Monday, January 20, 2014

First Week of Classes and a Day Trip to Bratislava, Slovakia!

Since my last post, I started my classes and crossed my first international border since arriving in Vienna!

Classes this term will definitely be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it. On Monday and Wednesday evenings, I am taking a 3000 level business class (and my first business class ever) in Human Resource Management. I was a little started by the amount of work, considering on the first day of class 130 pages of textbook reading were assigned AND a four-page essay was due for the next class. But, I took my anxious energy about the class and chugged out the essay and the reading. The professor (a 30-something Brazilian man) admitted he assigned that work to see if we could rise to the challenge of his course, and he was quite pleased. I am hoping I can utilize the business and human resource strategies I learn in his course and apply them in a theatrical setting. As a freelance stage manager, the more I know about business and management, the better.

 On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, I am taking a course titled Visual Literacy. I am ecstatic about this course, since it is the closest thing to European Art History at the Webster University Vienna campus. The professor is an incredibly knowledgable German woman, and she brings a different perspective to examining art than I've experienced before. I will be able to gush about the class once I have a few more sessions under my belt.

My final on-campus course this term is Audio Production I for Non-Majors. During the first class, we learned the basic of Logic Pro. It should be interesting. For a class outing, we will be visit one of the largest recording studios in Vienna.

This week I was able to get the ball rolling on travel, and I couldn't be happier! On Friday, myself and seven others hopped on a train to Bratislava, Slovakia for a day trip. Bratislava is about a forty-minute train ride from Vienna. I didn't get my passport checked or stamped during either train ride, and I think it is because the countries border each other. Oh well. Below is a photo of Jenn and I as we disembarked the train to find ourselves in another country!

We crossed an international border!

Much like Vienna, Bratislava was cold and gray. Although, I am recognizing a trend of colorful buildings to help distract from the somewhat depressing climate. I loved the bursts of color around the city and cannot wait to visit various places and compare the color palettes.

Colorful church

 An additional challenge of visiting Bratislava was that English nor German was helpful when trying to communicate with the natives. Although, the universal language of pointing and smiling was helpful.

We visited four of the main attractions that Bratislava has to offer. From the train station, the Grassalkovich Palace, or the presidential palace was a ten minute walk.

The Grassalkovich Palace

Following the palace, we progressed toward the city center and climbed the winding road up to the Bratislava Castle. From the entrance to the castle, you could view most of the city. The castle was extravagant with marble floors and banisters, red carpet on the steps, stark white walls, and gold EVERYWHERE. There was an art museum within the castle that had many portraits. Each room had an attendant to make sure patrons were not snapping pictures. Could you imagine spending hours every day in complete silence in one room surrounded by the same portraits of old, deceased royalty? I would have nightmares about it within the first few hours. Along with the museum, we were able to climb multiple flights of stairs within the castle to get to the very top and have more views of Bratislava. Below are some photos I snapped during my visit to the castle: 

View of Bratislava from the castle entrance
The front of the Bratislava Castle

The view of rooftops through a castle window

The gold detail, the marble, the stark white walls, and the red carpet were all stunning!

A view of the flag from the top of the castle

After visiting the castle, we continued our walk to the city center. We visited Michael's Gate and St. Martin's Cathedral. There was cobblestone everywhere, and it was enchanting roaming in a city with some much history. The first photo is of Michael's Gate and the second is of St. Martin's Cathedral.
Michael's Gate

St. Martin's Cathedral

We found a restaurant to eat and relax to finish off the day. I ordered a delicious olive-topped pizza and a large beer. The beer tasted like most light beers I've had. Nothing too special. With full stomachs, we boarded the train back to Vienna and thus ended our first international day trip.

I spent most of Saturday and Sunday quarantined in my room accomplishing homework and working to fend off a sore throat and a cold. I am feeling much better after many hours of sleep. 


1 comment:

  1. Hope your trip was exciting..Can you please share some more photos of your trip as they can convey the whole story in better way..I have planned trip to Vienna with JoGuru Vacation Planner.