Peace and quiet in Kufstein

An 18 mins bus trip and another 13 mins on a train (Austrian precision) got me to Kufstein. That was my choice on a Sunday – the 20th of Dec, when the sun was on my side 🙂

Right when you’re out of the train station you can see the medieval castle and the road that goes to town. There is no chance to get lost, even if you wanted to. And there you have me – desperately searching for a map or stuff to get some direction. Didn’t know I wouldn’t need one.

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress river view

So, I started on the road with the sunshine. There were a lot of tourists, every one of them trying to take pics or read signs and little stories they found around. I had my mind set on the castle cause I was supposed to meet someone and also be able to catch the bus and train back to home. The last bus was at 17 hours. This is one of the things I’m gonna have to get used to, around here. Buses and trains, no matter how punctual they are and no matter how much I appreciate that, they make you shorten your schedule. I mean, come on, if I really take a free day to visit places and meet new people, I would like to enjoy my whole day of 24 hours. You know what I mean?!

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress river view love locks

Once I got to the castle, I couldn’t help but notice they got wifi (yey!), which was a great deal for me, given the fact that my internet at home was off in the last days. So I paid the 6 Euros and let the cable car take me up.

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress cable car

The first thing I noticed in the castle yard was that they had it decorated for Christmas – and God, it looked lovely! I got a map of the fortress and just went for a walk to visit. I didn’t get to see everything there was, but I had an amazing feeling about it.

I enjoyed the green place that had benches you could sit on and enjoy the view from high.

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress relaxing place

I was in the garden where they had over 100 types of plants and flowers – that was called ‘Anna Battery’ 😀 Also here, they had benches and stuff you could sit on and relax, just feel the harmony.

I couldn’t help but notice and be really happy for the respect they have towards dogs. You could see dogs everywhere around the castle, with their owners. All shapes and breeds and colors, just heaven!

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress torture chamber dog allowed

At some point, I saw this kinda creepy tunnel. Everyone was looking curious at it, but nobody was brave enough to go and see what’s that about. So I thought – what’s the worst that could happen?! – so I went in. The tunnel was built in the 16th century and helped the underground communication. It’s rock-cut and in the 20th century was used as shelter in tough times.

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress creepy tunnel

One interesting thing was the Torture Chamber and its museum. No, I haven’t got any pics from the inside. They clearly said at the entrance that the scenes inside are not appropriate for children. So no, I didn’t visit it. But the history of torture really got my attention.

Even at the beginning of time, people would use different methods to gain power over others and get information or material things instead. In the past, torture had political or religious base and the death of victims was accepted as part of the whole process. The victims often disappeared without a trace. Until the 13th century, torture was not explicitly forbidden by church law and in the 15th century it became an essential part in witch trials. Austria abolished torture and death penalties in 1787, under Emperor Joseph II.

One thing I only heard about but didn’t see – Kufstein has the world’s largest outdoor organ, 4948 pipes. Everyday at noon, 12 hours, they play a small concert, that works as a reminder that peace is possible but must be actively pursued. I got there at 12.48, so I didn’t hear the organ play, but I am sure it is wonderful and can be heard in the whole town.

Also, inside the castle, in Josefburg Festungsarena, there was a Christmas Market that was really lovely, with many Christmas trees and Austrian specialties. And, of course, mulled wine.

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress christmas market

I then met a local. Me and Wolfgang went to one of the few open places on a Sunday – where we drank tea and had the most amazing mulled-wine-cake.

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress december meeting gluhwein cake

I stayed there until the last train. I talked to Wolfgang about everything and nothing, shared stories and he even told me about his passion and showed me a little preview. I’ve got no words for this, but this guy’s singing is amazing! Click here to listen what I’m talking about. Everything that’s there – instruments, voice, recording, production – everything is him. I was truly impressed, maybe also because I like singing but got no talent in the field. Make me sing and you’ll get broken glasses… There comes a time when each of us have to go back home, so I had to say goodbye to Wolfgang and his amazing songs.

Once I got into the train station, I couldn’t find my platform. Only until a group of hippies got my attention cause of the many luggage they were carrying! They were waiting for the elevator that connected the platforms. So I went next to them and somehow, they managed to also make some room for me so we could all use the elevator at once. That led to talking and joking:

– Oh, so you speak English?

– Yes, is it that bad?!

– Oh yeah. You see, we don’t know any English, so I don’t know how to talk to you. (And the whole conversation was in English)

Haha, hihi, so I helped them carry the luggage. They really had many snowboards and skis and backpacks with them. And they were only 3 people – 2 girls and a guy. But I really had fun with them!

