Interning is a great opportunity to travel at the weekends and explore a new place!
Travelling while interning
I’m interning at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry for 12 weeks this summer just outside of Munich, and because of the current fuel prices, the German government has introduced a “9 euro ticket” which allows anyone to travel on any local and regional trains for only 9 euros a month this summer! This makes travelling very cheap, so I’ve been trying to make the most of being in a new country with this!
Interning can be a great opportunity to do some sightseeing, because usually you’ll have your weekends free, and if you’re getting paid (which most STEM internships now do), it can be very affordable to do. This summer, as well as visiting the sights of Munich, there are lots of cities nearby which are easy to get to, so a few weekends ago I went to Salzburg in Austria with one of the other interns who I’m good friends with.
Our day in Salzburg
We left the guest house of the Institute at 6:45am to make the most of our day, and the train to Salzburg took just under 2 hours, so we could have a rest and look at the beautiful scenery! Once we arrived, we had tea at a cafe, then headed across the bridge in the rain to the Cathedral. There was a wedding happening so we couldn’t go in, so instead we went to a Manner wafer shop! This snack is one of the things Austria is famous for - they’re one of my friend’s favourite snacks, and I bought some to take back to my lab, and for my family back home.
We then headed up the steep hill to Fortress Hohensalzburg, which had lots of information about the medieval and wartime history of Salzburg. There are beautiful views of the small city at the top, and by this time the weather had brightened up a bit, and I bought some postcards to send. We got the funicular back down, and walked around St. Peter's Cemetery.
For lunch we walked back to the vegan cafe we went to earlier, and ate a delicious curry and burger, then shared a slice of cake. After some shopping, we visited the Mirabell Gardens, which are part of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site. We found a pop-up free art space called The Factory at the side of the gardens, which was really cool, with lots of different pieces from local artists. We also got to see one of the places where a scene from The Sound of Music was filmed! We got the train back home in the late afternoon, tired but content after a beautiful day of sightseeing. Next time I’ll write more about all the different things I’ve seen in Munich!
Advice for day trips
Plan ahead! Factor travel times into your journey along with the number of things you want to do in the day, and have a look at places to eat in advance so that you can make the most of your weekends. Online there are lots of different travel blogs which are a great resource to inspire your adventures! However, you don’t need to be too rigid - sometimes wonderful serendipitous things can happen. For example, near the beginning of my time here I was planning on going to Lake Eibsee with some other interns, but we accidentally got on the bus going the opposite way. We saw that we were heading in the direction of an alpine coaster, and this has been one of the highlights of my trip so far, and we wouldn’t have done that if we didn’t make a mistake!