The worldwide Augustana College experience

Venturing through Vienna

I am back from Vienna, finally. Almost everything went wrong on Tuesday. First, the website gave me the wrong train information, so instead of the train going to Nürnberg, it was going to Frankfurt, and Nürnberg was not listed as a stop. So Mary, Missie and I hop on a train to Salzburg, hoping that there would be a train that would take us to either München (Munich) or Nürnberg.

In Salzburg, there was a train to München, which we barely made. Our next step in our plan of action was to try catching a train in München to Berlin, with a stop in Wittenberg. Not too much to hope for, right? Well, apparently that wasn’t the case. There were only a few trains to Berlin, and none stopped in Wittenberg. However, we came across a train to Berlin, which was stopping in Bitterfeld, which isn’t far from Wittenberg, and there are always trains going from Bitterfeld to Wittenberg. Good plan, right? I thought so, too. So we caught that train with a plan in our heads and chocolate in our pockets.

So after sitting on a train after six hours, we finally arrive to Bitterfeld. Missie, Mary and I rush to the door, which turned out to be the emergency exit. We go into the next car, which was a dining area then a WC area, with people staring at us. We heard the whistle—and the slam of the door. Missie tried pushing the green button to open the door, but we were stuck inside the train at the stop we needed.

The agitating thing was the train stayed stationary for another two minutes. We couldn’t get off, but the train wasn’t moving! With a jolt, the train moved, ultimately taking us to Berlin, due north of our final destination.

We wobbled back  into our compartment, with lots of stares, of course. Missie and I stopped at our old seat, across from a very nice, Russian, young woman, telling her, with sad faces, that we didn’t get off in time. The conductor noticed us, and he typed in our destination: Lutherstadt Wittenberg, and he showed us where to get off (South Berlin) and what platform and train to take to get to Wittenberg. I wanted to hug him.

The next time our train stopped, Mary, Missie and I were ready. We overdramatically  jumped off the train and ran to our platform. Needless to say, we successfully caught the train to Wittenberg.

All I can say is: Thank God for my Eurail pass, otherwise I would had to pay for all of those trains, leaving me poorer than I already am.

***

Anyway, let’s backtrack to Vienna. Wonderful, wonderful Vienna! I left you after my day trip to Salzburg, so I have Saturday, Sunday and Monday to cover. Don’t worry—there will be pictures. I plan on posting pictures as my next blog entry.

Saturday:

We walked around the city. Caitlin, Missie and I were going to a Night at the Museums, where, for the price of 11 Euro, one could visit 660 museums from 6PM-1AM. We ended up going to the Belvidere palaces, though the oberes one was sold out for the evening for a fancy dinner party (how one can make that much money, I have no idea). So we walked through the garden connecting the two palaces (absolutely gorgeous). The unteres Belvidere was quite fancy, and it was fun exploring the palace.

Then we made our way to Das Haus der Musik. It was so cool! There was the usual musical history aspect of it (I, personally, gained a good insight on the daily life of Haydn), and then there was an interactive sound floor, which was pretty neat. I had already learned
some of those things before, but not in such a fun environment!

Sunday:

Caitlin, Missie and I paid a visit to the Schӧnbrunn Palace, which, of course, was extravagant. The inside trek was really neat. We all had audio tours to guide us through the rooms, though we didn’t get to any all of them, considering we are but almost penniless college students, and we’re saving money where it counts (but still, it was fun)

The garden of this palace, however, is amazing. And that’s an understatement. It has a zoo, a maze, sculptures, fountains, ponds, flowers, monuments, etc. It was so neat, that we came back Monday to explore what we couldn’t on Sunday (though, the maze and the zoo cost money to get in, so we skipped those parts).

That night, we all went to this one mountain outside of Vienna. I have forgotten the name, but there’s, as a website said and bolded, a rather unattractive platform where one could see the entire city. There were some walking trails as well, which we explored. It was so cool to see the sun go down over Vienna. I mean, it happens every day, but seeing lights go on throughout a city is simple, yet wonderful.

Monday:

As I just said, we went back to the Schӧnbrunn Palace garden. We went onto the top of the hill and looked at the breathtaking view of the city.

And that evening was my favorite part of Vienna. After we had ourselves a nice German/Austrian dinner, we saw the operetta Die Fledermaus in the Volksoper. It’s funny, clever and catchy. When I was a freshman in high school, my choir director Mr. Green took his choirs to go see it. I was fortunate enough to go. It was my first ever opera and I loved every second of it. I was pleased to be able to see Die Fledermaus again. The others seemed to enjoy it, even if operas or that genre of music wasn’t exactly their forte (no pun intended, thuogh I am thoroughly amused).

I still can’t get over seeing Die Fledermaus. It was definitely one of my favorite outings.

Oh, and to end the night, a random, Asian man walked into our hostel room (since a few of us left the door open to hang out in the lobby area to get better Internet connection), and mumbled something in broken English about showering.

Long story short, he walked into our bathroom and used our shower. A couple of us were freaking out, but I shrugged it off. Poor guy. If he was that desperate to use some strangers’ shower, then I say let him use it.

Leave a Reply