Parents and Henry Arrive
Trip Start Sep 09, 2006
23Trip End Dec 23, 2006
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Their hotel was right in the middle of the tourist area of Vienna, and so we immediately set out to see some sites at around noon. One thing I have learned about sightseeing with my parents is that when they go around a city, half of the time is spent just seeing the local cafés and restaurants! While touring, we stopped at about every café we saw, it seemed like. It was almost impossible to go into a museum or see a historical sight without needing to get a cup of coffee before continuing
Another tidbit of info is that my parents love to try to speak the language of the country they are in. I emphasize the word "try" here, because they make a valiant attempt, but the delivery is a little off the mark. My mom is better, but my dad can't seem to pronounce anything. He will make a point of asking everybody he sees if he is saying something right, and then have a 5 minute conversation on how exactly the word is pronounced.
During the day on Friday, we saw a good amount of the city by walking around and going into a few museums. We also got to do a few things that I haven't got a chance to do yet, such as go on the famous farris wheel in Vienna as well as see some of the other tourist attractions that I haven't gotten to yet. My dad also convinced my mom and Henry to go on this ridiculous ride near the ferris wheel that flipped you upside down around an arch that was maybe 100ft big. I didn't really see the point in this ride and decided that I would pass. We did get a few pictures of my mom and Henry doing it. They both admitted that the ride was a little nauseating and they weren't sure if they could survive a second time if they had to.
Everyone was a little tired by dinnertime, because they were still jet lagged and also had not gotten much sleep on the plane the night before. You are supposed to stay up as long as you can the first day though, and then go to sleep at the local time. That way when you wake up the next morning, you should be pretty much adjusted to the local time. If you go to sleep during the middle of the day, your body will be screwed up for a while.
So because they had to stay up to adjust to the time, we invited Nick to dinner and tried to find a good place in the center of the city. We walked around and wound up eating at what they say is the oldest restaurant in Vienna. This is also a restaurant that we had been given a menu for in German class, and our German teacher said that it was very good. The food was in fact very tasty, and much better then frozen pizza. After dinner, Nick and I took the subway back to our dorm and they took the subway back to their hotel.
The next day we had tickets to see a workout at the famous Spanish riding school. The horses at the Spanish riding school are Lipistoner Stallions and they specially train the horses to do moves that are not natural to the horses. The first thing that they learn is Cantering, which is when they trot with their right front food forward, and then their hind left foot, and then vice versus. The normal motion is to have both feet on the right side forward and then both feet on the left side. They horses also learn how to trot sideways, diagonally, and backwards. It is very neat to watch, but unfortunately we only had tickets for a workout of the horses. So although the horses were doing really cool things, it wasn't a show so they weren't trotting in unison and such. One thing that was interesting about the performance was not the horses, but all of the people in the audience watching
In the afternoon we went to Schonbrun palace, which I think everybody especially enjoyed. Henry found out some things that I didn't know on my previous tour of the palace such as the fact that the palace has over 1000 rooms! After going into the palace, we hiked through the gardens to a walk-through maze that was made up of bushes tall enough so that you couldn't see over the side. You had to wander through the paths within the bushes to find your way out! After that, we hiked up a hill to a point where you could get a good view of the city and took some pictures from up there.
That night, my exchange buddy, Diane, and her mom, met us for dinner at a restaurant that was sort of off the path from where tourists would go. As a result, it we could get some very traditional Viennese food. Diane and her mom showed us what to order, and we got a large platter made up of a bunch of different food, that we all shared. Everyone in the family seemed to like a dish called "Schinkenfleckel". This is basically macaroni and cheese with some meat in it and some other good flavoring. Diane's mom is Korean and speaks 6 different languages. She is also very politically minded and it was interesting to hear her views on certain subjects. Its pretty much a given that anyone you talk to outside of the US is going to not like Bush, but Diane's mom was very vocal about it.