Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Saturday in Vienna

Unfortunatly I overslept so i was not able to go with Kathrin to the market, but maybe another day. It is apparently open every Saturday. But when she came back we had a late breakfast that included food she had just bought, so it was very fresh! A little later we left with the bikes so she could show me more of the city. We went past a branch of the Danube that had a Freibadeplatz (I think thats what she called it, but it is an outside pool) and a resturant floating stationary near the riverbank. It looked like the deck of a cruise ship. We went on to many places including a park, which they call the Stadtpark, several museums, some famous sights, and a few historical places.

The Vienna Fluss (River) was especially beautiful, which was situated next to the park. next was an architectually intersting building with a long dome that was used to house butterflys. Next to it was the Hofberg, where Hitler gave a famous speech.  Next we saw a set of museums (of science and art) with a monument of, i believe, Maria Teresa in middle, that I think are my faveorite because of their blatant historical beauty, but i have yet to go inside.

A parade was going on at the time (I am not sure why) but the streets were filled with people and music. When we were almost home from our bike ride we stopped at an ice cream shop and I am sorry, Hogan Brothers, but my tastebuds now belong to another. It is called Gelatiana Italiana (if I remember right). The flavors i got, on one cone, was Tirimisu, Nociocolone, and Hasselnuss. The second is chocolate with nuts, but the last was definatly my faveorite.

I went around the some of the same places with Rafi (Kathrin's nephew) and I learned that the 'city' that he refered to was actually the first district. He took me to the Rathaus (in smaller towns it is similar to a city hall but i think this one is bigger than that) where we ate at the Würstelstand. It is their equivalent to fast food. Würst is sausage and we got cheese filled ones with a type of roll. It was like a thanksgiving meal wrapped into a link. That is how heavy it was to me.

On Friday night I went with Kathrin and her sister, Anette, to the top of a small mountain where a cafe was located. We ordered some Lemon drinks that also had mint in it. The first sip honestly tasted like lemon Colgate, but I got over that and the rest was delicious. We were able to overlook the city all lit up at night, and in another district it was storming so I could see the lightning (Blitz) cracking over the city, which was a haunting but beautiful sight.

Tomorrow I leave for language camp, and will be driving there with some other rotary students. So my next post will be all about that!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Traveling and the First Day

For all the Norwegians out there, I now know the meaning of uff-da. Sitting in the Chicago ariport, finally at the correct gate after my previous flight landing late, completly by myself, is uff-da. Getting off of a shuttle, that just wound through the streets of London while you are standing, at a terminal that you forgot the name of is uff-da. Finding out that your luggage has not made it to where you are is uff-da.

But aside from those minor mishaps I would consider my travel experience very successful. I met a troop of eagle scouts and a group headed back to Arkansas from India along the way. I arrived in Vienna at about 1:30 P.M. here, which is early morning in the midwest. I had not slept on the plane but Kathrin, my host-mother, and I (Lionel happens to be on a tour of Europe right now, so I will meet him later) planned to visit the police station to register me right away. So I showered and then ate a quick lunch of bread, cold meat, cheese, and tomatoes with mozerella, which is unbelievably delicious.

I then met Kathrin's nephew and we walked back to the apartment to grab some bikes and we road around district to of Vienna, which is so beautiful I think I might die. We road through the Fußgängerzone (a street that cars are not allowed on) and there is a special lane for people and their horses. I expected something of a large park, but that is a very big understatment. This park went on, and on, and on. People just chill there, lay down in the grass, children play on the abundant park equipment, and I even passed a man flying his remote control hovercraft. Next to this very green, open park is something of an amusment park. Which basically looks like Camp Snoopy (now Nickelodeon Universe) on LSD. We walked through it and I enjoyed observing my unique surroundings but I have not had a chance to go on the rides yet.

We went home after that to eat dinner, which was around 9:00 P.M and my next plans are to go into the city (I thought I was already there but apparently not). We'll see!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Putting my belongings in 2 1/2 suitcases this week, hopefully they make it to my new home with me. I fly out Wednesday, August 11, starting in Chicago and winding my way to Vienna, where I will be living. My host-family consists of three people, Kathrin (host-mother), Lionel (host-brother who is my age), and Vanilla (host-sister who will actually be in the U.S. during my exchange). They live in a flat near downtown Vienna, apparently a historic section. A few days after I arrive I will be attending a two week language camp, then school begins in early September. So stay tuned, the adventure begins soon.