Thursday, April 12, 2012

Versailles and Notre Dame

Yesterday morning, after sadly finding out that my mom's wallet was pickpocketed, we made our way to Versailles. It was huge and beautiful and put Schoenbrunn to shame. The hall of mirrors was a lot bigger than I was expecting and the grounds were huge and gorgeous. After a bit of a hike we made our way to Marie Antoinettes hut thing where she pretended to be a shepherdess and that was really pretty. Unfortunately, the weather turned on us and it started raining and we very speedily walked back to the Metro station, barely making it before it started poaring. We went to this souffle place for dinner and it was really good. I got some lamb with these really good potatos and of course some souffle and I got banana and chocolate (best combination this planet has to offer) and it was divided in half and delicious.
The next day we went to Saint Chapelle, which was a very long line to get into and it was VERY tiny. It had a ton of stained glass, so it was still worth it, but it just was the tiniest church I have been in. We then got some lunch and I FINALLY ordered a croque monsieur which I have been waiting to do, since my highschool french class which is one of the main french words I know, besides clothing, which has come into useful as we are pressing our noses against the glass of these tiny expensive shops and we look at where it says everything is priced and worth thousands of euros. We then went to Notre Dame and up the tower and it was cool seeing all the gargoyles and bell tower, unfortunately Quasimodo was not to be seen, but we got to see the city and it even managed not to rain. Mom was pretty tired of lines after that, but I managed to drag her to one more line of going inside Notre Dame and it was well worth it being big and awesome. We then went to this vintage store that was huge and cool looking through everything and then we came home and crashed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So after much carrying of very heavy luggage to the train and onto the train and off the train and then onto anther train and then getting no sleep as I am sitting upright on my nighttrain and spending all night trying to find a comfortable position and then lugging my luggage up and down many flights of stairs, because as luck would have it none of the stations I was at had escalators, I finally made it to Paris!!!
I met up with my mom and Aunt Tina at the hotel and we wandered and had some nutella and banana crepes and saw the city a bit. Then we got some much needed rest. The next day we did the bus tour that was cool seeing everything and we had some delicious roast beef and mashed potatoes. We also went to the Eiffel tower and got a picture of us. Then the next day we did a lot of shopping and went to all these big fashion names like Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and so on in this mall. So much expensive and really cute stuff!
Mom and Aunt Tina weren't up for climbing the Eiffel tower in the rain, but I have been waiting to climb up it since forever, so it was a necessary adventure for me to do. So I went up on my own and it really was not as tiring as I thought it was going to be...climbing Stephansdom in Vienna was much more tiring. It also stopped raining and the line wasn't as bad, because the people were so turned off from it, because it was raining.
The view was cool, but the main thing about the city is the Eiffel tower and so if you're on it, there is not that much out there of the view that you want to see. It was still really cool climbing it and seeing the inside of it. I love Paris!

Friday, April 6, 2012

and it finally comes to a close....

So we went to Oberndorf where this silent chapel is. I was told from the beginning that we were going to be going to this and I assumed that it would be awesome, since it was a big thing they were advertising about for this study abroad, but as we were there and learning about it it turns out that at one time these two guys wrote and performed silent night in this church and then because of the war or something the church was no more and they built a tiny chapel on top of where it was and that is what the silent night chapel was.

After that we went to this lake where Mahler had a tiny hut where he composed music and that was pretty cool. It would be fun and way undistracting to just go off into a little hut and work there. The lake was also very beautiful. That night I finished my Music 202 Journal and therefore I am officially on summer vacation!

The next day we went to Mathausen which is a concentration camp and it was really cool actually seeing it and walking around it. There were barracks and this cliff/quarry place where they worked and also the gas chambers which were a bit sad to see, especially after having just watched boy in the striped pajamas. It was really cool and I am glad I got the chance to see it all.

We also went to this Abbey in Melk (not milk) and it was pretty cool with the most beautiful church I have seen yet (which is saying a lot, since I have seen more catholic churches than mormon) It was Baroque, big and beautiful. We then made our way back to Vienna and I quickly said my farewells to the group of 25 that I have spent A TON of time with and made my way home to do my laundry and I leave tomorrow afternoon for paris on a night train...hopefully that's where I end up to!