On my last ride to home, I made friends also with the bus driver. We talked for the whole 18 mins and he told me how his time in Romania was. He was there 5 years ago, as a driver for a group and he was really scared of driving at night, because he couldn’t see the holes in the pavement and he had to look after the company’s car. Oh, and he really loved Brașov. He gave me ideas and recommendation for future trips in the Tirol area. Close to the station I was supposed to get off, he told me to stay on the bus and he’ll show me the next town also. I could only see it from the bus cause he had no break, but it was really nice to have a night tour of it.

At the end, I felt like a VIP when the bus detoured just to drop me off right in front of the hotel. I was like a princess enjoying a special ride! 😀

www.anamariapopa.com blog post kufstein castle fortress trip bus back night

I like it here, I met some great people already, in just one week! And the feeling I was telling you about at the beginning of the story is simply described by peace. You know that moment when you feel in complete harmony with yourself, with people and everything that surrounds you? When you feel so zen that nothing in the world could make you feel bad?… Well, that was me. And I had no idea how much I missed it and how far away I was from it. You could say that I was feeling myself again.

I really can’t wait to discover what the next few months have got for me!

 

The pics used were taken by my finger pressing the button of an iPhone 6. No edit, cause I was just too anxious.

Thanksgiving or giving thanks?

Thanksgiving day is a national holiday celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November, in the USA and on the second Monday of October in Canada. It is the day of the year of giving thanks for the blessing and the harvest of the previous year. The tradition includes a large meal, in which the star is a roasted turkey.

The first Thanksgiving dinner was held in 1621 by Pilgrims and lasted 3 days (!) but it didn’t become a national holiday until 300 years later, in 1941. It is believed that there were no turkeys for dinner back in 1621. Still, the turkey is the traditional Thanksgiving dish, given the fact that it was one of the first animals to be domesticated in the USA.

American or not, another year has almost passed and this would be a good time to think about all the things we are really thankful this year, in this life. Day-by-day we’re busy complaining, focusing on what we don’t have, because it’s easier this way. So, sometimes, it is important taking the time to remember the things we are thankful for and that every so often, we take for granted.

After giving it some thought, replaying one of the most challenging years of my life – if not, the most! – this is my personal list here:

People – generally speaking. I like the fact that I’ve met and will meet enough people in this life, to have things to learn from them. People who inspire me to be better or, on the contrary, people who make me say – ‘I don’t ever wanna be like that!’. People whom I admire and will follow, and people whom I know my life would be better without.

Life – ’cause when you try and think about it, life is pretty amazing. You just need to know what to do with it and how to create it. And this year made me realize that I’m just starting creating my life, building opportunities and taking chances.

Love – it makes the world go round. It’s happiness, power, beauty, kindness, support, honesty, trust, communication, understanding, peace, acceptance, respect, patience – okay, stop me now.

Good Friends – you know, the people you feel. Some people you see, some you hear, but only few you will feel. Those are your friends. And no other words could describe this feeling.

Physical activity – dancing, fitness, yoga. Whatever makes me move, lifts my spirit, gives me energy, puts me in the right mood and reminds me that I look better fit 😀

Pets – and even better, if you don’t own one – friends with pets! 2 in 1, big win!

Challenges – they serve a purpose. They make you the person you are now. How you overcome them it’s your choice, in your hands, your control.

Pain – without it, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the good times. Like – when your tooth hurts. You become thankful for all the times you had a good time, even if you had other dental problems.

Control – over your actions, your attitude. Yes, that is the only thing you can really have control over. You won’t be able to decide how people treat you, how long you will have a job or a car. But the thing that you can master is how you react to everything that comes your way, in this life.

Loss of control – imagine if all the issues were in your hands to handle them?! That’s one hell of a complicated life! It may be hard, but try and see the good in it. Enjoy every moment you lack control, it’s yours to feel free!

Money – yes, the last one. It makes many things possible in this world, because I like to be also practical about life. It can be your friend or your enemy – your choice, you control it.

 

How’bout you? What have you got to be thankful for in this life? 🙂

 

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Rubik’s Cube is 40

And that means it’s older than me, lol. Okay.

Now, if you have to Google it to find out what Rubik’s Cube is, you’re too young.

So, history tells us that the cube was invented in 1974 by a Hungarian professor named Erno Rubik. He created the world’s best selling toy ever. Of course, he didn’t know then what it would become, he was just a teacher passioned by puzzles who was trying to explain his students about spatial relationships.

The first cube was made out of wood and paper and was originally named ‘Magic Cube’. It wasn’t until 1980 that it received its name as the Rubik’s Cube.

Back then, it took Erno Rubik over a month to solve his own puzzle. Now, in our days, it took an 18-year-old teenager only 5.55 seconds to do it. He set the record last March and until now no one could break it.

 

anamariapopa.com blog post rubkis cube 40 years old anniversary

 

 

‘If you are curious, you’ll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.’ ~ ERNO RUBIK

 

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