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Travel Blog May Term 2015 Austria

Day 20 - Vienna

May 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Grant Patch

I cannot believe that we are already heading home. Going to Vienna and Budapest was one of the top experiences I have ever had in my life. There was so much to see and do. All the people I met and became friends with will be missed. I really hope to one day be able to return to Austria and see more of this beautiful country. If anyone ever has the chance to go to Europe, especially Vienna, I suggest doing it. Nothing else compares to the experiences you will encounter.

Day 19 - Vienna

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Colleen Whalen

Today was our last day in Vienna. We started off the day together as a class and presented our group projects and talked about our experiences in Vienna. It was great to hear what everyone was going to miss about Vienna. I am definitely going to miss the Gelato! We had the afternoon free so we went to our favorite restaurant, The Pub, for one last meal.

In the evening we gathered together as a group and went to a buffet style restaurant, a “Heuriger” that made their own wine from scratch. They had delicious Austrian foods like schnitzel and amazing apple strudel. It was great to be together one last time as a group. It’s so sad that our trip has finally come to an end but it was definitely the trip of a lifetime!


Lily Grace, Colleen Whalen, and Morgan Hunsaker at "Heuriger" Feuerwehr Wagner

Day 17 - Vienna

May 26, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015
Meghan MacMillan

This morning I went to Cafe Central, which is one of the most iconic places in Vienna and it's usually really busy. However, I went with Grant and we ended up getting there an hour before they opened so we were the first ones inside and got a nice table. The atmosphere is very fancy but also kind of like a fairy tale.

Later on in the day we went to a Fußball game to see Wien Rapid play. It was a lot of fun - I love soccer so I really enjoyed the game even though the score was 0:0 the whole time. It was cool to see the fans because they were really excited and had really elaborate chants and were waving giant flags. It felt like we were at an American football game.



Day 16 - Vienna

Saturday, May 23, 2015
Ryan Loth

The Eurovision Song Contest is to music what the World Cup is to sports. Imagine an international night of singing and dancing held among over 40 countries around Europe (including newcomer guest this year, Australia). To explain: Eurovision is a music contest where each of the participating countries selects one artist to compete. After everyone performs,the top ten performances are ranked by a jury in the country and also popular vote from the population. The points are the tallied up and eventually a winning country is crowned.

The winner of this year's contest was Swedish pop artist Måns Zelmerlöw with his song titled "Heroes". By Eurovision rules that means that the next contest will then be held in Sweden for the coming year. So, in a nutshell, I guess I will be planning my next European trip to Stockholm so that I can once again see an event where it doesn't matter where we come from, but that we are all together, and as the motto of the contest this year said, are constantly "building bridges" between people.

Eurovision fans watch contest on screens at Vienna City Hall

Day 14 - Vienna

May 25, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Morgan Hunsaker

We had two lectures this morning from guest speakers who covered topics of pop music in Austria, Eurovision, and modern Austrian literature. After we got out of class I tried a smoothie shop and it turned out to be fantastic! They don’t use sugar as liberally as America so it wasn’t as sweet, but I feel as if it made the smoothie seem healthier. I then decided to take a random tram and explore beyond the inner city. It was nice to see different parts of Vienna that aren’t like the historical center. I found some beautiful buildings, and look forward to continuing exploring other parts of Vienna.

Later that evening, we all went to the famous State Opera to see Rossini’s “Cenerentola (Cinderella)”.  It was not like the Disney version we were used to, but I really enjoyed the comical feel and ornamented words. The singers were very talented and powerful and the orchestra sounded beautiful. I hope to keep discovering things in Vienna for our last few days here! 

At the Vienna State Opera

Day 13 - Vienna

May 25, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Lily Grace

Today we went to the United Nations in Vienna. This tour was probably one of my favorite things we have done! I was impressed by all of the 193 members’ flags hung up outside and inside. We got to see all the different things the United Nations is doing and has done in the past. It amazes me that all of the countries can work together in the way that they do. Our tour guide showed us a conference room where the countries of the UN meet.

Each seat had the ability to choose whatever language is spoken to be translated into the person’s own language. I thought it was cool how each country is so different, but they can all come together to create peace between them.

A few of us in our class also went on the giant Ferris wheel today. We got to see the city landscape which proved even more how truly beautiful and  clean Vienna really is. It is a view I have never seen before and probably will never find anything like it. After learning so much about the buildings in Vienna we could pick out the buildings from the top of the Ferris wheel. It makes me never want to leave!

United Nations,  Vienna

Day 12 - Vienna

May 25, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Maggie Bolin

Today we started with a very interesting seminar from Dr. Stephan Pumberger about Vienna and the First World War After that we were joined by some students from the University of Vienna to have a round table discussion. We compared our American life and ideals those of the students. The conversations mostly included the differences from our universes and also how they are the same. 

