by Sarah Gourevitch, Greenheart Travel High School Student in Austria
It’d hard to describe what a typical Saturday is like here since no two have been quite the same yet. On Saturday mornings, I have circus practice for a couple hours, but beyond that, it has varied quite a bit! I might get lots of little things done, like my French homework or cleaning my room (or writing a blog entry!). I’ll spend time with my host family and probably practice a bit, too!
I might take a walk around Belvedere Palace, which is about a block away form where I live. The palace is now an art museum and is home to Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”. Last Friday, I discovered admission is free for anyone under 19, which I certainly plan to take advantage of again sometime soon : ) The palace’s surrounding garden and reflection pool are beautiful now, but I’m really looking forward to visiting in the spring!
I might attend a concert at Musikverein or the Wiener Konzerthaus. I might be performing, like I am this weekend! On Friday and Saturday, I’m playing Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Unfinished 7th Symphony at the Musikverein with the Musikgymnasium orchestra.
I might meet up with friends for lunch or go to a family gathering or birthday celebration. I love hearing the German fly around the table…and of course the food is always pretty fantastic!
Or maybe I’ll be on a trip, like I was last weekend with my study abroad group. Although skiing in Bad Ischl was by no means a typical Saturday, I thought I’d write about it nonetheless! I arrived on Friday morning, and met 26 other exchange students studying in Austria coming from all over the world (Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ecuador, Venezuela and Finland). It was so great to meet other students doing exactly what I am, to compare notes on settling in.
Friday evening, we were given a tour of the summer villa of emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife Elisabeth (who was affectionately called Sissy), by the emperor’s great (great?) grandson. On Saturday, we hit the slopes! I hadn’t been skiing in at least five years, but after a few runs down the bunny slope, it started coming back to me. The view from the ski lift was absolutely spectacular.
Saturday night, we all unwound in the thermal baths. The warm-watered pools continued outdoors—breathing crisp wintery air and looking up at the snowfall, whilst swimming outdoors in bathing suits was quite an experience. I stayed up late talking to the other exchange students I had met just 24 hours before, yet had already become so close with.
I look forward to many more Saturdays in the months to comeJ