Auf Wiedersehen, Vienna

So, sadly I am leaving Vienna today. I have been through both good times and bad times here but nevertheless, I am sad to leave it behind me. I have already changed so much since I arrived here on August 28th. I have had the joy of meeting the most amazing people from all over the world, the honor of studying at the University of Vienna and the opportunity to explore this beautiful city. And let me tell you, I have fallen in love, not with Vienna itself but with the people I have met here and the experiences I have had, those two things combined have created my fondness for Vienna. Let me just give you a look into my last two weeks in Vienna… I love sharing my pictures with you all… So, here are my favorites from the remainder of my time in Vienna. Also, as you can tell… I love taking pictures of my food.

Group

So, I realized I never posted a photo of my Bethel group. Here are the 25 students that I am traveling through Europe with.

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Every Thursday that we’ve been here in Vienna, our professor Peggy has taken my dorm out for dinner. She takes the other two dorms out together on Tuesdays. This has been a nice tradition while we’ve been here just to reconnect with our Bethel group once or twice a week. We also go out on Sundays as a whole which is nice since we do not all live in the same building. This picture above, of that awesome sweet and sour chicken was from a Chinese restaurant we went to. The food was amazing. When we weren’t out eating here in Vienna.. We were in our German classes. We all took beginners level, (A/1/1/) Except one boy from our group was in a level higher. All of the Bethel students took this German class but there were many of them and so we were split between them. I was lucky enough to have my dear friend Brooke in my class. But, I also met the most amazing people, which happened to be pictured below:

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(From left to right: Brooke, Me, Tomasz from Poland, Вања from Serbia, and Francisca from Portugal) I had an amazing time with them in German class, so much fun.

Fran

This is my dear friend Francisca, she was both in my German class and lived in the same dorm building as me. We have become very close and I can’t believe that I am saying goodbye to her along with Vienna. Luckily, I will be back in Vienna two more random days within the next month or so. So, I will get to see her but I am so sad that I have to say goodbye. I do have a week of free travel in October and Brooke and I have decided to spend a week in Lisbon, Portugal which is where Francisca is from. She is going to try and make it there to show us around and spend time with us. I know that Francisca will be a lifelong friend and that is why I am so sad to leave her behind in Vienna as I travel Europe. I played around with the idea of throwing her in my suitcase but I’m not so sure that would work. Truly though, I was so blessed to have met her and spent three weeks getting to know her and spend time with her. This isn’t goodbye, but instead a see you later. I also should mention… I wouldn’t have passed my German class without this girl. She helped me through it all. She is such a blessing to my life.

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One night, when Peggy was taking the other dorms out to dinner on a Tuesday. My group decided to go to “Yamm” which was a buffet style restaurant that charged by each 100 gram of food. It was very interesting and quite good.

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Yamm was decorated in a very modern way. The interior was beautiful.

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Buffet table.

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More food…

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Even more food…

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Once again, here is Francisca, Brooke and I on our way out to dinner a few nights ago. We went to Vapiano which is an Italian type restaurant with the most amazing food on earth. I had it six times in one week…

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Francisca likes to take pictures of me while I eat and drink Coca-Cola which I’ve found out is not called Coke everywhere… Oddly enough whenever I ask for Coke, I get blank stares here in Austria. They may or may not think I am asking for drugs, because they do not call Coca-Cola coke… Also notice, I still do not brush my hair. I think it’s even more acceptable here in Europe.

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My favorite Vapiano meal…. Pomodoro E Mozzarella. The most delicious meal I have ever had.. 6 times in one week.

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After dinner, Francisca, Brooke and I waited at the train station for our friend Tomasz and headed back to our dorm with him. We talked awhile and hung out because we were nearing the end of Brooke and I’s last week in Vienna and Tomasz always goes home to Poland on the weekends, so we had to say our goodbyes early. Tomasz then took this photo of me above… He was showing me important things about my camera that I should probably know, but don’t. He’s very good with cameras, computers, etc. I miss him already, he is such a bright and spirited human being. He brings a spark to every conversation. I am hoping that he will make good on his promises to Brooke and I and come visit us while we are in Krakow.

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This was my last goodbye with Tomasz, on Thursday, the day before our certificates were to be handed out, Brooke and I said goodbye to Tomasz because he was skipping Friday class to head back to Poland early. The 4 of us met after class to take a quick picture before he had to head out.

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This was our German class. Represented in this photo are 11 different countries (Japan, United States, Serbia, Italy, Belgium, Canada, Portugal, Romania, England, Poland, Austria) Such a cool experience to study with these people.

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Francisca and I after our German class certificate ceremony. We both passed!

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My favorite people.

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My German teacher, Elisabeth Lang. She was amazing and absolutely hilarious. Her sense of humor is unparalleled to anyone else. She was a little eccentric but I learned a lot and I will miss her.

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After our ceremony where we received our German certificates, our teacher Elisabeth had to spend some more time with us before she could let us go due to policy so she took us to a cafe. But, not before we stopped at a “floh markt” or flea market as we call it. I was in love instantly because of all of the books… even if they were in German.

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We went to this cafe.

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I had some classic Apfelstrudel. Which is always good, it’s a Viennese favorite.

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And of course, some hot chocolate. It has been very rainy and cold here in Austria recently.

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Then after the cafe, two people from my Bethel group, Michael and Laura and myself and Francisca went to Vapiano… who knows what time that was out of the 6 times I went.

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Then, we went sight-seeing. This is the Spanish Horse School in Vienna where apparently they train Spanish horses, I was under the false impression that they taught Spanish to horses so I was extremely disappointed when I found out otherwise. I found out by saying Hola to one of the horses… He only grunted back.

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Someone, quick, create statues like this for the US. We don’t have enough statues.

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This is the Belvedere palace.

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Francisca and I at the palace.

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And take two….

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So then we practiced our model poses in front of the palace… Embarrassing, I know.

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I love Vienna.

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You just don’t see stuff like this in the US. Anywhere.

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You also don’t get food like this in the US… My last Friday in Vienna. Our professor Peggy took us to dinner the Schonbrunner which is at the Schonbrunn palace. This was the Chicken Breast Maria Theresa and it was amazing. Chicken stuffed with feta and spinach, wrapped in bacon. To die for… honestly, the food here is so good.

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My desert… 🙂

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The boys (Jay and Elliot) bought some knives in Vienna and went a little crazy cutting napkins…

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To make these…

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Then Peggy had bought our whole group tickets to this concert. A classical orchestral show with dancers. It was a very cool experience.

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This was where the concert was.

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And now the packing ensues…

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And by packing, I mean lack thereof. I don’t wanna leave. But this picture below always cheers me up…

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Who wants a McBaguette? Like, only in Europe. I love it.

Anyways, as much as I would like to stay in Vienna, I have to go. This rest of this trip will be even more hectic than before as I move forward. From Vienna to Prague for a week and then to Poland and then free travel where I will be in London for 4 days and then a week in Lisbon, Portugal. Then, it’s back to Austria but this time, Millstatt, to stay in a Schloss which happens to be a castle. Then many more places to follow… Three more months of this adventure left and I can’t wait. Thank you all for reading this blog. I will try to post more but I am not sure what WiFi will be like from here on out. Tschuss! (informal German goodbye) My next post will be coming sooner than this one did!

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