Tag Archives: Easter

Rae + Paige = RAGE!

Excepting my rant about hating Naples, my last post was about the end of winter quarter! Looky here, it’s already the end of spring quarter. What have I been doing with myself, you might ask. Well, hopefully this post (and the following ones) will help to answer that!

RAGE at the Trevi

Shortly after working my butt off for the CPAC convention during Spring break, my ex-classmate/ex-coworker/ex-neighbor/fellow art history-lover Paige came to Rome with her good friend/buddy/pal/fellow art history-lover Ryan. It was Ryan’s first time in Rome and he would be starting the Art History Rome program in just a few days. It was Paige’s second visit to Rome because she was on the program last year. One of the first things we did was run around the city exploring. You know, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Trajan’s Forum and the like. Just your average romp in the eternal city.

In the evening we headed to my favorite spot to watch live jazz in the Monti district of Rome, Charity Cafe. It was actually a blast because it was such a small group of people that the musicians had us all sit together, taught us the songs and had us sing along. We even made friends with some of the other people there… or so I thought. They wanted to invite us to another concert, so I gave them my email address. Turns out they are not interested in friendship and now I’m on a lame list-serve to receive spam emails in Italian. Yay. Italy, you’ve done it again.

Jazz at Charity Cafe

Paige spent the days doing research for her honors paper on the Saint Helen sculpture in the crossing at St. Peter’s. Most of the time I was working while she was researching, but I did join her to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s (where we waited in line forever).

RAGE at St. Peter's

In the evenings we got up to no good, going dancing, finishing a whole giraffa with just the two of us… Just the two of us, we can make it if we try! Just the two of us, you and I. Sorry, I’ve run away with myself. Back to the story!

Giraffa for two!

We had some grandiose plans for Easter, which were foiled in two ways. 1. We made the mistake of buying chocolate eggs a little too early knowing full well how little will power I possess. A few days before Easter while Paige was out gallivanting about the city, I decided to tear a small hole in the packaging of my chocolate egg just so I could have a little taste to satisfy my chocolate craving. The plan was to put the egg back inside the packaging before Paige returned and she would be none the wiser. Unfortunately she returned home to find me sitting in bed with half a chocolate egg on my lap and shiny Easter packaging strewn about the bed. Whoops! So, we didn’t open our eggs on Easter, we feasted a few days early. 2. We also had plans to rent a Vespa and tour around the city while the whole town was in Piazza San Pietro. It was going to be our “Roman Holiday” re-enactment and it was going to be glorious! However, we couldn’t find a Vespa that would fit two people and it poured down rain all day, but the real reason why it didn’t work out was because Paige and I went dancing in Testaccio the night before and needed a full day to recover in bed with the aid of a few good films and the rest of our chocolate eggs.

View of St. Peter's from the Quirinal Hill

Later that week Paige and I (after one failed attempt) made it to the Caravaggio exhibition at the Quirinal hill. It is the most complete exhibition of his  paintings ever. Wow! It really was spectacular… and crowded, but we were the last people there waiting for everyone else to clear out so that we could actually see the paintings. It was a really beautiful exhibition, but the organization of the paintings could use improvement. Every floor ended on a weak point with a painting of questionable attribution. Words of wisdom: Always end with a bang when possible! Despite that, it was still a beautiful collection of works and I took home a copy of the catalog.

One of the many Caravaggio works on display!

Oh, and we had Frigidarium on the regular.

Paige's fave gelato place, Frigidarium!

After Paige left *sad face*, I had to prepare for more even more guests! Check back soon for posts about my other spring-time visitors!

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Oster in München

I got home yesterday from Munich. Billy, Michelle, Amanda, Sarah, Rebecca and I left Vienna Thursday night on the train to spend Easter weekend in Munich because we had Friday and today off from school. Joey met up with us when we arrived at the train station. Andrew and his friend Nikolai met up with us the next day.

On Friday, Joey and I wandered through the city. We happened upon the Hunting Museum, but it was closed for Good Friday. Sorry Dad! We stopped at the Frauenkirche, the main church in Munich that was mostly destroyed during WWII. We had lunch in a beer garden at the Botanical Gardens. We ate curry wurst and the largest pretzel I have ever seen! Later that day we met up with our friend Markus who took us to see what he calls the “Bavarian Statue of Liberty”. Then we walked to a park and at oranges in the grass.

That night we met up with everyone from my program again. We split into two groups: boys vs. girls. The girls and I spent 23 euro to go on a Bavarian beer and food tour while the boys did their own thing trying to eat more and drink more for less than we spent on the tour. In the end I think the boys definitely drank more, but the girls ate better food and learned about the history and making of beer and traditional Bavarian food from our guide. We met up with the boys later that night at the Hofbräuhaus, the famous beer hall where Hitler gave a speech. I’ve decided that my favorite beer is Radler, a helles (light in color) beer mixed with lemonade. Here’s a photo of the girls and I during our tour. Notice how all the food is gone…

Bavarian Beer and Food Tour

Bavarian Beer and Food Tour

On Saturday Joey and I wandered around again while our friends tried unsuccessfully to attend the soccer game. We took a short nap in the English gardens. We ate lunch at the Augustina Haus and had some of the best food! I had Käsespätzle, which is becoming one of my favorite dishes and Joey had a plate full of different kinds of sausage and sauerkraut. That night we went to Gärtnerplatz with Markus to meet up with some of his friends.

