Back to Classes & a Trip to Kraków

On my first day back to classes after fall break, I had to meet at Schönbrunn Palace. I got there super early, so I could walk around and left some extra time incase I got lost. My teacher wanted us there by 8:50 so we could walk in at 8:55 for our 9:00 time slot. Some students were very late, so we did not walk in until 9:15, which was annoying for my professor because he booked our time for 9:00 and had to wait for late students. I think he should have just guided us in at the designated time and made those who were late figure it out or buy their own ticket. We received audioguides and walked through at our own pace. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos of the inside of the palace. After the tour, I walked around the outside to see the gardens. There were not many flowered plants, since it is getting colder. The colorful fall leaves made the gardens look pretty though.

I also purchased and wrote out some more postcards. If they go out like the others, they should take about 2 weeks to arrive.

On Wednesday the 6th, I had my psychoanalytic class where we received our take-home midterm exam. I met Claire at the train station, and we caught a bus to explore the Laxenburg Castle. It was situated on a beautiful forrest/park property. The castle was super small, and there was not much to see from the outside. We admired the fall look and walked around. It was very chilly out. Later that evening, Maddie, Vienna, and I went to the EisSalon. I got a Moscow mule and grapefruit spritzer.

From my recent viewings of The Game Changers and What the Health, I have decided I would try to ease into the plant-based/vegan lifestyle. I purchased vegan meatballs and really enjoyed them. I made them with quinoa, onion, zucchini, and spinach. I also bought a pumpkin patty and basil tofu.

I also received word that Sara is most likely going to visit to travel with me after my program ends. I looked into travel routes on my long bus ride to Kraków. It appears as though we will go to Luxembourg, Brussels, Bruges, and Amsterdam. This will be a good time to visit Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands, since they are a bit further from Austria and would therefore make a more difficult weekend trip. Also, there are apparently some good Christmas markets in Luxembourg. I will also be able to see more in this one trip rather than repeatedly traveling to that part of Europe. I looked into the cheapest route options and found a list of things that I wish to do while I was on my bus. Also, I will be kicked out of my Vienna housing on December 14th (the program officially ends on that date), so I might as well travel!

Our bus to Kraków took a lot longer than it should have. Our bus hit something too, so that delayed the 7+ hour ride. I think we ended up arriving 1.5 hours later than anticipated. When we arrived, we found the hostel and dropped off our stuff. We ate dinner at a Korean restaurant. Claire showed us this really good drink called Soju. We tried it in grape and grapefruit. Grape was much better.

On the morning of the 9th, we ate at Cakester. I got a waffle. The whole place was sugar and gluten free. I enjoyed my meal, but the others were not satisfied and Claire wrote a bad review for the restaurant.

Claire left us to be on her own on Saturday, so Vienna, Maddie, and I went to the Oscar Schindler Museum. They did not have tickets available, so we snuck into part of the exhibit. We were upset that we could not see the whole thing. We heard people asking about getting tickets for the next day and the ticket people said they would find out tomorrow if they could and the public would find out when the doors opened up at 9:00. It looked like a super cool museum and we really wanted to learn more about Schindler. We also wish we could have had more time in Kraków, so we could visit Auschwitz. Auschwitz was a bit further away, and tour groups were offering bus rides, but we did not have time to, since we only had a weekend.

We ran into the Ghetto Heroes Square. The area had signs to help try to reunite Holocaust victims’ belongings with their families.

We also got to check out this bar that is hidden within a restaurant. You have to enter it through these wardrobe-looking doors. The bar had a super cool, dingy vibe. We ended up going there twice because we had to go find food, then couldn’t find any other place with space for us. The first time I was there, I got mulled wine. The second time, I got an elderberry, basil, & lavender drink.

On Sunday, we went to a restaurant called Milkbar. I got a spinach pancake (crepe) with a garlic sauce. We walked to a flea market in the rain. Then, we went to see a Jewish cemetery. The cemetery had over 10,000 bodies in it. The stones were packed in and the ground was very uneven. It is very likely that there were many buried on top of one another.

We also walked into this church as the mass was going on. I did not think it was a good idea to go in. I was amazed at how many tourists were walking around and flooding into the church to take their pictures as the mass was going on. I did not stay in there long because I felt like I was bothering the church-goers, so I waited for my friends outside.

I purchased a small dish from a pottery shop for all of my lucky pennies. Kraków was super cheap. We did not spend much money at all while there. For our bus ride back, Vienna, Maddie, and I got food from the mall that was attached to the bus station. Vienna and I paid about 3 euros for our dinner which included a good amount of food.

We encountered a few super rude people while in Kraków and it rained almost the entire time we were there, but overall the city was very nice. I wish the weather would have been better, so we could have explored some more.

My mother arrives on Wednesday. We will be traveling to Ljubljana and Salzburg.

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