Unbelievable. In just nineteen days, our program will be coming to a sad, sad end. My time here in Vienna has been unforgettable and a truly amazing experience. I don’t think I’m quite ready to say goodbye to all the new friends I’ve made, and to this beautiful city. What worries me the most now is trying to maximize the short amount of time I have left in Austria. I do admit that traveling to a new country each weekend has kept me from exploring other parts of the country. Luckily, I have lots of free time this week when I can go on easy day trips to other towns, using public transportation and trains. The weather is just finally starting to get beautiful and I’m excited to use that as my cue to go explore more.
This past weekend, I travelled to Slovenia with five other girls from the program. It was nice to take a break from all the cities we had been going to and spend some time hiking and doing outdoor activities. We spent nearly all our time at Lake Bled. Lake Bled and the Triglav mountain area is, so far, the most beautiful place I have seen. Everything was a vibrant green color and the sun sparkled off the water; it was breathtaking. We rowed a boat to a tiny island in the middle of the lake which had a quaint little church sitting on it. We were also able to go rafting in the Sava river. If Slovenia turns out to be my last trip for the semester, I can confidently say it ended on a fantastic note.
On my to-do list for the remaining days include going to Hallstatt, Innsbruck, Graz, wine tasting in Vienna, and riding as many of the rides as I can at Prater. I have also yet to hike around the Vienna woods or go biking along the Danube. On a science-y side note, I hear that Vienna has a pretty vibrant Astronomy community. The observatories in the city include the Kuffner Observatory, Zeiss Planetarium, and Urania Observatory. I need to visit at least one of these before I leave.
The hard part about these next few days is that along with the end of the semester comes the influx of papers and assignments that all seem to be piling up now. It’s the perfect time to go and explore new cafés or even find study spots in grassy areas outside. Vienna definitely lived up to its cafe culture because I still have not run out of great cafes to go to. The coffee here will be one of things I will miss most when I go back to America so I need to make sure to fill up on the Mélanges now. These upcoming weeks are going to blow by, but I am excited to take full advantage of my remaining time here in Vienna.
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<p>April is a junior at Harvard University studying Neurobiology and Astrophysics. When she is not in the lab or looking at the stars, she likes to force her friends to listen to the Hamilton soundtrack, get away to the beautiful beaches of Southern California, and plan spontaneous trips. April is studying in Vienna, Austria this spring to drink lots of coffee, learn some German, and finally learn how to Waltz.</p>