Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What a day. Days. (Part Ein)

Alright. I'll do the best blogging I can with it being 1 in the morning here. Here goes:


Montag - I got to the airport at about 1 in the afternoon. I hung out with Neil until everyone else got there. We woefully parted ways at about 2:30 and before we knew it, we were all on the plane to Chicago by 3:45. Laugh all you want, but you'd have thought I had never flown before. Everything about the 35 minute flight was new and exciting and my eyes were glued out the window the entire time.

My view of the runway. So exciting!!

Chain of Rocks Bridge and the intake towers in North City


A suburb near Chicago

More near Chicago

We arrived at Chicago-O'Hare early, so we sat on in the plane for another 30 minutes after we had landed. Finding our gate was easy enough, and we all found a late lunch in the airport food court. Last meal in the U. S. = spaghetti and meatballs and an apple. We boarded the airplane for Frankfurt around 7:10 and were off by about 7:45. I was hoping for a window seat, but having an aisle seat wasn't too bad. They served pretzels for a snack which I had with orange juice. Dinner was served soon after; I had chicken curry and rice, a side salad, and a Love and Quiches (how cute is that?) oatmeal chewie. It was a bit hard to get comfortable, so I didn't sleep much between reading Martin the Warrior of the Redwall Series. Our flight from Chicago to Frankfurt was 8 and a half hours. It was nice having the screen in front of us that mapped out where we were, how fast we were going, the outside temperature, miles traveled, time until destination, etc.

Sam and Maddy in Chicago-O'Hare

Our gate

Waiting to board

View from my aisle seat

Dienstag - We had arrived in Frankfurt by 10:30. As we were landing, I turned to Kara, who was sitting next to me and said the first thing on my mind, "Dude, we're in Germany!" My wonderment at finally being in Europe was in full swing. Frankfurt airport = ginormous. It honestly took us about 40 minutes to walk through the terminal to get from our arrival gate to our departure gate, not counting going through customs. Getting my passport and luggage check went quickly enough though. We boarded the plane to Vienna a bit late, at about 12:45. The flight from Frankfurt was another quickie, only about an hour. I was very proud of myself for ordering my complementary drink in German. ("Ich mochte ein Kaffee, bitte. Haben sie Milsch? Mit Milsch, bitte.")

Are we going to the Batcave? No, it's just the Frankfurt airport.

Joop! It's a cologne

A dispenser in the bathroom of toothbrush heads you swished around in your mouth to brush your teeth hands-free. Those techie Germans.


Getting ready to board our plane to Vienna

Our plane had a stork (maybe?) on it. You're jealous.

Another window seat, sweet deal.

Very fluffy clouds. I saw a triceratops and a stegosaurus in these clouds.

I spy Austria

Wingin’ it

Wind turbines in the Austrian countryside.

These cute little villages were everywhere

We landed in Vienna soon enough and we all headed to the baggage claim crossing our fingers. Luckily, all eight of us had all of our bags. A van was waiting to take some of us to the dorms and some of us to the apartments Webster had ready for us. Three (Liz, Jason, and Katie) went to the apartments close to the city center, and the other five of us (Sam, Maddy, Derek, Kara, and myself) took off for the Donaufeld Studentenheim dorms in the northern 21st district of Vienna. The ride took about 20 minutes. We passed by some churches and businesses, but mostly residentials areas. I moved into my dorm with Kara and we each took a quick nap as soon as we finished unpacking our luggage. Evening arrived, and we all met up and decided we were hungry, so we braved the uncharted territory of a grocery store about a five minute walk up the street.

It was your standard grocery store with a meat, deli, and bakery counter. For those of you in St. Louis, it was about the size of a Straub's - not a sprawling grocery store like Schnuck's or Dieberg's. Everything seemed to be priced reasonably. We decided that we were going to try to make a zucchini-cheese bake that Liz recommended. We also picked up some additional items like break and instant noodles. Some things I noticed:
- I was surprised at how many brands I recognized. For example, my instant noodles are Knorr, which they sell in the States. That was my first sign that things might not be as foreign here as I was expecting.
- In a similar vein: As far as I'm concered, Lindt and Milka chocolates are the fancy, high-quality kinds that you need to go to a specialty or import store to find. Here? They sell 'em like they're Hershey's. They're everywhere. I saw stacks and stacks of Lindt chocolate bunnies. I'm very, very pleased.

So, we finished up our grocery shopping and went to get started on our dinner. We must not have checked out our kitchen very closely, because only when we got back did we realize that we didn't have an oven to make our zucchini-cheese bake. First rule of traveling as far as I'm concerned: when things don't go as planned, improvise. And improvise we did. We wound up sauteeing the zucchini and adding our egg-cottage cheese mixture to it once it was tender. We didn't know we bought garlic cottage cheese until we opened it up, but we were a-ok with it. We added bread crumbs to thicken it up, and before we knew it, we had our own signature zucchini-cheese porridge. It turned out very well, we all agreed. The only setback we ran into was Derek getting electrocuted? We can't even explain what happened. All we know is he had his hand on the metal counter, felt a jolt go though his arms, and then one half of the kitchen electricity went out. Hmm.





We cleaned up our dinner mess and called it a night soon after. By 8:00, we were all pooped.


  1. your post makes me miss college (some things at least)

  2. this is an awesome blog and im totally enjoying it

    i hadnt really considered going to vienna, but you make it sound really good

    im glad youre having fun, ill make sure to keep up with your travels

    - adam

    -ps i loved martin the warrior when i was younger, those books were my fav