Maria, Ernesto (one of my roommates), and I, just got back from Vienna and
Bratislava. The difference between the two cities is really the difference between black and white. Even though they are so different, they have very unique qualities that make it so fun.
Bratislava was like a ghost town, even though it was the capital of the city. The city seems to be a lot older than any other city I have seen. Since it is a poor country, I am sure that there is a major brain drain to other parts of the world. The best part of the city was the inexpensive food and drinks. Dinner for three in an exclusive restaurant â€“ 18 euros.
Vienna (also known as Wien), is just 60 kilometers away, but parallels the excitement of Paris (the subject of my next post). One can see two tourists for one native. The city is amazingly rich, where some of the buildings just blow your mind. The front side of the building looks white and clean, but one can really see the age on the sides of buildings, which are brown and black. I think that the city of
Vienna didnâ€™t clean the sides of the building for aesthetics. Â With Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Haydn, and many more that have made history in
Vienna, makes the city the capital of classical music. In every corner, musicians are showing off their skills. Concert companies are dressed in affluent costumes trying to sell tickets to operas and musicals. We decided to go to a musical if the price was right, and business school students that we are we negotiated 40 euros per person gold tickets to 20 euros. It was totally worth it. The music of Mozart and Strauss is fantastic. The concert also included opera style singing and ballet. It was TOO GOOD.
We have all decided to go back to both cities after we get older to go to a real opera in the opera house. Have dinner at an expensive style restaurant, go to the opera, and then go have drinks after. I am sure we will do this in 5 to 10 years.
I am writing this schedule so I can give future exchange students to the ebs an idea of how their week might look! This also gives me the opportunity to somewhat reflect on my experiences in this amazing country.
Here is a small outline of what I did in the 1st week of my:
Wednesday, August 15:
Thursday, August 16:
Frankfurt. Got picked up by Jennifer who took me my apartment, took me grocery shopping, and got me situated with the landlord. I cannot thank her for her hospitality. Met some people that evening.
Friday, August 17:
Mainz with the people I met the night before. My first experience of
Germany. The city is absolutely amazing. However, the trains only go until 12:30. We were almost stranded at the train station. We made it home safe and sound at 5:00. Public transportation in
Germany is good, but service is only once an hour and once every two hours on weekends. The school is in a small town.
Saturday, August 18:
Slept a lot after a coming home so late. Made a budget, and got more acquainted with Hallgarten, the town which I stay in. I also exercised. No workout facility, so running is our only option.
Sunday, August 19:
We went to Rudesheim, a very touristy town on the
Rhine. Even though it is small, we found good food. Rudesheim is the town that resembles the busy street in the Harry Potter books. 10 of us found a restaurant and enjoyed coffee. Since it is
Germany, there is alcohol in it, of course.
That is a quick agenda of the 1st week. I had my first taste of freedom. No more fast food. No more quick meals. No more parents. Freedom has its pros and cons.
What I did in the last two weeks:
Thursday â€“ August 16th – Arrived in the morning, went to the Non-Euro line at the airport praying that there would be no complications. Luckily there was none and they just stamped my passport and I entered. After I got out of the gate, it hit me that I am in
Germany. I have no idea how to speak a word of German. Luckily Jenni picked me up and took me to my apartment. She talked with my landlord (who didnâ€™t speak a word of English) and worked out the rent confirmation and contract. She then took me to get groceries so I could survive. However, there are no American brands in
Germany. The hard part is that now I had to cook the food in an unfamiliar kitchen.
I got very lucky and met some awesome international students from Namibia, South Africa, Sweden, and
France. And we all lived in the same town.
I am going to jump ahead and make a statement. I have been here for 16 days, and I think they have been the best 16 days of my life!