Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was organizing my photos the other day and came across the pictures from my semester studying abroad. I lived in a tiny Austrian village, Gaming, for four months. Monday through Thursday I studied and prayed in an old Carthusian monastary - and then I traveled around Europe Thursday evening through Sunday. It was quite possibly the most amazing and spiritually uplifting time in my life.

Above is a picture of the church, part of the complex also known a the Kartause. Here's a bit from my journal while in Austria:

In the 1300s, a group of Carthusian monks built the Kartause as a home of solitude an prayer. They remained there, cloistered from society, for 400 years until they were kicked out. During World War 2, the Russians took over the Kartause as their military base. They pretty much trashed the place, even stabling their horses inside the building. Then in the 1980s an architect took over the Kartause and totally renovated it. He offered Franciscan part of the building to use for a study abroad progam, which brings me to today. Franciscan rents out a part of the Kartause for us to live, study, and learn about European culture.

To the right is the building I lived in. As you can see, the Kartause is nestled between the rolling hill (mountains to me, a Midwest girl). These hills surround the whole village and make it feel so cozy! I really miss the beauty of Austria. Sometimes I ache to go back again.

To the left is a close-up picture of my room. We had the best room in the place because it came with a balcony! I knew from the first moment I stepped foot in the Kartause that I was going to have the time of my life.

And I was right.

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