The Salt-City

“Not all who wander are lost.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

This past Saturday, we went on an excursion to the city of Salzburg. Obviously, most people’s first reactions would be “Oh my gosh! That’s where The Sound of Music takes place!” Well yes, there’s that. Personally, going into it, I wasn’t really excited by that fact. I just thought that that was pretty cool, but that was about it. I was looking forward to the fact that I would get to explore another European city (and see some more beautiful churches), but that was the extent to which I was excited.

The day started off with getting up at 5:00am. We left for Salzburg at “8:30 SHARP” –100_0521 meaning 8:35. It took us 3 hours to get there, so the day started off with us being stiff and tired. Once we got there, we headed to the church at which we would get to celebrate Mass. Since we couldn’t get in, we just wandered around a little bit until we could get into the church. We managed to find the cathedral of Salzburg (about 500 yards away). Both the cathedral and Franzisckanerkirche (Franciscan church) were beautiful! They had some simple art, but the sum of the art was such a sight to behold. After Mass, we went on a tour of the city, where we got to see some of the Sound of Music sights. After seeing beautiful Salzburg, we got to lunch.

After lunch, we had free time. They gave us about 6 hours to wander around and explore Salzburg. I really had no idea about what I was going to do during that time. So some friends and I decided to just wander. We wandered around until we found a café. We hung out there for a little bit and then wandered around some more. We really had no idea where we were going. It was the city of Salzburg. None of us had ever been there before. But we had no desire to go to any particular place, so we just wandered.

After wandering for a while, we came upon this (seemingly) random staircase. We figured: what the heck; why not! We then proceeded to climb this staircase. Though taller than we had anticipated, when we reached the top, we discovered a beautiful view of the city. 100_0560We could see all across Old Town and over to New Town. We could see parts of the Alps. It was definitely not a regrettable view. Thinking we had stumbled upon a jackpot of beauty and sights, we continued to explore the area. As we kept moving forward, a truly indescribable sight opened up before us. The snow-capped Alps grew and stretched farther as we walked out. Though we saw a group of students whom we knew to be our classmates, we didn’t care. We had come to find a place where we could truly encounter the infinite. The view of these mountains over the sight of the city just continued to give us a sense of wonder and awe. In his quote, Tolkien is expressing EXACTLY what my friends and I experienced that evening. We had no idea where we were going; we really had no idea where we were. We were aimlessly wandering. That wandering brought us to this sight that could not be traded for anything. That evening, we gave up the luxury of planning our day. We just let the Lord lead us and wandered around Salzburg. It was truly a freeing experience to give up the restraints of a plan. Wandering led us to see those Alps. While traveling, we often want to plan EVERYTHING out. I know it sounds cheesy, or whatever, but this experience truly taught me that I don’t have to plan everything out. It’s okay to just wander and let the Lord guide your steps and your journey.

100_0562

After gazing at the beauty of the Alps for a little while and taking the necessary pictures to capture the ‘Kodak Moment,’ we turned around to find that we were standing right in front of the Abbey from The Sound of Music. Well how bout them apples! Truly, the Lord guides us. We saw the gates to the Abbey as we see several times throughout the movie. Seeing these things truly made the story of the von Trapps so much more real! While it may not have excited me ALL that much, it was still a good experience to have had. They were just faces portrayed on the screen. They were real people, with a real story, real fear, and real problems.

After finishing at the Abbey, we wandered around a little bit more as we tried to find a place to eat. We managed to find a hole-in-the-wall café. It was really nice. We got to have Austrian food and for not very much. It is hole-in-the-wall places like that that show the true side of a city. After dinner, we wandered around a little bit more until we found a bakery. After that, we wandered a little bit more until we found our way back to the place at which to be picked up.

Though a long day, it was a beautiful day. Getting the opportunity to receive Christ in a beautiful church, seeing other churches, and then wandering around a new city was quite the worthwhile day. Wandering brings one to neglect a need to worry at all. All that worry brings is needless stress and anxiety. Don’t get me wrong: sometimes planning is prudent and necessary. But sometimes, too much planning can stress us out and provide us with an unpleasant experience. Only when we stop finding the need to plan can we truly allow the Lord to lead and guide is in our life. We just need to trust that He will take us where He wants us to go, rather than feeling the need to always be in control.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

 -Matthew 6:34

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Duc In Altum

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Vienna (the City, Not the Sausages) | Eärendil Star
  2. Trackback: What I Learned in Austria Is… | Eärendil Star

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