For New Years, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Vienna with my friend and fellow Fulbrighter, Austin. Overall, the trip was amazing and I’m glad that he asked me to come with him on the trip. He has become such a great friend to me so I was glad to be able to ring in the New Year with him. We used the same car sharing website that I used to get to Switzerland because it was the cheapest and quickest way to get to Vienna. We stayed with his friend, Juli who has become a friend of mine now. Juli is originally from Hamburg and studies at the University of Vienna. She was a wonderful host and I’m so glad I got to know her. For the sake of keeping this post as short as possible, I will not rehash the entire trip because we spent like 6 days there!
On New Years, we traveled to the middle of nowhere Austria, Stotzing, where Alex, who is Juli’s roommate’s boyfriend, lives. I have no idea what the are looks like because when we arrived it was dark and when we left it was also dark. However, the party was wonderful. We met lots of really cool people. Although, the Germans outnumbered the Austrians at the party even though we were in Austria. After the official countdown, we walked out into the freezing cold to watch some fireworks. As I stood there with Austin, I couldn’t help but think about all the great things 2012 brought and all the great things 2013 will bring. I had to keep telling Austin that 2013 would be awesome because he hates odd numbered years. I must say though, I couldn’t have imagined spending New Years in any other way.
Once we returned to the city, we did lots of exploring and touristy things in the city. In 2008, I had the opportunity to visit Vienna in the summertime with all the other Rotary Exchange Students., so I had seen most of the city. However, it was Austin’s first time so we revisited everything. Even though I had been there before, it was nice to return to the city, this time just as a regular tourist and not in a huge tour group. Plus, the city looks different in the winter. I much prefer the city in summertime though. It was just so windy, which made the cold almost unbearable. I made several friends over the course of my time there and I hope to see them again sometime.
On our last night in Vienna, we stood in line for standing tickets to the Opera, which only cost 3 Euros. It was quite the experience!! My feet were killing me by the end of the night. We stood for 3 hours, mainly listening to the action because we picked the wrong place to stand. All of the action was on the right side of the stage and that’s the side we sat on..so it was blocked. Despite my feet hurting and not being able to see very much, I’m still glad that I went to the Opera, not very many can say that. I would recommend it for anyone who is traveling to Vienna on a budget.
To tell the rest of the story, I will show some pictures: