I will certainly write more later about being in Graz, but I just wanted to officially announce that, yes, I made it in without any problems.
A couple notable sidenotes for the flight over:
- I flew with Aer Lingus, which is an Irish airline with a great name...but that's about it. Upon liftoff, we were promised dinner and then a breakfast shortly before we landed, and the pleasant airline attendants with the nice accents wished us a pleasant journey. However, there was a long, dark hair in my dinner (and HOW exactly does a hair get into pre-packaged airline food?!), there was a puddle of standing water that was literally a couple inches deep in the bathroom, and then they never served us breakfast as promised and never mentioned it again!
- Every time I travel abroad--without fail--an item of luggage has been lost. It seems hard to believe, as that is certainly supposed to be the exception rather than the rule. But usually one or both of my bags are lost...Austria, Australia, Romania...you name it! This time, before I set off, we prayed specifically that my luggage would arrive, and it's like God overcompensated in his answer to prayer since not only did *both* of my suitcases arrive, but that were the very FIRST ones onto the conveyor belt and were right next to each other! Amazing!!
Noteworthy in Graz:
- FRESH AIR!! The weather here is about the same as it was in New York when I left--crisp and cool, like fall. But the major difference is, the air here is so amazingly fresh, it's unbelievable. It's a noticable difference, this clean mountain air! It's the kind of thing where I just stand outside, breathing deeply, and looking like a fool until my roommate pulls me away.
- Quiet! I'll write more about my new place later, but it amazes me that there's a tram stop right outside my window, and yet I don't really hear it. In New York there was a bus stop outside my window, and it was always incredibly loud as the brakes squealed to stop and the engine revved to pull away. Here, the tram is like the gentle whoosh of the wind through hollow reeds. Yes, gentle whoosh.
As soon as I have my room unpacked and organized, I'll post the grand tour. But until then, know that I am here safe and sound, and thank you so much for your comments and emails!