Saturday, February 21, 2009

Viennese Please

Vienna Video

by my roommate<3

Paige Hansen

Packed up and ready to go, the 5 of us head off to the train station... in which a gelato stop is found to be necessary. Clearly, I had no objection. We made it to the train station and met with my cross-cultural psychology teacher, Francesco. While smoking a cigarette he began to indulge some of the details of our adventure that awaited. As we pile into the overnight train, in our "cozy accomodations", Lauren, Paige and I began playing cards, listening to music and getting yelled at for being loud, stupid, Americans as usual. After a not-so-wonderful night of sleep, we arrived at our hotel, my roomie Evy, and I did a little unpacking then met the gang in the lobby. Within minutes of our walk outside the hotel, there it was... yes, finally, a starbucks. Our eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning and ran ahead of the group in order to snag our lattes without Francesco scolding us. We condintued onto St. Stephan's Cathedral, which would be an understatement to say it was amazing at first sight. On the way we me took part in some tourist-driven activity... notice the starbucks in our hands, haha. We continued onto some Royal apartments that had been preserved since the days of the Austrian empire, and learned about the emperess Sisi, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Museum after museum, my brain was saturated with Austrian history, and at that time I was ready to head back to the hotel. Evy and I went up to our room, hung out and got to know eachother a little more, after all, we were staying in the same hotel room on Valentine's Day... haha how romantic. I walked into my bathroom and saw what may have been another piece of heaven, I thought to myself, there's no way I can be this lucky... Starbucks and a bath in the same day. I put on my ipod speakers, took out my copy of Something Blue, soaked myself in bubbles and had the most relaxing 15 minutes that I could remember since leaving the states. Time came to get ready and head out to dinner, which surpassed all expectations. This restaurant was loud and fun, the waitresses dressed as what I would consider a conservative German Beer Girl. A man with a violin followed by a man on the accordian singing and dancing around the restaurant, from table to table with everyone laughing and clapping. For the first time since we've been in Europe we didn't feel like obnoxious Americans, and what a feeling it was. Dinner was a traditional farmer's supper in Austria, filled with simple hearty meats and potatoes, along with a dish I would relate to macaroni and cheese and apple strudel...mmmm. At one point during the evening, two men approached our table saying they were from the Elite Modeling Agency, which apparently isn't some stupid fake mall type of thing, tried to approach a couple of us concerning a career in lights, camera, action. I happened to be one of them, and they handed me a form to fill out, I wrote my name, well not my name, my Italian alias "Giovanna", after I refused to hand out my cell phone number and address I think they could tell I was a bit more than unsure of the legitimacy... on the other hand, another lucky chosen one, my roommate Paige refused the entire ordeal, they began saying she was arrogant, and we laughed. My roommates and a few other adventurous girls went to the Bermuda Triangle to conclude our evening with some drinks and music, after some shots and good times, we headed back to the hotel. We started out next morning dressing in several layers and having a buffet breakfast. More museums... then we had some free time and did some shopping :). Then we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for the opera/ballet/concert. The show was wonderful, not to mention an intermission with a glass of champagne. After we went to a nice restaurant with our guide and teacher Francesco, which was beyond delicious. The next day, yes, more museums, I can now say I have seen a real Monet, in front of my eyes, along with "The Kiss" which surpassed all expectations. Then we were granted free time. We wandered the streets of Austria to stumble upon some of the finest chocolate and cake shops, and yes we gave in, with no regrets of course. We met back at the hotel, back to the train station and headed back to our lives in Florence. Though it had happened already in the past, my roommates and I can say with confidence that we conquered the Austrian Empire.

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