Posted: July 31st, 2013
By: Al Suarez (JD, ’15)
No class. Exploring Vienna. After our adventure to Budapest it was great to have a long weekend to hang out and to finally begin to really explore Vienna. Because we have been traveling every weekend and because our time in Vienna has been preoccupied with class and exploring touristy type of things, we have had very little time to really get the full Vienna experience. Today we decided to sleep in and relax and then continue our Viennese coffee house tour at Café Hawelka. My favorite so far. Very small and quaint. Delicious espresso. Best strudel I have had yet. After coffee we wandered a bit and did a bit of shopping and ended up hanging and reading down by the canal. I checked out some of the street art that covers almost everything in the “younger more artsy” area that we live in. It is fascinating– almost every square inch along the canal is covered in elaborate graffiti, yet in all my time in the first district, I have not seen any graffiti at all. Really cool idea in my opinion. By legalizing (or at least refusing to punish) street art in certain areas it allows for expression and a sense of rebellion that not only benefits the other parts of the city, but also creates a very interesting culture and identity. Then off to yoga and to bed early to continue recouping and preparing for our post class trip.
Below is a gallery of photos from our last week in Vienna: scroll through to view captions! Additionally, view more photo highlights from Vienna.
Professor Gaumof. First American Bar. For class today we were lucky enough to have Professor Richard Gaumof come in and give us on overview of Austrian History and a brief background on the development of the current political system. During his presentation he mentioned one of the more interesting architectural structures– Adolf Loos’ First American Bar. That struck just about everyone’s attention and we decided that everyone would meet for a cocktail after dinner. It had really interesting character and was a great place to get a cocktail (especially if you are more of a liquor than beer man, like me). Check out more about Adolph Loos and his architecture.
Landtmann. Goodbyes. After our morning class period in which we had an in depth discussion of gay marriage, balance of power, and federalism, a small group decided to grab an afternoon coffee at Café Landtmann. This is one of the most upper class coffee shops in all of Vienna. This café is known for class and its frequent visits by many powerful cultural and political figures in Vienna. One of the people in the group ordered a sparkling water and insisted it was the best water he has ever drunken. It turned out to be 4 euros and he insisted it was worth every penny. The espresso was delicious but the experience was more about the atmosphere than the coffee. After coffee we went back to our apartment to start to pack and prepare for the trip ahead. After dinner, a big group met down by the canal to say some goodbyes. It is really crazy how lucky we were to have a group of Austrians that really wanted to hang out and get to know us and have a group of Americans that are all so unique and cool. Definitely glad to get to know each and every person and we will all hopefully stay in touch.
Last day of class. More goodbyes. For our last day of class, Professor Parker decided to give us a break and let us start class a bit late (I need all the sleep I can get with the trip to come). Our assignment for the course is to pick a topic and to explore how that issue is treated by two different nations. For our last class period we all gave a small presentation on what we thought we would like to write about and Professor Parker gave feedback or insight on the best way to attack the issue. It was very interesting to see what issues each person found interesting enough to write a 10,000 word paper on. I think it will great for each of us to get some exposure to international research and the way foreign court systems operate and record opinions. It was very interesting after class because no one wanted to say goodbye. I will definitely miss the Austrian students and they all deserve special recognition for their willingness to show us around and make recommendations. Hopefully we will all stay in touch and maybe we can convince them to come see some of the cool things the US has to offer. We spent the rest of the day packing and preparing for our adventure to come.
Post class trip:
The group I am traveling with decided to give ourselves about 10 days after class is over to explore Europe a bit. Our trip started with an extra two days in Vienna (we saw the Albertina, Schonbrunn Palace, Schonbrunn Zoo, and had some of the best food and coffee I can imagine). Monday morning bright and early we will fly to Sardinia (Italy) for two days, Barcelona for two days, Pairs for two days, Berlin for one day and then back to Vienna to catch our flight back to the U.S. No doubt it will be a whirlwind of a trip but for a person who has never traveled through Europe, it seems like it will be a perfect quick little overview of several of the places I really wanted to see. If you have any suggestions for us in any of these cities please forward them on!!!
Before I said goodbye for the last time, I want to say thank you again as many times as possible to Professor Parker, The University of Vienna, Wake Forest Law Study Abroad, Professor Gaumof, our TA Martina, and everyone else who made this whole experience possible. I had an absolutely amazing time. Vienna is one of the coolest cities I have ever been to and I cannot imagine having a better time or being a part of a better group. Thank you all for following along and if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Danka.
Al Suarez is a WFU Law J.D. Candidate and will graduate in 2015. He is a participant in the summer Vienna program.