Austria Day 01

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

   It was during this very month one year ago that I visited Europe for the first time. One year later, I have just entered my ninth European country on my third study abroad trip here. I’m so excited to be back in Europe, it is really starting to grow on me. This time we are spending two weeks in Vienna, Austria. Much of what I know about Austria is from the film the Sound of Music which took place in Salzburg. Vienna specifically has been regarded as the City of Music. Composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna and Wolfgang Mozart was born in Salzburg. Many other well known composers such as Ludwig Van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, and Johannes Brahms moved to Vienna during their time and spent most of their professional lives here. Vienna is also the home of neurologist and psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud. Austria also played a part in the start of World War I. So this place is just full of history and I can’t wait to explore it all!

   Our trip over was very interesting. Our initial plan was to fly to Vienna with only one layover in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The plane that was supposed to fly us to Amsterdam arrived at the airport later than scheduledand had some kind of mechanical problem with one of the cooling systems. We sat around at our gate for quite a while waiting to see what was going to happen. It turned out they had to reroute our flight to Atlanta for one of the planes there to fly us to Amsterdam since the original plane would not be able to cross the ocean in its condition. Three hours after our initial flight was supposed to take off we were finally in the air. The flight to Atlanta only lasted about an hour. When we arrived there it took about another hour to transfer everyone including the flight crew to a new plane. Four hours behind schedule and we finally left American soil. Most of the passengers were to miss their connecting flights once arriving to Amsterdam. Fortunately for us we had a five hour layover anyway so the delay did not affect us any. Needless to say this has been a pretty long day.

   Our flight across the water lasted close to nine hours. On my last two trips to Europe we flew on planes which had little monitors on the back of every seat. So each passenger could individually watch a movie or listen to music or play games. Usually I would watch a movie or two to help time pass by. This plane was an older model and did not have individual monitors on the back of the seats. There were a couple of overhead monitors for all the passengers to watch one movie but there was none of the customized entertainment I had gotten used to. That probably worked out better because instead of staying awake watching movies I slept almost the entire way. Although I'm hoping we have that option again on the way back. We finally landed in Amsterdam and instead of a five hour layover we had a two hour layover. Two more hours in the air and we were finally in Austria! On my past trips to Europe we arrived early in the daytime and had to stay awake the rest of the day despite the seven hour time change. This time we arrived in the evening which I thought was great because we could all get some rest after all the traveling and be fully energized and ready to get started the next day.

   We’ve only been in Austria for a few hours so I have not gotten a full first impression of it yet. The airport is in an industrial part of Austria, so there were lots of tall buildings and fast-paced roads. The further we got from the area the more vintage everything started to look. I’m pretty sure vintage will be my theme word while I’m here. We are actually staying in the city of Klosterneuburg which is a few miles outside of Vienna in lower Austria. I absolutely love the hotel we are staying in; it’s so vintage and cozy! I do believe I’m going to like it here.

   After we checked into our hotel and freshened up, we walked a few blocks to a nearby restaurant. The food was very good! I can’t remember the name of what I got because it was long and in German. Ah yes, the German language once again. The spending of Euros once again. Europe once again!