This may take a while . . .
Okay, the long-awaited discourse on my fall break: The Best of the East. Daniel and I decided to take advantage of tour-company, Euroadventures, during our fall break to explore some countries neither of us had encountered before. The trip spanned Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in only 10 days, so we were definitely in for some fast-paced travel. Packing for this was definitely an issue. For one, I’ve never really been in a “winter” country. You know, where it snows. It snows in Eastern Europe. Luckily not while I was there, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. My fingers would’ve fallen off. Anyway, while it never snowed, temperatures flirted with freezing, so thanks Mom for that down jacket. I used it every day.
Vienna, Austria was our first stop and it’s the one I remember least. I’d heard prior that it was a very beautiful city with plenty of culture and opera and ballet and beautiful museums. The people weren’t terribly friendly, though. Then again, we were 40+ screaming American college students. It’s hard to find anyone anywhere that would look at us with anything other than disdain. A wild pack of students on break is often akin to a manic tribe of monkeys, and students abroad are one hell of a monkey mania. Once we managed to break off of the group, though, we were able to m eet some pretty cool people, namely the “Clique.” We’ll get to that.
We were only there for a day and a night (we really hit the ground running for this trip), so we didn’t have much time to see anything outside of the walking tours we were provided. Daniel and I became friends with two girls from the group, Monica and Tara, both studying in Florence though not at Palazzo Ruccelai. Together we had lunch at a tiny hole-in-the-wall off the main strip near the cathedral and then hunted down the Belvedere Palace to see the art museum, mainly for the famous “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. Unfortunately photos weren’t allowed and I hadn’t thought to be sneaky about getting one. Sorry guys. It was beautiful though, very sparkly.
What I remember best from Vienna is the food. You’ll find that’s a common theme for this trip. Food, food, food. I didn’t do much shopping, so photos really take up the majority of my memory cache. Vienna’s food was pretty familiar: bratwursts and potatoes and heavy gravies. Very homey food.
Next stop: Bratislava, Slovakia!