This weekend, two of my friends from my study abroad semester came to Vienna (one came up from Graz, Austria, and the other down from Liberec, Czech Republic; they both teach English). It was at once both strange and completely normal to cruise around the city with them, as if it were still 2012 and we were still students. Although my roommates from that semester all live in different countries and states now, we immediately pick up where we leave off whenever we see each other.
|Looking across the Danube|
The week began unsuspectingly, with a sudden drop in temperature and a consistent, whipping wind. I decided to take another walk to the Danube, this time with my camera. In the picture shown here, you can see the EU buildings and the "squiggly skyscraper" (as I like to call it) on the other side of the Danube. Sitting by the water was worth it, but it was just a bit too frigid to be completely enjoyable. I did, however, help an older Canadian couple find their way back to their Viking Tor river cruise.
|Colorful vegetables at the Naschmarkt|
|Frozen but happy|
|The empty Rathausplatz|
Our walk through the Naschmarkt led us to the 1st district and over to the Rathaus. If you remember, the Rathausplatz housed the equestrian show and the film festival; in the winter, it will feature an massive ice skating rink. This weekend, though, the area was completely cleared out, and for the first time ever (I think), I saw an empty Rathausplatz. It doesn't seem big enough to hold all those festivals -- or the dressage arena!
|A beautiful street in the 17th district|
|My delicious Café Brulôt|
|Inside Café Pierre|
|Roommates at Oktoberfest!|
|A stall at Oktoberfest|
|Iced gingerbread hearts|
|Clocks w/o minute hands|
Fun Fact: In the mid-18th century, Austrians used roasting jacks, or "mechanically turned spits used to cook meat over an open fire." These didn't actually measure time, but their mechanics were "important in the development of clockworks," according to the museum. To this day, a clock that keeps time poorly is sometimes called a Brater, or meat roaster, in Vienna.
|You can see the cogs!|
Between the Naschmarkt, the city wandering, and Oktoberfest, this weekend was packed and exciting. But really, it was seeing my friends that made this weekend the best I've had in a long time. Whenever I see friends, I just feel more balanced, rejuvenated; I have more energy, and mundane, day-to-day activities seem more exciting. I don't feel so far away from home. And the best news? They're coming back in a couple of weeks! Hooray for living in central Europe, where nothing (except the US) is too far away :)