At the ripe young age of 21 years old (the ripest possible, as it was my birthday on the date of our flight to Vienna), I accepted the city's invitation to slow down, you crazy child!!! Since we had celebrated my birthday the night before, I was not in my most ideal physical state. However, I ate a delicious salad made of olives and other dreamy ingredients and bopped on over to the airport with my classmates. It had been a while since I had flown out of Luxembourg, and a few things were different this time around. For example, the airport was under construction, and the bathroom smelled strongly of gummy bears. Unsure if those things were correlated or not. Once again, we were having post-birthday troubles, so after getting scolded for lying on the floor instead of going through security by our professor, we picked our sorry student selves up and began our journey to the land of Captain Von Trapp.
As has become the custom of this trip, I found myself in between two businessmen on the plane and also enjoyed a delicious complimentary sandwich involving salami. I am opposed to salami in real life, for moral purposes, but given the circumstances it was just what I needed. Looking back on it now, I definitely regret eating it. What even is salami? I feel like this semester has been largely dominated by the presence of creepy preserved meat.
Sandwich aside, we arrived in Vienna without any huge issues, which, as you know, is always a win. However, it didn't take long for disaster to strike. As the great Gerardo (aka professor "get the heck up off the floor you clowns") rounded up the troops to get on the underground train, affectionately known as the U-Bahn, he was dismayed to find that, as a whole, we moved at a snail's pace. In order to make up for our sorry slow-moving selves, we began to try to quickly squeeze onto the train. Unfortunately for us, we had failed to realize that the train we were attempting to board was getting ready to pull away. A stale yellow light, if you will. Alas, with only six students safely on board, the doors were shut and the train ventured off, leaving the rest of us in the dust. The looks of pure terror on the faces of the students stranded on the U-Bahn couldn't have been bought with MasterCard. With nothing to do but wait for the next train, we sat on the platform and ate white chocolate while we laughed at the poor unfortunate souls that were headed nowhere fast in a German-speaking land of mystery.
It was only after we boarded the U-Bahn that I realized I had left my Eurail in Luxembourg, which I needed to get back from Prague at the end of the next week. This is classic me behavior. I always leave something important behind. These important things have included underwear, pajamas, sandals when I went to Barcelona, socks, and sunglasses. Unfortunate times, but such is the life of a world traveler. Alas, the Eurail was the most vital thing that I have ever forgotten. Luckily, my host family was able to express mail the Eurail (lol) to the hotel and all was well and good in the world once again.
Since we went to Vienna with our architecture class, we saw a lot of random housing complexes and neighborhoods. While we were walking from one ambiguous location to another, we entertained ourselves via photoshoot. Please enjoy.
The Leopold may only have been home to six Gustavs but since we couldn't make it to the Belvedere, it did the trick. I will be back for you, Vienna. Wait 4 me? Thx. Ha ha that will never get old.
So since we were in Vienna for five days doing essentially the same thing, I will just hit you with the highlights and humorous details.
One day we stumbled across a vegetarian/vegan Indian restaurant (I seem to have a knack for finding these sorts of establishments), and we went in for dinner. It was so good that we came back again the next day for lunch. No shame.
The hotel we were staying at not only had a delicious and extensive breakfast buffet, but also a truly delicious snack mix that could be obtained at the bar, free of charge. However, the bartenders refused to bring the snack mix up to our rooms upon request. While this is slightly understandable, it was also massively disappointing.
Before we were aware of the complimentary snack mix, we filled out order forms for peanuts and chocolate. Ten minutes after signing our names at the bottom of the papers, we were greeted with the devastating news that there was no more chocolate, but we could go next door to the Shell in order to purchase some ourselves. We were aware of the Shell, but obviously we had no intentions of leaving the lobby. Couldn't they see that we had been walking all day, observing bourgeois housing and raiding pharmacies for the use of their private bathrooms??? People these days.
On the day of our departure, I realized that I had mistakenly charged my tin of peanuts (2 euro) to room 152 instead of 252. Austin, I know I said this before, but I truly am sorry.
One night, we had a class dinner at a restaurant where the main feature was a breaded filet of pork. Since I am registered as dairy-free (curse you, lactose!!), I received a non-breaded pork filet. It was about as appetizing as it sounds. Picture a naked chicken patty. You don't want to see that! You know it's gross frozen and possibly tubed meat! I cut it up into small pieces to be nice and ventured with my pals to go find better food elsewhere, and we came across a nice Italian restaurant. The waiter was not a fan of us, because we were very giggly and Josie couldn't decide between pizza and ravioli and told him to "surprise her" and was then visibly disappointed when she received pizza and not ravioli. Not to worry, we returned the next evening with seven more people. The waiter did not seem happy to see us. C'est la vie.
While on a small walking tour detour through a sketchy flea market, we came across a woman who was selling the most beautiful colorful floral carpets that I have ever laid eyes on. Unfortunately, she did not ship to the United States and would probably not have accepted my offer of "ten euros or less" for a carpet. It was a modern day tragedy.
On a Starbucks run one night (sacrificial love on my part), we had a run in with a very sassy barista man who refused Mackenzie her holiday hot chocolate and suggested that she order a drink with Jamison in it instead (SIR!!!!) and informed us that there was no peppermint flavoring in the entire establishment. This obviously was unacceptable to us, but it turned out that he was telling the truth and not just being elementary-school-boy flirty. By the time we had finally ordered our drinks, the line had grown to ten people and the barista seemed undeterred. Here are some photos documenting the event:
Uhmmmm MORE PICS!!!!
Other highlights of the Christmas markets included: strange hot wine that we were too afraid to try (future me laughs at past me's naiveté), lady from America that sold cute jewelry and scarves and gloves, ridiculously warm leggings from a kind Chinese lady, cute lil rings that turned our fingers green a week later, and lots of twinkly lights. Christmas is NEAR, people!!! I can taste it! I think I just eat a lot of chocolate.
Dang. What can I say? Overall, my time in Vienna was truly enjoyable. I do wish we had seen more of Vienna and less of their post-war social housing, but it is what it is. Stay tuned for my post on Prague!! The adventure continues...