesting and also helpful when it comes to our group assignment that is all about st. anton. the highlight of the day was going all the way up to the valluga mountain, the highest point we could go to was at 2811 meters. i can guarantee the view from up there was breathtaking. it did take a while with all the cablecars to get up there, but it was worth it in the end.  after enjoying the view and having a lunch and in general just having a good time we headed to an apres ski place called mooserwirt. it is the one place everyone seems to know, a lot of people kept telling us we need to go there. a lot of people, an imaginative way to serve drinks (they have everything on tap and massive barrels and tube systems downstairs to get all the drinks to the serving them) and a very good atmosphere. i can definitely understand why people dig that place.

last thursday and friday were spent on destination management classes. now, it sounds like a good class and it had all the potential to be one, but unfortunately it was rather dull and i feel like so far i haven’t learned that much during those lectures. i think most of the things i feel like i’ve learned i already knew before those classes. and it might help if the lecturer didn’t keep ranting at times and talked about other countries then switzerland. after all, we’re in austria and not in switzerland. oh well, here’s hoping the other lecturer will be better and i’ll actually learn something new. friday afternoon was spent eating ice cream and enjoying the sun, first by the river and later on a roof terrace. (have i remembered to mention you can get excellent ice cream for quite cheap here? now i’ve done that. i’m planning on tasting most of the flavours available. :D) the weather during the weekend was amazing, easily over +20°c which given it’s only the beginning of april is just wonderful.

on saturday i participated on a hike organized by the erasmus student network. a tough one. our group hiked all the way up to seegrube which is about 1900m above sea level. the city of innsbruck is somewhere around 500m, so you can do the maths on how high we were going. it took us ten (10) hours to get up and down and by the end of the day most of us were simply dead tired. it was a difficult hike, the guide chose little steep paths in the middle of the woods instead of the easy roads. in the end it was worth it, despite it feeling like a via dolorosa at times. and on sunday you could really tell you had been doing something on the day before, legs and feet and shoulders aching and nice sunburn reminders of the places you didn’t put enough sun lotion on.

posting a few photos to prove that it really is very much spring here already. i love seeing all the flowers.

this week i’ve been sitting on crisis management classes. the professor works for the unwto so in a way it’s absolutely great to be taught by a real professional, but it also means that he’s talking about very complicated things and using such language that for someone with english as second language and no proper university background following what he is saying is sometimes extremely difficult. i wish he had kept in mind a bit better that we’re still at school, learning things and cannot know everything he is talking about. we also have about 200 pages to read for the exam. i have the feeling that this is going to be one of the hardest classes. but as a topic crisis management is very interesting. the second part of the course is about business management, we’ll see how that goes. but it’s not until in may. tomorrow i only have german class on which i should be having a small presentation on the topic “ich komme aus…” (i come from…) i’m planning on talking about finland in general since neither vantaa nor mäntsälä really offer enough things to tell for five to ten minutes. i’m not really too worried about that, the german classes have been very laid back and nice in general.

this is all for now, the rest of my week will hopefully include some travelling, maybe more hiking, possibly cleaning my room and maybe some packing too. the long easter holiday is starting next week and i’ll be spending two weeks travelling. but more about that later!

oh beautiful town.

28 Mar

hello again. it’s been a long while again, hasn’t it? as someone who has been blogging regularly ever since 2005 i sure do suck at updating more than once a fortnight. i could promise to try to be better at posting, but since i’m not sure i can actually keep that promise better not make it. anyway. let’s go back in time a bit. on the 18th i had my first exam, about austrian culture and society. for a multiple choice test it was quite tricky, especially since you need to get at least 17 out of 30 right to even pass it. i wish i could say i passed with flying colours, but since i have no idea when we’ll be getting the results i can’t say a thing. on the same day i visited the tiroler volkskunstmuseum and hofkirche (both of which i had seen briefly before) and it was rather nice. i don’t think the museum would be the first place i’d recommend for someone coming to this town, but if you have nothing better to do it’s okay.

