prague with pierce

Monday, May 31, 2010

The first time I went to Prague, I really liked it.
The second time I went to Prague
(ironically, exactly one year later to the date),
I loved it.
I went with Pierce, Derek, and Megan.
They picked me up after work on Friday in a rental car
and we drove there,
which is more fun than a train
and cheaper too.
I slept through a lot of the car ride.
I'm a working woman now, so that is to be expected.

Things I did not sleep through, however:
* Getting lost on the way to Prague and the back road navigation that followed
* A really fun 3 hour walking tour through the old was free (???)
* An amazing pizza, and yes I did consume it in its entirety
* Derek stalling the car in the middle of a round-about
*A giant English bookstore, where I found 3 books for 30 Czech Krone
(this is, like, 6 euro)
*A Broken Social Scene concert in Linz

Crossing the bridge to my favorite part of Prague.

Near the Prague castle.

The town square on our first night.

I don't remember the meaning of this. Do you, Pierce?

Great weather!
Then I came back to rainy Vienna for another week of work.

salzburg with steffi

I just happened to be in Salzburg when my friend Steffi stopped by for the weekend.

We ate apfel strudel at Cafe Mozart....

Coincidentally, Salzburg had just won the futball league and we got to see the Meister 2010 celebration in Residenzplatz.

We took a train to Berchtesgaden one day.

....and hiked around Lake Konigsee.

...and saw some of the town as well.

It was freezing!

We tried to go to the Eagle's Nest but it was too cloudy and they weren't taking anyone up the mountain.

Of course I gave Steffi and her friends a tour of Salzburg.

And of course Leopoldskrone was a stop on the tour.
Hope you liked Salzburg, Steffi! I had fun showing you guys around.

can you believe it's been one year?

Friday, May 28, 2010

 One year ago today, I left Salzburg!
Can't believe it's been that long.

I am happy to be living in Vienna now
....but sometimes, I just can't get over
how perfect that time in Salzburg really was.

Hope you enjoyed the montage -- now I'm off to Italy!

i love honey.

so much so that i was a bee for halloween last year
(halloween on march 31, of course).
it just so happens that there are currently 60,000 bees
on the roof of the Vienna Opera house
(seen below).

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity.
Biodiversity = the idea that each species supports many other species.
Austrians (and Germans) are all over this idea.
Does that surprise anyone?
Austria's environment ministry has cosponsored this project, Vielfaltleben,
by installing behives on the Opera house roof!
They've already started making honey!

Vienna isn't actually the first city to do this.
Urban apiculture (keeping bees in cities) is popular in Europe.
Not only does it help produce honey but it keeps plants pollinated,
and supports green areas like parks and gardens.
Bees pollinate 80% of flowering plants,
and many key horticultural crops
(like nuts and know, 1/2 of my diet)
could not exist without bees.
The same applies for beans (hey, another large portion of my diet).
(Come to find out, another large portion of my diet is honey).
(I might die without bees).
(Or at least have to re-train my taste buds).

Honeybees have experienced a CCD (colony-collapse disorder) in recent years
on account of parasites, infections, pesticides,
new pestresistent crop varieties
and the impact of human activities on the environment.

I like this Vielfaltleben project.
And if you want to watch the bees live on webcam,
you can.

this weekend

Thursday, May 27, 2010


...... i am taking an overnight train to Pisa to meet Peff.

:::jimmy lepine and jenny clem (seen in the background) will not be attending:::
i've never been to pisa.
and i have a 3 day weekend.
so now is the time.

hopefully it won't be raining every second of the day like it is in vienna....

oh, what will i be doing on the train?
watching Season 6 of Lost...
...which i just purchased on iTunes....
..thanks to a gift card i received pre-departure!
my goal is to eat at least 4 pizzas.
by myself.
i think i can do it.


When I first moved here, I was living with Martina just outside of the city.

It took me an hour total to get to work each morning.

I had to take one of these:

Followed by two of these:

Followed by one of these:

A bus, 2 U-bahns, and a tram. I love public transportation but it started to wear me out after awhile. I lived at Martina's place for 2 1/2 weeks, then moved into Kathryn's apartment, where

I only had to take one of these:

(which, believe me, does not look at all like this at 8 in the morning)

followed by one of these:

Due to the convenient location of my new apartment, I only have to take one of these:

.... and then I'm at work!!! I can't tell you how happy I am about this. I went from an hour commute, to 45 minutes, to only half an hour... and half an hour is about as good as it gets in Vienna. I have realized that I very much prefer above ground transportation to underground. I will take a street car or a bus any day over the U-Bahn. The underground usually equates dirtiness and foul smells.

When I moved from Martina's to Kathryn's, Martina drove me so I wouldn't have to take my large suitcase, my duffel, and my bag on the U-Bahn, tram, etc. Yesterday, Hannes was nice enough to pick me up from Kathryn's and drive me to the new apartment....I have been so fortunate to meet such great people who go out of their ways to help me out! This location really is quite the upgrade and I'm excited that I get to stay here for over a month!

i came to the realization today

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

that i have the best parents in the world!
people ask me all the time,
"How do your parents feel about you living abroad?"
and not only do my parents support me,
but they are so proud of me.
and it makes me cry sometimes!
they are always so interested in what i am doing over here
and always offer to help me out financially
((even though i'm trying so hard (and so far succeeding) to be a grown-up)).
have i mentioned that i am ready for them to visit?
because i am.
well, see you soon mom & dad!

i branched out today

and it was so worth it.
hannes and i walked an extra 5 minutes today,
just for the purpose of me trying a falafel restaurant i had noticed yesterday on my way home.
i should have discovered this place a long time ago.
you know when they spend 10+ minutes preparing your falafel,
that you're in for a real treat
(as opposed to 30 seconds of microwaving yesterday's falafel)
anyway, the pita was handmade,
still warm,
and very flour-y,
and very, very, very delicous.
all for under 3 euro.
i'm in heaven.
i'll be eating here every day for the rest of my internship.
and i'm totally fine with that.

Salzburg with Eva...a couple of weeks ago

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eva is who I "lived" with when I came back to Salzburg last winter. She is from Bavaria. If I had to make a list of "Top 3 Nicest European Girls I've ever met", she would definitely make the cut. When I arrived in Salzburg again (to stay with her), she had my favorite muesli waiting for me, along with Tender Bars (my favorite treat). We went to the Museum der Moderne one day. I had actually never been before. It was a holiday, so free entry.
A mosaic of the city of Salzburg.

Inside the museum.

It was a rainy day...perfect for a museum day. There were so many people there with the same idea. We spent a lot of time at the gift shop...I may or may not have bought my dad his birthday and father's day present there! ;) I love Eva and was so glad I got to spend some time with her! I hope to visit her again. Who am I kidding, she lives in Salzburg, so I'll probably see her tomorrow or something....I can only go so many days before finding my way back to that place.

if the sun decided to come out sometime soon, i really wouldn't mind.

it has rained every day since i've been here.
i am not opposed to less than perfect weather.
in fact, i love the snow. so much.
i think i might prefer austria in the snow
(though i love it all the time).
and i love the rain when i'm inside, reading, sleeping, relaxing, etc.
but going to work in the rain is not so fun.
especially when you have to walk. a lot.
if i hadn't asked for this Spiewak raincoat before i left,
i don't know what kind of shape i'd be in.
it is a life saver.
(thanks parents!)
where is the sun? this time last year i was brown.
and laying out every day at the IK pool!
i'm confused.
oh well, austria, i still love you.