Slow Down

Today was our last day in Vienna and in Europe. Tomorrow we will make the journey home. We had a later start this morning, which was nice since our first flight is at 6:55 AM tomorrow. When we boarded the bus to head back into the city, Octavian, one of our tour directors, played Vienna by Billy Joel. It was bittersweet. The lyrics told us to slow down, but our time here in Europe flew by. Vienna waited for us to arrive for our last day. It was both exciting and sad. I think I speak for everyone when I say we’re ready to be home again, but not ready to leave Europe.

Our first stop of the day was at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the largest art museum in Austria. There we had the chance to explore on our own and see a wide variety of art forms from throughout history, from ancient Egyptian and Greek art to the works of famous artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Carravagio (my personal favorite).

After our time at the museum, we had a few hours to explore on our own. A group of friends and I did some souvenir shopping and had an amazing lunch from one of the street vendors. We all had the KasĂ«krainer, a grilled sausage stuffed with cheese then placed inside a sort of bun. It was some of the best food I had during our time in Europe. We finished our free time with a stop at the Hotel Sacher, a five star hotel known for it’s famous Sachertorte, which is a chocolate cake with an apricot filling. I had the Apfelstrudel with vanilla ice cream (I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate cake).

After this the group reunited and drove to the top of the Kahlenberg, a hill overlooking Vienna. There we got to take in some amazing views of the city before taking a hike to a vineyard to try some wine, something Austria is known for. After some time at the vineyard we all hopped on one bus and traveled to Grinzing, where we had our final group dinner of the trip. We all had an amazing time, eating a buffet style dinner and enjoying the camaraderie we’ve developed over this past semester and especially this trip.

I can’t believe we are traveling home tomorrow. It feels like we’ve been here for months and it feels like we just arrived yesterday. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and the friendships I’ve made. I can’t wait to return to Europe. As Billy Joel said, Vienna waits for me.

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