I had a little more free time this week to catch up on some things, since it was finals week and my one class did not meet at all. I wrote out several postcards and mailed them at the brand new post office. I had to go on a search because the one I passed every day was unexpectedly closed. To my surprise, I found the new one with balloons for their grand opening. The international stamps are pricy, but they gave me a free jelly-filled donut and chocolate-covered marshmallow thing to celebrate their opening. I am still on the search for some more postcards.
I planned a trip with Claire, Vienna, and Maddie to go to Kraków, Poland in November. It seemed super easy to plan, unless I just got better at trip planning. I am excited to check another new place off of my bucket list.
I have also completed a very detailed itinerary for my fall break trip. We have several transfers in transportation and accommodations, so I wanted to keep everything organized so we could easily follow along with our trip plans. It took me a ton of time since I was including maps to get from location to location.
Nicki asked me to go with her to this organic restaurant. It was super good and not badly priced for the amount and quality of food that we got. The restaurant was inside a shop on Neubaugasse and it is called Maria Kocht.
I went to see the Vertigo exhibit at the Mumok Museum. It made me feel kinda dizzy to see some of the paintings. The interactive exhibits were super cool to experience. The one part of the Mumok had a huge trampoline-ish thing with 3 huge balls. It was so much fun.
Right after finals, Vienna, Maddie, Claire, and I departed for Hallstatt. I left after my german exam and came back to the apartment to grab lunch, snacks, and my overnight stuff. The others left right after their exams since they had theirs after mine. We had to transfer trains with less than 6 minutes, so we had to run through the Linz train station to make it onto the next train. Our Air B&B in Hallstatt was adorable. The owners were from Holland and were super nice. The house was located right beside a farm with the only cows in Hallstatt. It was so nice to watch them with the gorgeous scenery. We had dinner at Höllwirt because area we stayed in was just with houses and not many restaurant options. I got a pumpkin soup and shared a veggie plate with Vienna. We went to sleep before 10 and got a very restful sleep. I woke up early, made coffee and watched the cows while everyone else slept a little longer. The house owner drove us into Hallstatt for 10 euros. We got spinach pizza for brunch. We walked around the adorable and small town of Hallstatt and saw some churches, the Charnel House (filled with bones and painted skulls), wood shops, etc. We also rented out a paddle boat for 15 euros total. Claire and I paddled for the hour trip. After that, we walked back to the train station. The leaves were changing and we walked along the lake, so it was a nice walk. We got dinner at a pizzeria/bowling alley. Again, there were not many options for food. I got tomato soup and split a veggie pasta dish with Vienna.
When we got back from Hallstatt, we immediately had to pack for the mandatory fall break trip that is provided by IES. We got back late and had to wake up early. Everyone in the apartment also decided to wait to shower late, so there was a little bit of a delay before going to bed.
For the mandatory fall break trip, many of us got the whole seats to ourselves, so we did not have to sit directly beside anyone. We went straight to Prague where we had lunch at the Lindner Hotel Prague Castle. The vegetarian meal was super good. Then we went on a walking tour. In Prague, they have a small firefighter helmet monument for 9/11. After the walking tour we got a few minutes to ourselves before getting on the bus to go to Dresden. Most of us got chimney cakes (they are called something else in Prague). There were many stores that we passed selling them, so they must be pretty popular in Prague. The city was super pretty, but we did not have much time there. I would have liked to be able to explore more of it on our own.
Each night of the fall break trip, we spent in Dresden. Dresden is fairly new since many of it was rebuilt since the city was bombed in WWII. One of the nights we ate burgers at Hans im Glück. Jacey, Vienna, and I watched the first episode of Dark. It seems like it would be a very good show to continue watching. It has two seasons already out, so it might take awhile for me, but it looked really good from the first episode. We had a walking tour of Dresden the next morning. The tour guide was really good. After the tour, we had free time, so we got lunch at an Italian restaurant. I got a salmon and pasta dish. Then, we looked for museums that would be open for the IES museum pass. Most museums were closed on Mondays, so it was a waste of money for IES to have gotten us those passes. We went to a Tiki bar and got waffles and ice cream and a Cuban bar where we got chips and guacamole. I also got a piña colada here. It was a cute little bar and the drinks were reasonably priced and good tasting.
The next morning we went to Leipzig. While in Leipzig we got a lecture on Wilhem Wundt at the University of Leipzig. His office was kinda cool to see, but they dragged the time out for no reason. We also saw the Runde Ecke and learned about the Stasi. The Runde Ecke was a really interesting museum. Our tour group was very large, so it was not as enjoyable as it could have been since the rooms were too small. We ate lunch at the Panorama Tower. We did not get much free time here either, which kinda stunk. We only really had time to walk around the farmers market in the square. We saw the huge Battle of the Nations monument and Wundt’s grave and drove back to Dresden. That night we ate dumplings at a restaurant in new town Dresden. Then we got ice cream at the Eis Cafe.
On Wednesday, we ate breakfast at the hostel and then drove to lunch in Telc at the ZACH restaurant. I had breaded cauliflower. It was pretty good. Again, we did not have much time in Telc. There was a traffic jam that delayed us some. Then when we were leaving, a girl got lost, so we were delayed 45 minutes until they found her. I felt like I slept most of Wednesday since we were on the bus for 7 hours. When we got back, I unpacked and went straight to the gym.
Our mandatory study trip week also included Thursday and Friday being in Vienna, but still meeting up for activities. We went to the technical museum on Thursday. The one tour was kinda interesting and talked a lot about robots and new technology. There was not much of a connection to psychology. Friday’s activities were actually pretty fun. We chatted about the connection with the locations we visited, made spaghetti & marshmallow structures and analyzed the process, and had a collage dream & writing workshop. My collages turned out really cool looking.
On Wednesday night, Vienna organized a double birthday bash for Claire and I. Claire’s birthday was on October 22 and mine is on the 30th, so a party between our days during our time off of classes was perfect. Nicki and Mauri made amazing cupcakes and Vienna made really good banana and chocolate bread. Allison brought falafel. Others brought wine and sturm. Vienna is too good to us. She also gave Claire and I chocolate from Amsterdam and jam from Telć. During the bash, I continued with my GoPro uploads, since it is a lengthy process and I had a busy couple of days ahead.
On Friday night, I checked in for my flight to Copenhagen. I also booked all of the transportation and stays for when my mom and I travel in November. We will be going to Ljublanja and Salzburg. Booking took some time because I had to figure out how all of the transfers would fit into the schedule and then the prices kept changing while I was booking. Also, Air B&B & hotels are difficult to find through the Air B&B site sometimes and will show places to stay that are way too far from the desired location.
On Saturday, I will be leaving for my fall break trip to Scandinavia. I am super excited about it! I also successfully uploaded all of my GoPro content so I can travel with a empty SD card to capture my memories without worrying about running out of space. I am also just traveling with a backpack for the week, so I am hoping that I can fit everything into my backpack. Traveling light will be nice, but it will be stressful trying to figure out what to pack in a small backpack for a week of travel.