the weekend before last (19th and 20th) i made a trip to salzburg. it takes about two hours on a train from innsbruck. salzburg is one of those cities i’ve been to before, but that was back in 2005 and i didn’t remember much of it. now, having explored it for two days i feel like i’ve managed to see most of the important sights. salzburg is the city of mozart and obviously you can see that everywhere from the house he was born in to the various shops selling mozart-themed items. the old town is very beautiful though we had bit of a bad luck since it was cloudy most of the saturday and only on sunday did we see some sun. but nonetheless, it is a lovely place to just walk around. the hohensalzburg fortress up on the hill is one of the places everyone should visit. at this time of the year the funicular isn’t running so we had to walk up the hill, but it was worth it. wonderful view, nice museums, a small guided tour and you actually do learn a bit about the city’s history while you’re at it. highly recommend for everyone. salzburg also has plenty of good cafes and restaurents, so obviously a good part of the time there we spent enjoying the food. it’ll take me a while to get used to tipping the servers here since it’s something we never do in finland. then again, it’s the best thing to do when you don’t want to have a huge amount of small coins in your purse. (1 and 2 cent coins are the worst since i’m not used to using them at all. i forget i have them.)

the mirabellgarten is one of my favourite places in salzburg, it is gorgeous especially during the summer when they’ve planted all the flowers. now it was a bit too early for that and they just had few flowers there.

last week was mostly filled with classes. i had my first proper classes on the tourism campus which is up the hill and has a nice view over the city. the bad thing is it takes a while to get there, if you are taking the bus you always have to wait a bit. and the bus is packed since it’s a small one, a bigger one wouldn’t make it all the way up there, too many narrow corners. my classes were all about alpine tourism and it was a rather interesting course. sure, it was a bit dull to sit indoors when the sun was shining outdoors, but luckily we had good lecturers. i especially enjoyed the lecture about marketing tirol, the lecturer was the managing director of the tirol tourist board and he had plenty of excellent practical examples and really knew how to keep his audience interested. so far i have to say that is the lecture i’ve enjoyed the most. makes me wish we had more classes about marketing in general, it would be so useful. related to that course we have to come up with a summer product, that is to say how to get young people visit the town of st. anton am arlberg during the summer. the place is known for the winter tourism, so it’s going to be difficult because there isn’t anything summer related that you couldn’t do elsewhere, but we’ll see what  our group comes up with. 3000 words about that is a daunting task though, it’s been a long while since i’ve written anything that long. good thing there is a month to complete this task and we have an excursion to st. anton on wednesday to help us understand the town and the possibilities better. should be interesting, i like it that we’re making these trips to different places. in general it looks like we have more papers to write than exams to sit, i’ve counted four papers for different courses and only two exams. i know nothing about these papers or exams yet since i haven’t had any of the classes for those courses. it does look like my june will be busy with these though, reality hitting before i have to leave that yes, this is not a long holiday but i’m attending classes and have to do something to pass them. at least knowing deadlines makes it easier, it’s proven i work better when i know i need to have something ready by some specific date. (which reminds me, i should probably start my 3-page essay for understanding austrian culture and society sometime soon. too bad i don’t really know what write about. i guess it’ll come to me when i start. i don’t want to leave it till the last day since that’s in mid-may and i have plenty to do around that time.) so yes, so far school here has been rather good too, i’m starting the course destination management at the end of this week and am excited for it, since it’s something we don’t have back in finland. today and tomorrow i’m having a day off, though today i have a group meeting and a german class. (if anyone ends up coming here for an exchange, i recommend the german course, at least i’ve enjoyed it a lot and the teacher is very good.)

that was a lot talk about school and classes, so let’s end with something a bit lighter. last friday i made a trip to hall in tirol, a town near innsbruck. a very pretty one, but i don’t think there is that much to do. but if you want to see a splendid church it is worth making a trip there. and if the weather is nice, why not explore a bit.

on saturday i walked up to hungerburg, which given how unfit i am at the moment, was a bit of a struggle, but definitely worth it. the view over town is beautiful and it’s a pretty nice route too. sure, there is a bus up there too, but what’s the fun in that. i’m happy i went there. it would have been such a shame to waste a great spring day not doing something like that. even better in a good company. and you can bet eating an ice cream after that felt amazing. :D

our town.

with this, i’m done for the day. i hope i’ll have the time to update soon-ish, but like i said, not making any promises. life here is good


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