Vienna Schnapps Museum and Bratislava, Slovakia
04.02.2015 - 05.02.2015
I spent the morning shopping at Stephansplatz, a large walking district in the center of Vienna, and then headed to a small bar for lunch on the way home. My burger from RoO’s definitely made me feel at home, but that’s probably because it came with an American flag on top of it.
After a quick last minute meeting with our professor, we headed to the Old Vienna Schnapps Museum! The main room was the only remaining building after the bombing of WWII. It still contains the old cash register and the very first “American” ever built. The “American” is the first chair that reclines. WE then moved onto the next room where we learned about the making of Schnapps. Apparently in October the heavy tax on making Schnapps is lifted, causing many Europeans to attempt to make Schnapps at home. Unfortunately the making of Schnapps has the ability to be very explosive and there are quite a few newspaper articles each year describing another failed attempt. The reason for the lift on tax is that in the past people made Schnapps to survive the winter-they used it as a medicine of sorts. The next part of the tour was the tasting, and our tour included three(…or six) tastes. Their flavors ranged from creamy to fruity to containing gold to absinthe.
After the tour I headed out for the night with my roommate. We headed to a bar with American karaoke! The night was incredibly unique. I was with people from different countries and our main language was German so it was a convenient way to practice my speaking skills! The one thing I don’t like about going out here is that you can smoke anywhere and everywhere. I hate waking up smelling like cigarettes in the morning.
This was a VERY early morning after hitting the karaoke bar last night. My 5:40 alarm was not a welcomed one. After getting to the train station and purchasing our tickets to Bratislava, we met up with a Student from Texas A&M who happens to be from the suburb next to where my dad lives in Texas-small world.
After getting to Bratislava our first challenge was crossing the insanely icy bridge by foot to get to the Austrian consulate. After eventually making it past the bridge we successfully applied for our Visas and went to explore while they were being processed. We headed first to a castle in the city and saw some gorgeous views of Bratislava. Afterwards we headed to a chocolate shop where we had the best hot drinking chocolate I’ve ever had. It was the same thickness as a melted bar of chocolate, and none of us were complaining. Mine had black cherries, ice cream, and whipped cream. Pair that with a slice of chestnut chocolate cake and I’m not sure how I ate lunch an hour later.
We then picked up our pretty new Visas (I feel so official now!) and headed to a lunch with plenty of Slovakian beer and food. After lunch we headed outside of the city to the ruins of Devin Castle. Unfortunately the castle was closed for the day but we still got to see the outside as well as a memorial.
After getting lost in the city on the way to catch the train, we managed to find and catch the train at the last minute. Literally.