I know it has been about a week since I last updated so I apologize! Everything has just been so hectic here!
Last Friday was very exciting! The majority of the exchange students all went to the Silver Mine in Schwaz and the Swarovski Crystal Museum.
First stop Schwaz!!
We were split into two groups and given hard hats and silver jackets… no warning, no waiver, no rules, literally, just a hat and jacket.
Our guide signaled for us to follow him across the street and he led us into a tunnel. In that tunnel is a, well, what looks like a bunch of wooden boxes with a bench inside of them.
GET IN!! By “get in” our guide meant, straddle this bench like you are riding a horse and hold onto the person in front of you in hopes that you will make it out alive.
Maybe Disney has ruined me, but I have no idea how this place is still open.
It felt like we were going 30 mph through this tunnel but I am sure I am exaggerating. The walls were six inches away from us on either side, so if we wanted to peak ahead to see where we were being hauled away to, it could end very badly.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw every ones heads perfectly inline with one another was COOL RUNNINGS! The Jamaican bobsled team! Except our heads were in line so we would not loose them, not so we could go faster.
The mine was filled with these scary mannequins, one of which even told some jokes. It was very interesting to learn about the miners and the conditions they lived in. From what I understood they became their own culture, they even had their own sections in churches. I think they were a little inappropriate so the common folk did not want to associate with them.
While the miners where down there they also discovered how to pump water out of the mountains, I really forget how old the guide said this that but just by looking at the nails in it you can tell.. its old.
The “bench ride” out of the cave did not disappoint, it was as exciting as the way in. It actually ended up being my favorite part of the day. Maybe Disney should take a walk on the wild side and make some genuinely risk taking rides. I would go.
Wait, I lied. We did have one warning from the tour guide and that was on the way out of the mine. “Be careful when walking down these steps, they are over 200 years old and tend to give out often” HA!
Next we all filed into an authentic Tyrolean restaurant. It was an adorable, mostly wooden, old school, cottage/farmhouse. First came out a creamy soup. I asked what it was called but I could not understand our server. It was the best thing I have had in Austria and I will learn how to make it before I leave.
Next perogies came out! They are not called perogies here but again, I do not know the proper name. They explained them to me as ravioli filled with spinach. It was pretty good, not my favorite so far, it was covered in oil, but I would eat it again.
Then we had chocolate cake for dessert. It was a little more moist than the other cakes I have had here but still dry compared to American cakes.
After lunch we got back on the bus to head over to the Swarovski Museum. I snapped a few pictures of the mountains on the way.
I cannot properly form words to even begin to describe what the Swarovski Crystal Museum is, except, not a Museum.
There was no history on the Swarovski family, how they started, what they have done, where they are now, nothing. Actually, a lot of the displays did not even have crystals. It was all very interesting to say the least.
One thing I found hilarious was the gift shop. Lets remember these are not diamonds, or gem stones, Swarovski Crystals are glass cut in a really nice way.
The gift shop had lost their mind. It was 80 euro for a blue Swarovski Crystal ring. That would be $109.00 USD (at this moment) for a piece of glass, a piece of glass not even in sterling silver might I add! Haha It was very difficult to hold myself together when I realized people were paying for these things and they were going to turn green in about a month.
In that way the crystal museum was EXACTLY like Disney.