I was in Vienna last weekend, what did you do?

Trip Start Sep 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 23, 2006

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On Tuesday this week, I had my first test here in the Czech Republic. It was given by the professor who no one understands. He was just as difficult to understand in written form as he is in verbal. In the evening, there was a group of us who decided we were over the Nation to Nation parties and decided we would go out on our own. The group was me, Meghan, Taylor, Victor, Jennifer, and Micheal. We went to this little bar that Taylor had been to before. The drinks were cheap and the company was good until Taylor started feeling ill and had to leave, Jennifer went home with him and Micheal had a basketball game in the morning, which left Meghan, Victor and I who weren't ready to go home with little to do on our own. Defeated, we decided to go where everyone knows your name; Nation to Nation. It was at Face2Face which is the worst club on earth, and we didn't even get there until about 1:30 am because the stupid club is so far away. Victor found some of his friends and Meg and I found ours but everyone was leaving on the 2:15 am bus home, so we were only there for 45 minutes. That was fine with me because I didn't want to go in the first place.
Wednesday I went to my only class and then I went with Meghan and Jennifer to the Communist Museum. How cool is that? I took a picture with a giant statue of Stalin, and there was a really neat video about the Velvet Revolution and the events precipitating it. In the video were all there places that I have been, and not just places like Wenceslas Square where the revolution started, but there were riots at this tram stop that I get off at all the time, and weird random places that you wouldn't notice unless you lived there. It was really cool. After that, Meghan and Jennifer went home, but I decided that I wanted to stay downtown and walk around until it was time to meet the CSU study abroad advisor for dinner. She was touring the program and looking at other universities in Prague, so she took all the CSU students out to dinner.
But, before the dinner, I stumbled upon the Alphonse Mucha exhibition in a gallery in old town. Mucha was a Bohemian artist and though you may not know his name, I guarantee you have seen his work. I knew that I liked it before I came, but I am really getting into Czech culture. So after the gallery it was time to meet up for dinner. We went to a medieval restaurant where I had a fabulous steak. Everyone else thought they should get Czech food. They're suckers and don't know what they missed. They had mystery meat goulash and I had a steak. HA! After dinner, Meg and I thought it would be nice to walk home. We took a nice little break on the Charles Bridge because the view of the Prague Castle from there is amazing, and in the evening, when it is all lit up, spectacular. There we were, when this little old Venezualan lady came up to us and asked us for directions. This was very cool for Meg and I because we were actually able to help her! She is a very slow walker and the group she was with left her behind and she didn't know how to get back to her hotel. Meg and I got her there are she kept calling us her angels.
Thursday I had class all day and then there was a beer rally sponsored by the school in the evening. I know that sounds sort of bad that our school sends us on beer drinking missions, but I think that the point is that we get to know the neighborhood we live in. Anyway, I drank more than my share because one of the girls on our team was a light drinker. Meg ended up puking outside of the final stop after we had already won. On our team was Jen Smith from Canada, Tiffany and Cristen from DU, Paolo from Milan, Meg, and me. We rocked. We were done 45 minutes before anyone else. After the beer rally Meg and I decided to go home and make it an early night because we were going to Vienna in the morning.
Friday we got up early and went to the station to go to Vienna. I slept the whole way there thanks to Benadryl. We arrived in Vienna about 5 hours later and started to look for our hostel. Of course, we got lost. It took us 1 1/2 hours to find the hostel that was pretty much on the other side of the street from the tram we rode there. We checked in, went to the grocery store, and then went out to see what we could see. We didn't find the cool area of town, we found this strip where all the restaurants are really expensive, McDonalds or a Pizza place. We went to a pizza place and it was awful. By now it was about 10 pm so we decided just to go home and get a good night's sleep before we got on the 7 am train to Salzburg. We got up in the morning and got on the train, not understanding that it is about a 3 hour ride. When we finally reached Salzburg, we booked the Sound of Muic Tour. The girls I traveled with didn't tell me this was the only reason we were in Salzburg. Let me say now that I like the Sound of Music, but it is not enough of a reason for me to spend that much money. The tour was fun and we went to other places than just Sound of Music places, but in general, my time in Salzburg was not the most fun I have ever had, and it is not the coolest place I have ever been.
By the end of the day the paranoia twins were so afraid that we would miss the last train from Salzburg that we didn't even walk around the town. At all. They are the type of people who think that you should show up two hours early for everything. They are "planners." I am not a planner. I wanted to see more than just what I had seen from the window of the Sound of Music bus, but no. We couldn't wander too far from the train station, even though there was 2 hours and 45 minutes until our train left, there wasn't enough time for dinner, for a beer, for a walk, or even for gift shopping. Unless it was either of them who were hungry or if they saw something in a store that was fun or cute. Not that I am bitter...
Anyway, on Sunday, we explored Vienna. We were told by a friend that you can get tickets to the national opera house dirt cheap if you go the day of the show and buy the unsold tickets at a discounted student rate of about 7 Euros. We went out first thing in search of such a deal and found out that the show was sold out on the only night we had available to see the Opera. We were then suckered into a crappy show by one of the many men wearing Beethoven outfits and powdered wigs who were selling tickets to other shows around town. After we bought our tickets, we went in search of the Belvedere Museum where there is a large collection of another of my favorite artists, Gustav Klimt. I never knew this, but he apparently is Austrian. Very cool. I saw "The Kiss" in person and it was amazing. Look it up online, its a cool painting anyway, but in person, it's amazing. After the museum, we walked around town and saw the Natural History Museum, but didn't go in because it was closed by that time. We saw some cool churches that none of us knew anything about but were pretty none the less. Then we had some dinner in the Maxamilian Cafe, went home, cleaned ourselves up, and went to the Beethovenplatz Theater. The show we went to sucked. After that, we went to McDonalds where I got a Happy Meal. Then back to the Hostel where we crashed and had to get up early again to make it home in time for our 4:15 class where we were having a test.
Yesterday was apparently some Hugarian national holiday, something to do with a revolution from Communist oppression and there was a bloody battle, I am not entirely sure... But my friend who is Hungarian, Zsolt, celebrates it, so we helped him. He brought Hungarian wine that he shared and we all talked and laughed and it was good. I went to bed early because I was exhausted from all the traveling and the test.
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