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salt mines and bowling alleys

Happy Saturday! Happy weekend! Happy Birthday Weekend (yes, it’s mine, but we can all celebrate)! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.

If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “salted white dresses and blue satin sashes” - you can click here to read all about the magic that was the Sound of Music bus tour, as well as the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg! We’re spending one last morning in Salzburg and then hopping the train to Munich, Germany! Buckle up, strap in, and let’s get this post a-movin’!

One of the reasons we decided to extend our trip for another night in Salzburg, which allowed us the time to explore the Salzburg MoMA, was another tour opportunity. We went back and forth a bit in our decision, but ultimately, decided to stay and make it work. We woke up on our last morning in Salzburg, got cleaned up, packed up all our things in order to check out as we left, and headed for the bus tour, stopping again at a cute bakery on the way for a quick breakfast bite and crossing a love lock bridge that I loved. When we made it to the bus tour, we were able to store our bags in the bottom of the bus so we didn’t have to worry about schlepping them around all day.

Our bus tour took us through the mountains of Bavaria to the Berchtesgaden Salt Mines. When we arrived, we got to dress up in salt miner outfits and ride a small train into the belly of the mountain. Once inside, we got to explore like the salt miners of the old days, keeping our heads low in the caves, searching for the white gold (salt). We got to ride down a large wooden slide, visit various rooms filled with history and scientific facts about the cave rocks and structure, and we even got to take a boat ride over a beautiful, underground lake. The boat ride was especially cool because the water, itself, was actually fresh water that reflected everything like glass. There was a light show that took place on the ceiling while on the boat, and all the lights danced on the water and reflected beautifully back to us watching from the boat. Although I mentioned the lake was a fresh water lake, there was an opportunity to taste a clean, filtered version of it from a fountain after the ride was over, and it was the saltiest water I have ever tasted. You know how sometimes you can get caught by a wave in the ocean and the water goes up your nose, causing you to swallow ocean salt water? This water I tasted in the mine was like 50 times saltier than that. Even though it was water, it made my mouth dry.

The entire tour from start to finish lasted a few hours, and of course, finished with an exit through the gift shop. We toured around a bit, and my boyfriend bought some salt as a gift. Waiting on others to finish their shopping, we were able to see a small presentation of salt rock being burned on a fire across the way, separating the salt from the rock. The tour of the salt mines was not something either of us had planned on doing in Salzburg since it was really a stop for me to do the Sound of Music bus tour, but I’m so glad we decided to stay another night in our AirBnB, experiencing even more of Salzburg and getting to tour the Berchtesgaden Salt Mines. Our tour bus stopped in a quiet little Bavarian town for lunch where my boyfriend and I ordered some schnitzel, a pretzel, and some beer and sat and talked about our vacation so far and some other life stuff. We also narrowly avoided a bee sting attack because there were like crazy hoards of bees flying into the other tables’ sugar shakers. We made sure our table didn’t have a sugar shaker by moving it to a different location, marking us safe from any stings.

After our lunch and tour finished, we made our way to the Salzburg train station and got on our train to Munich. He slept while I watched the countryside pass by through the train window. It was beautiful. When we arrived in Munich, we got a taxi to our place for the night. We ended up staying in his friend’s boyfriend’s apartment, which he setup for us as though it were an AirBnB. Everyone hung out at the apartment for a little bit so my boyfriend and his friend could finish up a bit of work they each had to do, and I eventually joined them on the back balcony and electronically submitted my Masters Dissertation online, officially ending my Dissertation journey. Yes, I had submitted my paper copy the day before I left for France, but the department head hadn’t opened the submission link in time for me to submit electronically before I left for the mini Eurotrip.

It was cause for celebration on top of being in Munich and my boyfriend getting to see his friend again. They spent a lot of time catching up and reminiscing about their days living in Hermosa, but I found out that his friend’s boyfriend actually went to college at UPenn and since I went to Villanova, we had a ton to talk about in the Philadelphia college scene. He even used to be a bouncer at Blarney Stone, so we obviously talked about Ken Kweder and the Erin Express. We first went to a rooftop bar where I got an Aperol Spritz before heading to a dinner of wine, meats, and cheeses. We sat around chatting and ended up making up back stories about all the other tables sitting around us. After dinner we went to a bowling alley and played a few games before eventually calling it a night sometime around 1 AM or so. My boyfriend stayed in Munich for the weekend, but that was our last night together because in the morning, I flew back to England! You can read all about that in tomorrow’s post!

Have you ever rearranged your plans in order to make time for an exciting experience like the salt mine tour? It can be fun to fly by the seat of your pants! Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

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