Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 9: Rheinfelden, Switzerland/Bregenz and Innsbruck, Austria

It is Sunday, May 24th. As we said goodbye to our hotel in Engelberg I could not help but notice more sustainable practices. I noticed that the hallway lights stay on only when you walk in the hallway; also the toilets have different water usage levels. These small changes save more energy each year than most energy plans in the world. After breakfast in the hotel we made the beautiful drive to the Feldschlosschen Brewery in Rheinfelden, Switzerland. We had a private tour of the brewery and learned the ways in which they incorporate sustainability into making their beers. The factory and tour was very handicap accessible and the security of the facility was satisfactory. Some areas were open, which raised some concern. But, the brewery is in a very rural area. After the tour we had the privilege of tasting a few different beers along with delicious homemade pretzels. Today I made a new friend, Christian our bus driver. He told me about his German heritage and his passion for traveling and making new friends within his job. It was very enriching and eye opening for me to see a perspective of life from a foreign friend. After the brewery we made our way to the quaint town of Bregenz. The city is situated on Lake Constance, a sprawling lake with many sources. While we had limited time, a group and I had lunch at an Italian restaurant called Isola Bella. The prices were fairly decent, but the service was lackluster. The owner seemed very shocked by our request to order takeaway. He told us to relax and enjoy our meal. We would have if we had time. This goes to show the Europeans way of life and their slow enjoyment of life’s gifts. After our stop in Bregenz we made our way to the Hotel Jagerhof in Innsbruck. The hotel is situated on a beautiful mountain side, and the views from our rooms were spectacular. While I did not have dinner in the hotel restaurant, the bar was well stocked and the students enjoyed the local culture and feel. The most surprising thing I saw today was the size of the brewery we toured. It is amazing to think about all of the work it takes to make our beverages. The most important thing I learned today is to see life through another’s eyes, and to grow from what you learn. Back home I would tell everybody to sit back and relax in the moment. The Europeans do it, and they seem much happier and at ease with life. 

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