I came a day early before the program started so I explored with some students. The program consists of the first week traveling in Vienna, Prague, Dresden, and Berlin. The 2nd week I start my course with the Urban Landscape planning. There are about 33 students in the program and they planned the entire trip. 3 professors are joining us to supervise and enjoy the sights.
After landing in Vienna Airport, Niklas, a German graduate student, picked me up and we traveled to the center of the center by train. We stopped by the hostel to drop off our luggage and then headed off to meet up Niklas’s girlfriend and hometown friend who is studying in Vienna. His friend, Timon, wanted to show us the “mountains” of Vienna. Actually it is a small mountain with a beautiful view of the entire city.
We hiked up the mountain with the least amount of hiking gear possible (we didn’t prepare for the hike, it was a spontaneous
decision) and occasionally we took a couple breaks to catch our breath and enjoy a glass of “poor man’s champange”. Timon brought a small bottle of white wine with sparkling water. It was a nice touch to the spectacular view of Vienna.
So am I dreaming?? Am I still sleeping on the plane? While laying on the mountainside, reality hit me and I realized that I got off a plane and then a couple of hours later I’m in a different world and it was an unbelievable feeling.
After our hike, we went back to the hostel and met up with the rest of the students in the program. Everyone is so nice and welcoming considering that I’m the youngest, unexperienced student in the program while they are about 10 years older than me in their last semester for their master degrees. They are a fun group. We went to a Pizzeria for dinner and had very good pizza and of course beer.
Finally my exhaustion kicked in and bed was calling my name. I left the Pizzeria with a few students but majority of the others stayed to keep enjoying the night with beer and conversation. They probably stayed until the owner had to kick them out.
Overall it was an incredible first day in Europe. I can’t wait for how the rest of the trip will be. And of course I’ve taken many pictures but I have to figure out a way to copy them from my camera during the trip. As of now, I’m using an Amazon tablet as my laptop for emails and communication whenever I find free wi-fi.