On Sunday we visited Schloss Nymphenburg, the palace in Munich. I’m beginning to enjoy our trips to palaces the most. They always have beautiful architecture, gardens and artwork. This palace is well known for its swans in its many water ways. My favorite part was when we took a break for some ice cream on a bench enjoying the view. We said goodbye to Joey here. After we finished wandering around the palace grounds, it was time to head to the train station.

Schloss Nymphenburg

Schloss Nymphenburg

On the train I finally finished reading 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The whole book seems like a bunch of beautiful poetic rambling, but in the last chapter you find out that every single word is as valuable as the next. This was quite possibly the best book I have ever read. Thanks for recommending it, Joey!

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Week 2 in Vienna

It is now the end of week two in Vienna. We had a short week because we have Friday off for Easter. This weekend we visited Schloss Schönbrunn, the palace here in Vienna. It is a beautiful yellow complex surrounded by manicured gardens. It even has its own zoo! On the day we visited they had their annual Easter Market. The platz in front of the palace was filled with vendors selling all sorts of beautiful handcrafted Easter trinkets and delicious Austrian food. Check out the handpainted Eatser eggs!Easter Eggs

We also took advantage of the traditional food and drink at the market. I tried some berry wine for the first time and it was a little strong for me. Andrea and I shared some Käsespätzle and a potato casserole-type dish. Yum!  We walked up to the back gate of the palace grounds to get some photos and rest in the sun. Don’t forget to check out more of my photos by clicking the link to the right.

Rebecca and I at Schloss Schönbrunn

Rebecca and I at Schloss Schönbrunn

On Sunday Billy, Rebecca, Sarah, Andrea and I all went to the Albertina Museum where they had a special exhibition on Rembrandt and other northern artists. The museum also recently acquired a collection of artwork from the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a permanent loan. I was able to see artworks by the artists I would like to study in grad school, such as Gabriele Münter. MunterThis week in Art History we discussed the Romans in Vienna. Before Vienna became Vienna it was Vindobona, a Roman camp set up to protect the empire from the Germanic tribes. So, we went to the ancient Roman ruins beneath the city and saw the remnants of a few buildings. So cool!

A group of us also went to the Prater, an amusement park here in Vienna. We played frisbee, got ice cream and generally enjoyed being outdoors in the sunshine. One of the rides was called CSI: The Experience. Wish I had gone on it for you Mom, but it cost too much!

Things didn’t work out for Croatia. Tickets were too expensive and the weather is going to be nicer here in Vienna than in Croatia. So, we bought our tickets for Munich, Germany instead. This will be better because I will be able to see Joey and our friend Markus who lives in Munich. We leave tonight!

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There are no kangaroos in Austria.

It is now the end of my first week in Vienna. I arrived last Saturday afternoon when the sun was shining. That night I stayed with my friend Doris. She also had three guys from the east coast visiting her. Doris took us all to a 1920s themed party at a museum. Apparently it was the Technical Museum’s 100th anniversary. Doris dressed up in true 1920s style and I did my best with what I had in my suitcase. At the door they handed out TanzKarte or dance cards. In the 1920s women would carry these cards around and men would ask them to dance. If the women wanted to dance then they would write the man’s name down. For example: Waltz Benjamin There we met an old couple who teach dance lessons. I learned the charlston and the foxtrot. It was so much fun! Afterwards Doris, a bunch of her friends and I went out to Ost Klub to listen to Balkan music. So interesting! The next morning Doris had made a huge breakfast for us with scrambled eggs, fruit and semmeln (bread rolls). After breakfast Doris, her friend and I went to the Wien Museum to see an exhibition about imagining travel in 19th-century Vienna. It reminded me of the many things I learned in my “Representations of Others in the 19th Century” course I took last quarter.

Later that day I met up with the other students in my program and we stayed at a hostel for a couple nights.

On Monday I had my oral placement test at school so they could put me in the right German class. After the tests our teachers led us on a hike around the Nußdorfer wine country where we stopped at a place in the woods that inspired Beethoven’s music and we sang a bit of his Ninth Symphony. Here is our group photo by the Beethoven monument:

Vienna Spring 2009 Students Singing Beethoven

Vienna Spring 2009 Students Singing Beethoven

We ended the night at a Heurige or wine garden where I ate schnitzl and drank Almdudler.

The next day we had a historical tour around the inner city to orient us. At night we were able to move into our dorms. The room is so nice, but also very bland. All my sheets, walls and furniture are white. My roommate Diana is from Romania and she is in Vienna studying classical music. The first night she made me a Romanian dessert soup which tasted like a cinnamon roll in cold, liquid form.

Classes started on Wednesday. I love my teacher and Rebecca from my program is in my class. IKI offers classes to people from all over the world; USA, France, Philipines, Taiwan, Japan, Ukraine, Croatia, and Korea are all represented by the ten people in my level. On Thursday we had our first Art History class, which I am looking forward to.

Today we are planning on visiting Schönbrunn for the annual Easter market and getting together to make plans for a weekend trip to Croatia for some sun and fun. (Not that it isn’t 75 and sunny here in Vienna.)

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