We're home! After 24 hours of traveling and being awake for over 44 hours, we got back home last night!
Our church choir went on a trip to Austria for 10 days and stayed in a quaint, friendly, beautiful town called Telfs. (below - click for a larger photo)
It is nestled in the Stubai Valley in the Tirolean area of Austria. There are small towns scattered all throughout this valley, and there is a glacier at the end of the valley. We wanted to go up to the glacier, but they were adding another lift and it wasn't going to be open until October of this year.
We visited Innsbruck, Salzburg, the neighboring town of Felpmus, and then into Bavarian Germany. It was a wonderful trip.
Austria is an incredible part of our world. The people who live there are so conscious of our environment. They live amidst beauty that cannot be captured by any camera, no matter how great the lense or photographer. You simply cannot take something as big as the alps and make them into an 8x10 inch photograph. Every picture you have ever seen or will ever see just does not do them justice. It was almost frustrating to me that I wouldn't be able to come home and describe exactly what it is like to be there.
We had a hard time breathing and walking up the hills. Living so close to the ocean, it is hard to imagine what it is like being up that high. The highest we hiked was 2235 meters, or 7,332.5 feet. Not Everest, but definitely high enough for us!
The scenery was breathtaking, the history of the country was amazing, but our favorite part about the trip was meeting the people that lived there. It makes this amazing world of ours seem that much smaller to know that there are people just like us living on the other side of it. I watched Austrian mothers with their strollers and baby carriers and knew that being a mother is the same everywhere... there is always a lot of stuff to carry around.
The most amazing part of the trip was to worship, through music, with Austrian Christians. We sang the same songs, just in different languages. We read the same bible verses. We prayed together and I could just feel God's people uniting and growing stronger for Him. It was incredible. How can it be that even though in a country that is 4302 miles (or 6924km) away, they are worshiping Him in the same way that we do and that people everywhere could have any doubt about His holiness?
We sang a joint concert with an incredible local choir. They are from two towns, Telfs (where we stayed) and Felpmus (neighboring town). Afterward, they invited us out for an evening of getting to know each other. Needless to say, we had a great time! I met some truly amazing people and it was a joy to see just how alike we all are. I had entirely too much Weißwein (white wine, pronounced "Vice Vine") and was among the last of our group to leave (Kurt and I plus 2 other friends). It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Touring around is nice, but I would much rather make new friends and learn about how people live there.
I am posting a few of the 900+ pictures I took. These are just a few to show how beautiful the country is.