Archive for the ‘Vienna’ Category

VIENNA

Monday, June 4th, 2012

this hills ARE ALIVE.. with the sound of music. (really want to watch the movie right now)

so the bus ride was uneventful. 4 hours. slept most of the way ha

our hotel on the other hand a gem. it historic and really cool on the inside and the rooms have been completely renovated this year! including GLASS walls for the ENTIRE bathroom. mary and i are lucky because ours has a slight amount of frosted glass (which is still completely transparent) but however we think the architect may have made a mistake because from the inside in the bathroom you can’t see out but from our bed (directly in front of the bathroom) you can see very well in. as i said though… we are the lucky ones. some of the others have COMPLETELY clear glass for their bathrooms. it has been interesting seeing their contraptions they have made to try to block the view. Austrians must really have nothing to hide.

notice the lovely glass walls

As every other country we were welcomed by rain. mary and i didn’t want to leave because we opened our window to listen to the rain and were playing cello music which complemented it amazingly but all good things must come to an end when we had to meet the group to be sent out in the rain to learn our way around the metro. we went to the location of the main cathedral, which was pretty but i have yet to be really awed here (in their defense i think we were in the middle of the city itself).

mary and i branched off from the others to kind of just learn our way around. we decided that we were hungry and went to find a restaurant, which strangely proved to be very difficult… and landed on some austrian hunting lodge off some random side street. it was really decorative and cute and the staff were very nice to us. we ordered out meal, mary spare ribs with potatoes and a side of spotzle to share and for my self pan fried beef an potatoes, little did we know we would be getting the entire animal itself! our portions were HUGE! like and thats saying the very least. mary got like 2 large racks of ribs with a heap of potatoes and mine was this entire thing of beef covering my plate and hiding another mound of potatoes. not to mention our bowl of spotzle. huge yes and VERY tasty.

mary and her absurd amount of ribs

We also go really excited because they had ice tea (which came in bottles of course) AND it was served with 2 ice cubes (ice is a rarity in europe so enjoy) we got so excited about the ice when he brought us the glass that when we asked for 2 more bottles he brought out this bowl of ice just for us haha. unfortunately we didn’t finish it all so we boxed and took it home to our dog (Dan) who gladly accepted our left overs. Back at the hotel we are all just getting worn down from moving around so much and just hanging out tonight. nothing terribly exciting.

We are listening to the CDs we picked up from street musicians (cello and acoustic guitar) and they are beautiful and well done. making a very relaxing atmosphere as well as like narrating our time in europe for us.

oh and can we talk about the amount of peer pressure i get from my mother to go out at night and party? what?!

4 days till home!

-K

p.s. for all those people that saw my comment about the pepsi bottle and were like “pepsi comes in bottles loser” i meant to say glass bottle which you DONT actually see at home. my mistake (dad and kristen I’m talking to you)

p.p.s the city was LIDICE not LIDICHE (said like hermione)


Tales of Further Travel

Monday, October 19th, 2009

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We woke up last week and found that we’d skipped fall and gone straight to winter. Winter coats and scarves came out and noses froze a bit on the way to class or around town. Then it snowed for almost two days straight. It didn’t stick to the ground, just made everything wet, but it was all sorts of strange to see snow against a backdrop of colorful fall leaves. It’s still very chilly outside now, but supposedly we’ll be back to normal October temperatures by the end of this week. Which is good, because we don’t seem to have any heat in our room. We’re kinda cold. Aside from the snow though most of the week was relatively uneventful. I had a cold for a few days, an ailment I (somewhat dramatically) nicknamed The Death and which it seems almost everyone has been afflicted with at some point or another on this trip. We went to a German conversation hour on Tuesday and chatted with Andreas about various things in an attempt to boost our German skills beyond those of a little kid. Wednesday we decided to be very Austrian and go out for coffee/hot chocolate after class in the morning which was fun. That night was our weekly girls’ dinner, but we agreed that rather than cook we would order pizza so we got our take-out fix in.

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We got up early yet again on Friday to leave for Vienna. We trekked across the country and got to the capital around noon. Our first order of business was a city tour. It was super cold and spitting rain, but the city is gorgeous and so full of things to see that it hardly mattered that the weather was out to get us. Later that afternoon some of us went to the Mozart House. Yes, we have two of those in Salzburg, but, what can I say, the man moved around a lot. It was interesting to hear about his life and his family and all of the work he managed to get down in spite of the rotating cast of characters he entertained and hosted in his home. After the Mozart House we went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant near our hotel. Yay for spaghetti.

Saturday morning we got to sleep in a bit before we went to the Kunsthistorische Museum aka the Art History Museum. Lots of very cool, very old paintings. Many of them seeming to feature dead fish. Not quite sure why. Some of us probably could have spent a lot longer in the museum (we hadn’t even made it to the ancient Egyptian section), but we decided to go check out the flea market down the street instead. We wandered for bit, Kirsten contemplated buying a violin, and I contemplated the potentially disastrous consequences of trying to get home any tea cups I might buy. Opted against buying one. Rachelle and I did, however, get lunch for less than two Euros when we bought a giant piece of bread and some hummus to share at the food section of the market. By the time we’d had our fair share of shopping some of my friends taking a philosophy class had to dash off for a tour of the Freud House, So it fell to me and Rachel to scope out potential dinner destinations. We settled on a place near the hotel recommended to us by a friend, and when everyone returned from the Freud House spouting philosophical theory we got dressed up and went out to celebrate Rachelle’s birthday at a restaurant that gave us more food than we could possibly have eaten. Especially since we were running short on time until we had to be at the opera. We ate as much as we could and made it to the opera house with enough time to get in line for last minute standing room tickets.
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Regular seats at the Vienna Opera start at 50 Euros, but if you don’t mind sore feet you can get standing seats for 3, so we decided to go for it. We saw Tosca, which was part soap opera part comedy. It’s in Italian of course, but they have little screens with subtitles in English and German so we could keep track of the action. The singing was wonderful, the sets and costumes were gorgeous, and I still can’t quite believe we got to go to the Vienna Opera House. Luckily there were two intermissions that gave us a lot of time to sit and let our feet recover. We wanted to get famous Viennese Sacher Torte after the opera, but of course most of the cafes were closed at 10:30 at night. We settled for apple strudel. Still good.

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Sunday morning we got to Schönbrunn Palace before the mobs of tourists showed up. Schönbrunn is the former summer residence of the Hapsburgs. It was also the site of the famous meetings between Kennedy and Khrushchev in the ’60s. We took yet another audio tour through the palace and heard all about the millions of children Maria Theresa had and then married off to various heads of state. After the tour we climbed a little hill behind the palace and could look down on Vienna from up there. We got back on the bus as even greater mobs of tourists poured in and then sleepily made our way to Melk Abbey. Melk is in the middle of nowhere, and we had a sort of strange tour (Brightly color coded rooms? Strange statues built into the wall?) of the abbey. The best part of the whole thing though was the library. I want that library. Floor to ceiling books, all of which are still used for research. It was awesome.
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After all of us bookworms had been sufficiently awed, we all slept the whole way back to Salzburg on the bus. Arrived at IK to discover that the heat in our dorm room wasn’t functioning, so Rachelle and I froze a bit trying to study for the test we had in class this afternoon. It’s still an ice box in here but hopefully we get a little warmer soon. This week it’s a lot more homework and then Budapest for a long holiday weekend!