Later that day we then got to visit with Margaret Schachermeier at the Kalvarienbergkirche church. She gave us a presentation on all of the major composers from or who worked in Vienna. The best part was when she then took us into her church and played the organ for us. We got to sit right by the instrument so it was a very unique experience to hear the music so close. 

Once we were finished there we were given a free night. Some of the students rode the famous giant Ferris wheel in Vienna, and others went to dinner at the pub around the corner. The trip has been amazing so far, yet now it is going so fast! Still, there is much to look forward to! 

Vienna, Kalvarienberg Church

Day 11 - Vienna

May 25, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015
Kayla Bean

Today we traveled back from Budapest! Most of us were very excited to be back in Vienna! We had a train ride back that almost everyone managed to pass out on and sleep most of the way back and then we had dinner at what used to be Vienna’s general hospitals court yard. This dinner was amazing with even better desserts! We had some minor communication barriers with our waitress, but thankfully with the help of Dr. Barkhymer we managed to get everything sorted out! Today as a whole was a relaxed day with not much for us all to do, but that just means we all got to rest up before our last week in the beautiful Vienna!



Day 10 - Vienna

May 25, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015
Colleen Whalen

Today was our last full day in Budapest and we had the whole day to ourselves. As a group we all went to visit Margaret Island that was surrounded by the Danube River. The weather was perfect and we were able to eat lunch outside and look out at both Buda and Pest.
After Margaret Island we went on the Ferris wheel in Pest and the views were astounding! Later on, a few students went to the circus to see the seals perform miraculous stunts along with the gymnasts. 

For dinner we al met up at Vapiano, which has the best pizza and pasta and we finished off our meal with some delicious gelato. In the evening we went to the Ruins Bar where we met new friends from London, Australia, and Florida! Overall an amazing fun filled day! 

Seals showing off their moves at the circus 

Morgan Hunsaker on Margaret Island 

Lily Grace and Colleen Whalen on the Ferris wheel

Day 9 - Vienna

May 21, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015
Grant Patch

Today was the day I enjoyed most in Budapest. After running around all over Budapest on walking tours, in great museums, and seeing the beautiful city, it was nice to sit back and relax at the pools of Széchenyi Spa Baths. The pools had people of all ages, and was a nice environment for everyone. I also enjoyed the saunas after lying in the pools. If I ever venture back to Hungary,  I will definitely have to return to the Széchenyi Spa for some relaxation.


Day 8 -Vienna

Friday, May 15, 2015
Jess Moore

Today was a travel day to Budapest and we're all really excited. I'm excited to ride in a real train for the first time and see Hungary. We attempted to learn some Hungarian words in the Magyar language but that seemed like a lost cause. After settling into the hotel we had lessons, and the Hungarian guys who work in the Parliament were really great. We then went to dinner with them and some others and then for a night walk by the Danube, and that was really fun. Everyone took lots of photos of themselves and the river and it was filled with jokes and laughter, it was a really nice ending to our first day in Budapest.
Meghan MacMillan, Jess Moore, lights on Budapest Castle

Day 7 - Vienna

May 21, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015 
Meghan MacMillian

Today we went to the Leopold Museum, and it's been my favorite day so far. I'm a big art history nerd, and I've got a big thing for Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. The Leopold has the largest Schiele collection in the world. One of the curators, Dr. Kutzenberger, took us on a tour and explained a lot of the work and why it was important. I got so much out of the experience--it only solidified my love for art and my want to do museum work. I also got to fangirl in a replication of Klimt's studio and it felt like all my dreams come true.


Day 6 - Vienna

May 15, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Ryan Loth

Amidst the fantastic art of the Belvedere, and the solemn history of Vienna's Military Museum, it was the operetta “Die Fledermaus” that stood out above the rest of the activities that we did today. By one of Vienna's greatest composers, The Waltz King, Johann Strauss, the operetta tells the story of a man, Eisenstein, who skips his jail service of 8 days to go to a party instead. Hilarity ensures as Eisenstein ends up falling for a revenge plan of his friend, Dr. Falke, who once was left in the market dressed as a bat (or, Fledermaus) many years ago thanks to Eisenstein.

The trap closes when Eisenstein loses his "seduction" watch to the woman he is flirting with, a masked countess, actually his wife in disguise. She helps with the plan that helps Eisenstein see the error of his ways. The operetta ends happily with Eisenstein's wife forgiving him, but not before he has to finish his jail sentence. Mixed with strong duets and fanciful waltzes, this operetta was a wonderful experience through and through.

The picture that I've included shows some of us enjoying this once in a lifetime experience at the Vienna “Volksoper.”



Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Ali Kriebel

Today we experienced the diversity and promise of this glorious city, and we experienced an activity-packed day. We started the day visiting the Wien Museum and a few mini stops (Wagner Stadtbahn Stations and Karlskirche) along the way. We then made our way to one of the most beautiful outdoor markets I have ever seen; restaurants from every nation, pastry shops and fresh produce stands galore. Across the street we made our way to the Secession where we were able to see the “glorification of art” everywhere from the top of the Laurel Dome to the basement showing Klimt’s famous Beethoven Frieze.

One of the most exciting days on our journey throughout Austria takes place when we get to mingle and interact with the students from the University of Vienna. It has always been a favorite of the Otterbein students and I think we can all now see why. After we ate dinner we were able to discuss cultural issues and media relations that we could not quite understand about the other nation along with hobbies and studies; it is amazing to see the world through eyes that are not used to seeing what we are.

After dinner and chatting with many of the students we invited them to participate in something that has become very special to one of our own students while still appealing to their own culture. Since the first day when we quickly toured the city Megan fell in love with every aspect of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Every night before bed she will go and touch the outside walls of the building taking in the history and architectural beauty that comes along with it. We all placed our hands on the wall and took a picture to remember the precious moment along side the students from Universität Wien.

Vienna Fountain, Kayla Bean, Ali Kriebel

St. Stephen's Cathedral, student hands


Day 4 - Vienna

May 12, 2015

Monday, May 11th 2015
Morgan Hunsaker

Today we got a personal tour of the Schottenstift monastery in its entirety, and it was so much bigger than I thought, because it has a museum, library, and a school attached. The tour ended in the monastery church where we sat with the monks at their mid-day prayer. After the prayer was over, Father Sebastian showed us how to play one of the huge church organs and showed us the monastery school, where he teaches Russian.

After finding a great pizzeria for lunch, shopping at a few local boutiques and then going to a pub for dinner, we found a Coca-Cola pop- up store that was celebrating 100 years of Coca-Cola. We got our pictures taken and put on Coke bottles, and then got the group together and hung out by fountain and talked about our days while interacting with some locals. Starting out to be a great week in Vienna!


Pipe Organ of the Schottenkirche, Father Sebastian


Morgan Hunsaker and Colleen Whalen at Stadtcafe

Day 3 - Vienna

May 12, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Lillian Grace

Today some of us went to the Spanish Riding School and watched the riders walk, trot, canter, and various types of jumping. It was an experience that we definitely would not be able to have in the States! The tricks the horses did were astounding! I never knew that horses could stand on their back legs and jump a few times. I was very happy that we took the opportunity to do that, and it was definitely worth paying for.

We also went to the Schönbrunn Palace. It was absolutely beautiful inside the palace and out! The rooms in the palace had intricate details in every aspect, such as the furniture and wall décor. There was an amazing view of Vienna and the palace from the top of the hill. We ate in the café at the top of the hill and had ice cream and other delicious desserts. We took so many pictures in the beautiful garden. It was such a great experience and a very great day!


Lily Grace, Schönbrunn Palace

Day 2 - Vienna

May 12, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Maggie Bolin

Today is May 9th, our first full day in Vienna. In the seminar room Dr. Eugster taught us the history of Vienna's leaders from 400 B.C. till the end of the First World War. After that we heard from Dr. Benesch about all the art in Vienna and Europe around 1900, how it has changed or stayed the same in some cases. Later that day we got to walk around most of the Ringstrasse. We started out by seeing the historical buildings right outside our front door. Dr. Eugster then guided us to see all of the major buildings. We each had to research a building that we taught to the class today. The day ended with us as a class all going to dinner together. We went to a pub right around the corner, a typical Austrian style bar. What made it even better was that it had a separate area where each table had their very own tap system. The class really seemed to get a lot closer here, which will make this trip even better.


Meghan MacMillan explains history and style of Vienna University


Class and profs in front of Austrian Parliament


Day 1 - Vienna

May 12, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015
Kayla Bean

This trip has been more than I could have ever imagined. Although having a tired and delirious feeling while touring this beautiful city, today was amazing. We started out with a walking tour around the area of our monastery lodging, the Benediktushaus. Along the way we stopped at an outdoor café, where I got to experience Austrian style coffee! It's a lot stronger than the coffee I'm used to at home, so that will take some getting used to! I finished off the first day with dinner at the Wirtshaus Zattl Biergarten followed with an outdoor concert by the Vienna Symphony on the Heldenplatz.

Both were firsts for me! I’m incredibly fortunate to have this incredible opportunity, and I can’t wait to learn and travel more each day throughout this course.


Ali Kriebel, Kayla Bean, Maggie Bolin, the Neue Burg on Heldenplatz