I'm really excited to see Paris and I'm so happy to be done with school, but I will miss Vienna SO MUCH!! I also was so glad to visit the concentration camp, but now I feel so conflicted. I suppose I should just be happy that I'm not a jew in WWII and that I was able to get the chance to see the wonders of Vienna and then be happy to finally see ma muther and PARIS!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hiking the Alps

So today we went to a chamber music concert and it was good, but rather warm and it was a bit hard not falling asleep. We also took the bus to this cable car thing and we went up in it and all the way up this mountain and then we got off and we could walk/hike up this mountain and to the peak and it was SOOOOooooOOOO awesome! There's been a lot of things on this trip where I've had to say if we just did that it would've been worth it all and this is definitely one of those things. My shoes weren't the best, but they were better than some of the girl's Toms. My boots were soaking and a couple days ago the zipper fell off and so I zipping it up is a new adventure every time. I love them, but they have definitely lived a long and thorough life, so I'm considering giving them a fitting funeral and leaving them here. I officially have gone through 16 batteries with my crappy camera and I was seriously considering throwing it off the side of the cliff as it went through another pair and I wish that I could have gotten better quality pictures as I was up there, but this is the best I could do.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Grass is Greener in Salzburg...

We took a bus and then train to Salzburg and our hotel is homey and we watched some conference, but the internet isn't the greatest so instead of watching the second session we just all ended up talking for a long while and it was a ton of fun.
The next day we took a Sound of Music of Tour and we saw all the sights that they filmed on and I also visited a castle/fortress thing and the birthplace of Mozart and a museum that had a Sound of Music exhibition.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


We went back to Venice for one night and I just wandered around with some girls and I bought a really cool bracelet and my only real souvenir besides tons of stickers for my cello case and netbook. There was a cool juggler/unicyclest street performer.
I have heard of people getting pooped on by birds, but I always thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever like why don't you just move out of the way!? I found out today as I was walking through a passageway and out of NOWHERE a shower of bird poop fell and it was in prime position to get ALL over me! It was sooo disgusting and got all over my pants and shoes!! I thankfully had a tide pen, but a whole bottle of it would not be able to help me, especially since I was wearing red pants, so yeah, I spent my last day in Italy with bird poop all over my pants.
We also saw a lady fall in the water and I think the best way to describe that water as a girl said here, it's the color of the water that you use to paint with watercolors, so yeah she was not so happy.
I had another lobster tail and it had really good filling in it, so it is possible! I got my last Italian pizza for lunch and then for dinner I got a pasta with ricotta cheese and tomato sauce on it. It was really good and after that I decided to end my Italian gelato consumption with a bang, so I got a giant waffle cone with three scoops of gelato in it. It was delicious with carmel, nutella and cookies gelato. I'm going to miss Italy and it's delicous food and especially Venice and it's completely picturesque scenery, but I'm so glad I was able to experience it!


I went to McyD's to get some egg mcmuffin this morning, so I can say I got an eggmcmuffin in every country I've been in, but there was a bit of a dilemma considering they don't have a breakfast menu and just serve the same thing throughout the day minus eggmcmuffins... :'( So I just got some pastrys that were not that bad and a yogurt and a cheeseburger since I was there anyways. Oddest breakfast ever.
I then took a train to Florence and we went into the Uffizi and saw a ton of famous paintings that I studied in Music 201 including The Birth of Venus. I also got some delicious spaghetti alla carbonara and of course gelato, which is pricier here, but they also give you more.
The next day we had a surprisingly good breakfast with hot chocolate, juice and breads and jam. The hotel has been pretty good and we have an awesome view of the river.
We went to the Duomo and it was a bit less exciting and empty, but it was so crowded to get in. It's very touristy here and with a ton of Americans compared to everywhere else I've been, especially in Vienna. If your in Vienna and someone is speaking english you have to take the chance to speak english with them and ask them where exactly there from, so it's way different.
We also went and saw Michelangelo's David which was HUGE and it was way awesome and worth it to come here just for that. It was cool being up right next to it and looking way up and seeing it and it's just really incredible. There was also a flea market that was fun going through and I got a little pendant to make a necklace with. I also went to this garden place called the Boboi gardens and we saw this cool view.
I had (from what I remember of a Cake Boss episode) a lobster tail and it was crunchy and the creme was different and not as good as I think it could potentially be, but I also had a canoli and that was pretty good. I got some biscotti too and was eating it on my bed and it was SO hard that the girl next to me slowly looked over and asked if I was eating a tree trunk. I had some delicious ravoli in this cute restaurant and that was fun, because it was like a legit olive garden. The bathroom was the best though, because the sink was these fish that water squirted out of their mouths.
That night we went to this free concert in this church and it was SO crowded, but it was really good and I think it was a Mozart mass.
I sometimes feel bad, because I love this trip so much and I feel a little spoiled, because even though I'm really busy it sometimes just feels like a really long vacation and Vienna really is my ultimate utopia, but especially this week I've remembered how incredibly terrible my semester was in the Fall and this was a definite needed break from reality.