36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 144: Goodbye Innsbruck; Christmas Eve


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 144 — Goodbye Innsbruck; Christmas Eve
24-December-1971 (Fri.)

Scenic Innsbruck mountains


After seeing Elisabeth off, went to train station with all my stuff to leave at 12:30. Took my last ride up to Seegrube and said goodbye to George—funny guy. I was hoping it would be sunny, but it wasn’t.

Right before leaving, I was busy buying gifts for various people. I was standing, looking at this wine (for Frau Pollack) and there was this good-looking girl there. So, I asked here, in German, if she knew a good wine. So she said, “Are you American?” Well, it turned out that she has been looking for the address of one of the kids I knew at the Hochschule. Moral—it’s a small world.

By the way, that’s one thing that is great—I meet an awful lot of people and can usually do pretty well in speaking German with them (with Elisabeth, a French girl, girls on the train, all academic students).

Train ride was 7-1/2 hours. Terribly long.

Well, arrived in Wien and struggled back to the apartment. After getting some things done, saw Frau Pollack. Also met Pavel’s sister and friends. Very nice.

It made me feel good, that when I returned, I saw a stack of Christmas cards from relatives and friends (everyone except the family, hmmm).

Went to midnight Christmas Mass in Stephansdom. It was fairly nice. Missed seeing my family. Also felt better, having Communion.


Goodbye Innsbruck
Goodbye Innsbruck. I will miss Innsbruck's old town and it's sights such as the Goldenes Dachl (photo left). A quick goodbye to Elisabeth. I think that I wanted to give her a Christmas present and dropped it off at her dorm for a minute. Again, I will miss her. I take a ride all the way to Seegrube to see my first ski instructor, George. Perhaps I gave him a small gift. Boy, I must have liked the guy. Actually, it reminds me that if you are a pleasant person, good-natured, have a bit of humor, and enjoy helping people, others will remember you and have a good feeling about you. As I get older, I have to remind myself of this. It’s too easy to complain and to be someone that people don’t want to associate with.

Don John. What is this? Am I turning into a Don Juan? A couple of hours after saying goodbye to Elisabeth, I’m eyeing a good-looking girl at the train station. No, it’s not what you think. I was never a pick-up guy. I think being overseas, traveling, skiing, and being an international student was giving me a lot of personal confidence that I didn’t have back in the States. Gaining personal confidence is good for everyone. Yes, I’m a nice guy. Yes, we finish last.

A great week. All I can say is that this was an incredible week of skiing, friendships, beautiful scenery (see opening photo), and fun. A wonderful vacation. If you can afford to go skiing in the European Alps, whether French, Italian, German (?), Austrian, or Swiss, check out the ski conditions and hit the slopes.

My wish. Wouldn’t it be great if ALL of us could somehow travel the world more? Get to see interesting places, sightsee, take pictures, see new cultures, ski, swim, walk old towns and castles, experience foreign cuisine, and make new friends? Very few people have the income to be world-travelers and jet-setters. For the rest of us, we need to save up and take a well-deserved vacation once in a while. It is worth it.

Train to Vienna. I didn’t realize the train ride was so long. I’m certain that it was packed with holiday travelers. Back in Vienna, I get to my apartment carting my luggage and teacher’s skis. Home sweet home. Even after a great vacation. It’s a natural instinct, way back from cavemen returning to their caves, and our pack instinct and need to belong, along with the wild dogs. Winking

Christmas Eve. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m missing my family. I get to Midnight Christmas Mass at St. Stephansdom cathedral. It’s good to go to church, reflect, and pray. Makes you feel good.


- - - -