First of all this month has been another really busy month!! Second, I finally got my visa! Better late than never I guess ahahaha. Third, I can't believe I officially only have one month left! My new favourite word is either “Ohrwurm” which refers to having a song stuck in your head or “Kopfkino” which pretty much means daydreaming.

This month I’ve learnt how to cook Kässpätzle and Tiroler Knödel which are both traditional Austrian dishes and taught my family how to make a Pavlova and Mince and Cheese Pies because I was horrified to hear that they had never had a Mince and Cheese Pie before!!! I also made vegan chocolate mousse and went through a pancake phase. I made pasta, a few curries, apple crumble and zucchini noodles with tomatoes and fries. 

At the beginning of the month I hiked up a mountain called Bödele with some friends which was so beautiful! Then that night Hittisau had a community block party type of thing and the band played my favourite song here - ‘vo mellau bis ge schoppernau’ which was cool. That night my host dad decided spontaneously that that weekend we would go to venice. So the next morning Pia and I went to Innsbruck for the day and met up with a friend of hers there and spent the day exploring innsbruck which is so beautiful! There was even a busker from Slovakia who was really really good. Everyone stopped to listen to him and it was like an outdoor concert. It was such a cool experience! He sang both covers of songs and a few originals. I even bought his CD so now whenever I listen to it I'll remember that day. Then that night my host dad came and met up with us in innsbruck and we stayed the night there before driving early the next morning to Italy. 

Italy was absolutely stunning! I’m already counting down the days until I can go back!

The weather was amazing, the views, the food, the people, honestly everything! Plus my name is Bella so I fit right in! We travelled everywhere by boat and it was the first time in over 6 months that I had seen the ocean and could smell salt in the air and eat fresh fish so it was as good as being back home in NZ at the beach. I also made sure to eat pasta, pizza of course! Our couple of days there were filled to the brim, we woke up early and went to bed late to make the most of our time. There's so much interesting history and culture there I wanted to stay!

The day after I got home from Italy I went to Linz to visit Luise who was on an exchange in NZ and stayed with my family for a month in summer. Her mum is soooo nice!! I had a great time. We went for a bike ride through Linz and she pointed out all the best parts. We went to Hallstatt on one of the days as well. It is such a small town but is really beautiful. We also went to a cute fairy tale train ride thing and a small fairy tale village for little kids but I still liked it because it was super cute. 

That’s where my luck ran out though sadly because on the train ride home I got so lost and ended up taking the train to Munich which now that i look back on it is funny but at the time it was so stressful! I ended up getting home okay though, so everything worked out. 

The next day I went on a hike with my sister Pia and a guide which was fun cause he told us a bit about the area. 

I also saw the cows walking back from the alps through the villages to the farms and they had bells around their necks and some had flowers on their heads. It was really awesome to watch. That afternoon I met up with my first host family and got pizza and then went back to Bizau and played with Greta my little sister a bit before I had to go because I had planned to meet up with a few friends in Bregenz that evening. It was so cute she told me that she wished that I could have stayed with them for the whole year so then I told her I'd make sure to come and visit her when I come back to Austria in a few years when Corona allows it. 

I also went to Obersdorf with my host dad and sister and we saw the huge ski jump there where people jump around 235 meters, crazy! In a few years I want to come back and watch the competition that takes place there in winter. We went all the way up to the top and the view was amazing! 

Midway through the month I started school and although I was excited I was a bit sad that the holidays were over because I was always going everywhere and experiencing new things everyday. On the days that I have half days I make sure to go out and do something in the afternoons though so that's good. For example one day I went for an afternoon hike around the mountains in Hittisau. Then one day after school Pia and I went to Sulzberg and went swimming in the Moorbad (which means mud bath in english) there. Sometimes I go to Bregenz after school and walk around and go for a swim in the lake. I even went to St. Gallen in Switzerland one day after school. 

I had another rotary meeting and we went to a newly finished hotel they had helped to sponsor and looked around it and ate dinner etc. it was really pretty and the food was amazing! I also had my last rotary exchange student get together and we went to Salzburg for the night. We had a really nice dinner and got our certificates and it was kinda sad to say goodbye to them but I know that I’ve made some lifelong friends and  will hopefully still catch up with a few of them before we all go home. We also went to a Porsche museum which was cool. We spent the day after in Salzburg which was really nice. Then I went back to Linz with Sydney who also comes from NZ and stayed the night with her. We went for a walk through Linz and down to the Donau river and found a really good ice cream shop too. The next day we went to Enns which is the oldest town in Austria and walked around and got lunch etc. before I had to catch the train and start on the long journey back to Vorarlberg. 

I also had a wandertag (hiking day) on Thursday with my class. We hiked from lingenau to krumbach and then got lunch. 

Kenneth, it snowed! It's super early for snow and it's so crazy thinking that just a week ago i was wearing shorts and t-shirts! No skiing unfortunately but we went to a mountain in Bezau with my family on sunday and took the gondola up and at the top there was heaps of snow! It was so much fun, we went on a walk around the mountain and always took breaks to have snowball fights hahaha. It was honestly one of my favourite days since I’ve been here and I’ll never forget it! 

Overall a busy month, by the time I am writing my next report I should be back in NZ quarantining. Also, bis zum nächsten Mal. Ciao!  

Lg Bella xoxo