Sunday, April 26

Where’s my European sugar daddy?

So, my first week in Innsbruck is over – man, how I would love to live here. Here are some of the highlights (some are more detailed than others… live with it).

1. We arrived in Innsbruck last Sunday around noon. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel and then took off to see the city. I should probably have done better research on how to get to a couple of places because after walking for quite some time, we ran out of sidewalk and found that we couldn’t actually walk to where we wanted to go – we had to go by car – at least we stopped ourselves before we started walking on the autobahn.

2. Innsbruck is absolutely GORGEOUS!!

3. I got totally ripped off at dinner one night. I went to dinner with Bill and one of our Norwegian colleagues – delicious dinner, by the way, had brats and sauerkraut, YUMMY!! – anywho, at the end of the meal, our colleague suggested we split the ticket three ways. Sounded good – well, it wasn’t until after we paid that I realized this probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do since I hadn’t had any alcohol with my meal. Let me tell you, alcohol can become really expensive really fast. Oh, well.

4. I’m working with a really cute Austrian guy – Young, but cute! ;-)

5. Did I mention that Innsbruck is gorgeous?

6. Every meal has been delicious! We ate Italian (we're about 30 minutes from Italy, so there are a LOT of Italian restaurants here), Indian, Greek, and, of course, Austrian. YUMMY!

Triumphal Arch (Triumphpforte)

City Tower (Stadtturm) in Old Town

Building in Old Town

There was this really cool parade thing going on while we were walking around town

The Golden Roof - Old Town

This is the view from my hotel room - poor me, right?

The mountains are absolutely amazing

Also from my hotel room

Stift kirche

Inside St. Jakob (Innsbruck Cathedral)

Inside St. Jakob (Innsbruck Cathedral)

St. Jakob (Innsbruck Cathedral)

So, male pedestrians are allowed in Innsbruck, just not in Munich? ;-) But only if they wear a hat.

Wednesday, April 22

It's the small things

Last Friday I flew to Munich (Salt Lake to Atlanta, Atlanta to Munich). Because of my status with Delta, I received a complimentary upgrade to Atlanta. However, the bigger problem was the flight to Munich. I know I sound like such a whiner, but that is a really long flight (9 hours) to be stuck in coach. So, on Wednesday of last week, I called Delta to see if I could use my SkyMiles to purchase an upgrade. Nope, my ticket wasn’t in the right class, so no upgrade for me. A friend from work was traveling with me and overheard my conversation, so he thought he’d give it a try. He was told that he could use miles, but a better option would be for each of us to purchase an upgrade on the day of travel (if available) for $150. Totally worth it. So, bright and early on Friday morning (we’re talking about 5:30) I walked into the Crown Room at the Salt Lake City airport ready to purchase my upgrade. Sorry, ma’am (I’m not ready to be a ma’am), you were given incorrect information – there is no way, no how you can upgrade your flight. When Bill got to the airport, he tried, too. Same end result. He couldn't even use miles, now. Since each person told us something a little different, I thought I’d try asking again in Atlanta. Still the same end result (NO), but again, different information. After so much rejection, Bill and I were resigned to the fact that we would be in coach. However, when the gate agent scanned our tickets, much to our astonishment, a neat little upgrade ticket printed out - one for each of us. We didn't even ask this time. I was high-fiving Bill – the gate agent was excited for us, he high-fived us. It was quite the moment. I think the surprise made the upgrade that much sweeter.

We arrived in Munich Saturday morning, stayed in Munich Saturday night and then took the train to Innsbruck on Sunday. We arrived in Munich early in the morning, and even though our hotel rooms were ready, it’s my rule to try and stay awake as late as possible and then try to sleep through the night in order to reduce the amount of jet lag. So, Bill and I walked around Munich for a few hours – until both of us were ready to drop. I’ve been to Munich before, so I saw some of the same things (which I still LOVE), but we saw some different things, too. It’s a beautiful city.

Asparagus must be in season - there were asparagus stands EVERYWHERE

Theatine Church

Since neither of us spoke German, we couldn't quite figure out what this statue was for. We assumed it was for the fallen soldiers from Munich during the wars.

Beautiful skyline

One of my favorite sites in Munich - the Glockenspiel. There's quite the show when it strikes 11 a.m., noon, and 4 p.m. (I think it's 4 p.m.)

Frauenkirke (Church of Our Lady). There was scaffolding on the other tower, so the picture isn't quite what it could have been

English Gardens. It was amazing to have this tranquil garden in the middle of the city. My German friend, Rolf, told us that we were lucky it was cold and rainy - evidently nude sunbathing is quite the past time in this park.

Bill's first real German beer

OK, these signs were ALL over the English Gardens. We couldn't quite understand - were only women allowed to walk here? And only then if they were holding on to their daughter's hand? A little chauvinistic, if you ask me. My German resource, Rolf, wasn't sure what these meant, so I went on a quest online. Evidently these signs simply mean "pedestrians allowed." But only women pedestrians, right?

Monday, April 13


NOT pronounced Nor-k-uh-ping. Actual pronounciation: [nawr-chœ-ping] (I think nor-shuh-ping is pretty close).

What? You’ve never heard of Norrköping? Well, I don’t blame you. The only reason I’ve heard of it is that my mom’s grandmother and great-grandmother emigrated from there.

My sister visited Sweden a few years ago (her husband served an LDS mission in Sweden) and they went to Norrköping and had a great experience (family-history wise), so I decided I should go, too. However, it wasn’t until the night I arrived in Stockholm that I thought of looking for the location where my great-great-grandfather was buried. Poor planning on my part (or lack of planning) but seriously, how hard could it be to find it? I knew what parish he belonged to (East Eneby, Hedvigs Parish) – surely they had a cemetery where parish members were buried, right? Sadly, no.

Norrköping is about a 90-minute train ride out of Stockholm. Just a few blocks from the train station I found Hedvigs Kyrka (which was pretty good since I had no idea where I was going), but as I said, there was no nearby cemetery. That’s OK, I would just ask where they would have buried people in 1862. I arrived at the door just as they were closing for the day. I stated my case and everyone at the church was extremely nice and tried to help me. They gave me a map of the city, and pointed out a cemetery that would have graves from the 1800’s. So, I set out on my quest. Since it was Sunday, no one was working at the cemetery for me to ask whether or not I was in the right place. Again, I figured it would be OK, I would just walk around and see what I could find – shouldn’t take long. I started with a lot of energy, but after a couple of hours (and a lot of snow), I decided that I was out of luck. That said, I did have a nice time and was able to take some great pictures.

Hedwig's Kyrka

St. Matthew's

river in Norrköping