And So It Begins… Waking up at 5:30 AM Thursday morning was grueling, however, as everyone rushed to have breakfast and get to the train station, it was pretty evident we were all excited about our trip to Vienna. We had another boring yet necessary meeting the day before to discuss all of the activities we would be doing while there and all of the other available options for our free day. As we got on the train, I don’t think anyone really knew what to expect, I sure didn’t. Some people did work on the way there, such beautiful and responsible individuals! I, however, fell asleep, naturally. When I woke up, we were in Vienna, it was a surprisingly quick ride there;) The city was full of tall buildings, opera houses, museums, parks and gardens, busy streets, it was quite insane.
Hi Vienna… As we hauled our things to the Wombats (our favorite hostel;) we left everything in the luggage room and went on a tram tour around Vienna’s Ringstrasse. It was such a warm little tram, I think it was hard for everyone to stay awake. Afterward, we tackled a 3-hour walking tour, it was very informational but a tad bit boring. Later that night was trivia night at The Wombats, which obviously meant team Florida Gators was ready to go, all four of us music students were in charge of the music category. It was really fun to hang out as a group and do something everyone could participate in, do not underestimate the power of a good trivia night!
Getting Lost: On Friday we woke up early to go on a tour of the main opera house, it was such an amazing building, both inside and out, as a singer, being in that building and seeing that famous stage really reminded me to keep working hard to reach my goals. Everyone else taking the business and European studies classes went to the Parliament. Us musicians ended up getting lost on our way to meet the other students, we then had to find our own way through the metro system in a city we had never been in. However, you know what they say: sometimes getting lost is necessary. It was a very stressful yet accomplishing adventure, and we eventually made it on time to the United Nations tour. I didn’t know the answers to any of the questions the tour guide was asking, but that was ok because I had Gus, a political science major that was very knowledgable on the subject, whispering the answers to me… thank you Gus! Later that night a few of us went to watch an opera called Die Fledermaus, although we stood for about 3 hours at the top where it was very hot, the opera was very funny and enjoyable. It was incredible to hear all of those amazing singers truly fill the entire auditorium with their voices.
Free Day: Saturday was our free day and it was one of the most beautiful days I’ve experienced here in Europe. We first went to the Freud Museum which was exactly 6 euros to enter, let me take a second to put some things into perspective. If you use your money wisely, a meal can cost about 3-4 euros… the entire museum was just one small room, and if you really enjoy Freud I recommend it, but other than that I didn’t think it was worth it. After that, we went to the Belvedere Palace and gardens. It was such a beautiful exhibition, the paintings were so aesthetically pleasing. I recreated the famous “Kiss” with my friend and imitated a sculpture’s pose. I really enjoyed that art museum, I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to Vienna. Before lunch, we went to this huge church called Karlskirche. At the end of the day we went to a flee market at the center of the city. There was an absurd amount of people there at the riverside. There was food, drinks, souvenirs, and small concerts.
Last Day: On Sunday we went to a famous library, called the Austrian National Library. It was the most beautiful library I have ever set foot in. It was full of books all the way to the top of the building, it was very Beauty and the Beast like. After that we went to the Schönbrunn which belonged to the Habsburg family. Maria Teresa, the empress at the time, managed to marry all of her daughters to princes all over Europe. The palace was absolutely stunning; as we walked into the large and beautifully ornamented building and exited through their extensive garden, it was pretty evident that their family was wealthy and had held a lot of power. At around 4:00 PM we went to the train station and left to go back to Salzburg.