Made it to Wien (Vienna)
Yesterday (30-May) we made it from London to das Millicanhaus. Getting into and through Heathrow was relatively easy—well, for all but one of us. One of our students was told at the check-in counter that there weren't enough seats because the flight was overbooked. The rest of us were already through the security checkpoint and were wondering where this student was. Fortunately, (a) this person is an experienced traveler and knew how to be patient yet persistent; and (b) the person was able to text another person in our group to explain what was going on. This student slyly played the "I'm-in-a-study-abroad-group-of-23-and-everyone-else-is-on-the-flight-so-I-have-to-be-on-this-flight" card. It worked. All was well.
After the hustle and bustle of London, Wien seems so much more calm, and despite the fact that the language is different (German, not English), it at least feels easier to get around (I, personally, think it is easier to get around compared to London [which really isn't that difficult either]).
Last night our group headed toward the center of the city to eat at a pizza place called Pizza Bizi. You might think we went there just to eat, but it's also a great way to begin to learn the culture of temporary home and a bit about getting around town. Our students learned that our Austrian friends like things to happen in a certain order, for lines to form in a certain way, a little Austrian (or at least Viennese) sidewalk etiquette, how (not) to cross a busy street (wait for the green walk light or you will, deservedly, get honked at!!), how to get to and onto the (correct) U-bahn train, how to get to Starbucks (very important, you know), and how to get back to das Mil.
After pizza, we went just down the street from Pizza Bizi to Zanoni & Zanoni to get what I consider to be the best gelato in town (if any of our 2012 summer euro students are reading this, I expect a "Here, here!" in the comment section below). The only way I can describe it is "yummy deliciousness."
Today (31-May), after our "community time," our students got an overview of das Mil (you gotta do the trash a different way, separating it out in to the correct containers [something my family learned to do while living in Canada]), a reminder to clean up after oneself, and some general do's and don'ts. After that, they were put into groups and sent out on "Amazing Race Vienna" (more of a scavenger hunt than a race). They left at 1:00pm and were not allowed back into das Mil until 5:00pm. The goal: "Go fall in love with Vienna."
Tomorrow we pick back up with classes and learn about Vienna during Roman Times. After an introduction to that and 3 student presentations, we head to the Römermuseum.