For the Opera, we all met as a group and got our tickets for the show distributed.  I did not really know what to expect from the Opera-I just knew the Viennese were famous for it.  Everyone was dressed to the 9’s and looking stunning.  I looked at my ticket only to find out that we were literally at the top of the theater.  Did I mention we would be standing?  I was not intrigued after having to sneak in the rest of my kebap for dinner, eat it in the powder room, have the coat check lady put me and my friend Kristen’s coats on the same hanger unwillingly (you’ll know why in a minute), climb an infinite staircase (my favorite part of all-no sarcasm!) and then claim my standing seat with a scarf.  Since everything was in Deutsch, all I had to refer to was the English subtitles in front of me.  Feeling nauseous like I was standing in an incinerator, I left after 20 minutes.  I went to claim my blazer after pleading to the lady to give it back to me as I had no ticket because she put two coats on one hanger for Kristen and I-nobody else though.  After 5 minutes of descriptions and pointing her in the right direction, I was finally free and so happy to step outside into the fresh air.  Needless to say, I would like to go back another time and actually sit to watch and enjoy the Opera.  As for now, you can appreciate the only encapsulated moment:

Parliament

The tour of parliament in Vienna was interesting-I felt like I was a secret agent with the headsets we had to wear.  See pictures:

Amsterdam

I was pleasantly surprised with Amsterdam-it was totally a trip on a whim with no expectations.  Upon arrival, Ursula and I searched for Bob’s Youth Hostel where we would be staying.  It was an eclectic place-I will let the pictures do the talking.  Amsterdam’s unique gothic architecture was gorgeous and such a change from Vienna.  Our group ended up renting bikes so that we could go all over the city and see things from the way the Dutch do!  I say this because bikes are much more popular and common to ride everywhere then walking, driving and even public transport.  I loved my cute little purple bike-it had so much character and did not make me look like a tourist-win!  The highlights of the visit were going to the Heineken Brewery for Colleen’s birthday, falling in love with Hollandkase and stroopwafels, going to Anne Frank Huis AND riding around all by myself on the last day in Amsterdam.  I finally became comfortable being a traveler and also a solo one towards the end of the trip-a solid improvement from my nervousness of being in a new place.  I had realized a new part of myself that I didn’t discover before-I can truly enjoy the freedom and individuality of exploring new places ALL BY MYSELF.  Go me!

Enjoy the pictures:

Bob’s Youth Hostel

Colin Murphy & I-The Global Vienna Gators!

Solo Day!

Salmon & Tzatsiki Panini

Dutch Dinner

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Opera, Parliament & Amsterdam

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