Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monday: Austria

We woke at 6:15 a.m. and went to have breakfast at 7. Breakfast consisted of things like eggs, sausages, ham, cheese and cereal. We boarded up and drove to Austria. Just like that. In Austria, another guide walked around the streets with us and showed us the sights. We viewed the government buildings and lots of statues. We also went through a museum with history about the royal leaders of Austria. I read the plaques and took a lot of pictures, but again, it was a slightly boring since I couldn’t understand the guide. Then we had free time to walk around. Oksana, another girl named Nastya and I went in search of Austrian food for supper.

We had a hard time finding anything that wasn't sweet or coffee and finally I asked an Austrian couple. They walked us a block over to an Austrian café and pointed out the things on the menu that are traditional dishes. The three of us shared two dishes to save on costs since the menu ranged from 14-18 Euro. We had a goulash dish and a beef dish with carrots and potatoes. They were both really good. By the time we finished, it was exactly the time we were supposed to meet at the bus. Oksana and I seem to consistently have this problem, being late and running for buses. We found our way back, and sprinted part of the way to get back on time. On time being 15 minutes late. The bus moved out and we were on our way to the Czech Republic. Another frustrating piece of this is that I don't understand Russian, and therefore don't understand the schedule ever. And Oksana often hasn't been listening or didn't understand what the guide said, which means we usually don't know what's going on. So apparently we were to spend one day in Austria but not stay a night there. We traveled several hours and arrived at our Czech hotel at 11:30 p.m. We are to wake up for breakfast at 6 a.m. and leave the hotel at 7:30 a.m. I told Oksana I'm not getting breakfast so I can sleep and she argued with me that I would be hungry later. I don't always eat breakfast, I told her, but she just didn't like this idea. Everyone will be eating and the American will be sleeping, she said. Yep! I said.

Oh and on a side note, during one of our first few rest stops on the trip, Oksana joked that I should run around the bus to keep warm so I was all, OK!! And took off, and she was really embarrassed which I enjoyed more than anything. And a Ukrainian who sits next to us on the bus asked me in Ukrainian why I ran around the bus so I explained Oksana's joke and that I wanted to. "Just for fun." And she laughed, and then during a rest stop before we crossed the border into the Czech Republic, this girl felt chilled as we stood around and said, "Want to run around the bus?" And I was all, sure, a Ukrainian wants to run with me? Let's do it! So we ran around once and she was like, again? So we made three revolutions while some of the others chuckled at us and Oksana shook her head.

The hotel is great, and this time wifi is IN THE ROOM. We had a moment of idiocy with our key cards. The card works by just flashing it near the room sensor, and then inside, there's a sensor where you pass the card over it to turn the lights on. We did this and after a few minutes, the lights turned off again. So we kept running back and forth to turn on the lights, me calling the whole thing ridiculous, until I went down to the front desk to ask about it. Guess what? Turns out there's a slot to STICK the card so it stays against the sensor and the lights stay on! Amazing.

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