May 17, 2005
On Tuesday, it was on to Vienna, the capital and largest city in Austria, for the Notre Dame women’s volleyball team, which is in the midst of a four-country European tour. Rising senior setter Kelly Burrell chronicles the team’s sightseeing adventures on its one and only day in Austria. A hotel without an elevator, breathtaking architecture, and eating Mozart balls made it an interesting day for the Irish.
The team will continue trekking south on Wednesday to Maribor, Slovenia. Check back to und.com for further diaries chronicling the trip, as well as a photo gallery from Vienna.
“Today we left Prague and traveled to Vienna. The four-hour bus ride was uneventful; there was a lot of nap taking and game playing. On the way out of the Czech Republic, we stopped at a gas station and spent the crowns that we had left. When we got to Vienna, we went straight to our hotel, which did not have an elevator so we carried all of our bags up two flights of stairs.
“After getting settled, we walked to downtown Vienna which was only about a ten-minute walk from our hotel. We spent the first few hours shopping and having lunch on the Main Street downtown, where they have every store imaginable. There were a lot of people on the sidewalks. At the end of the road with endless shopping we reached the older part of the city, where the government buildings, the capital and the Hapsburg Palace is located. The buildings were spectacular! The Hapsburg Palace has over 2,500 rooms, and the statues and architecture surrounding the castles are breathtaking. We spent a lot of time and film wandering around this area.
“One of the more notable things that we saw was a memorial to World War II. Recently Vienna celebrated the 60-year reunion of the end of it. In front of the palace there was a small garden where vegetables were planted. This was to commemorate the hard times during the war when parks and city spaces were turned into community gardens as a way to get the citizens food.
“After the garden tour we took a carriage ride through the oldest part of Vienna and saw Mozart’s home, City Hall, the oldest church in Vienna, and Stephansdom. The buildings were absolutely amazing. Our tour guide also pointed out the popular cafes and the commemorative statues in the area. The carriage rides were very informative and gave us a chance to get off of our feet while we learned about and saw the city. After the carriage rides, we were able to explore more of old Vienna on our own. We ate Mozart balls, a chocolate treat popular there. We also watched the street performers. There were clowns, musicians, and jugglers all throughout the busy squares and streets, which were very entertaining.
“When the sun began to go down, we headed off to Dinner at ‘Bitzinger,’ an authentic Viennese restaurant. We all had the Wienerschnitzel, which is breaded and fried veal. For dessert we ate strudels, which everyone enjoyed. When dinner was over we walked back through the old part of Vienna, which was all lit up and very romantic. Meg (Henican) shared her singing talents and impersonated Cher on the walk back while (Lauren) Kelbley and I did a short five-minute rendition of `The Sound of Music.’ It was a pleasant day, and we are all looking forward to a good night’s rest.
Signing off from Vienna, Kelly.
P.S. – (Lauren) Brewster is winning the competition, 4 to 3.”