Posted: July 16th, 2013
By: Al Suarez, (JD, ’15)
Welcome back for the second week of the official blog of Wake Forest Law Study Abroad Vienna 2013. Another really busy and amazing week…
Below is a gallery of photos from our second week in Vienna and my weekend trip to Zurich, Switzerland: scroll through to view captions! Additionally, view more photo highlights from Vienna.
Museums. To further understand the role of art in culture and to explore how issues of race, religion, and government are portrayed through different periods we spent the day exploring several of Vienna’s amazing museums. We started at the KHM (the National Art and History Museum). Our purpose was to explore traditional European art for images related to civil liberties and the way women, minorities, and the lower socioeconomic classes were portrayed and likely treated throughout time. The museum is beautiful and absolutely worth a trip but not particularly my taste. Without getting in to it too much, although I find much of the art very beautiful I have a hard time reconciling my own values with the images portrayed of the wealthy and powerful and the elaborate and expensive art when so many people were starving or being oppressed. However, after lunch and a brief detour to the cupcake shop upstairs, we moved over to the Mumok (the modern art museum). I thought this museum was fascinating and definitely one of the cooler modern art museums I have been to. Some of the exhibits were a bit out there but I thought the curators did a great job of challenging some of the cultural and artistic norms which I think is what you should expect when attending a very contemporary exhibit. Overall the MusuemQuartier was exactly what we had been described: great museums, delicious patio cafes, and overall a great experience.
Class in the morning. “Beach” in the afternoon. MusuemQuartier at night. We had another beautiful day in Vienna (we have been incredibly lucky with the weather- mid 80’s in the day 60’s & 70’s at night) and several of us decided to venture to the “beach” at the Old Danube. Although the beach was really just a lakeside parkit was still a lot of fun. Definitely not your traditional beach experience but a good getaway from the city and nice to get out and soak up the sun. After the lake we went home and got changed and headed back down to the MuseumQuartier for dinner and a very interesting dance concert/show. The MusuemQuartier was putting on a postmodern dance show that has been heralded by the NY Times for and is supposedly part of some sort of worldwide tour. It even drew the President of Austria for the opening ceremonies. However, weirdly enough it turned out to be an electronic music concert with a bunch of transvestites dancing and posing on stage. Some of the crew decided to go out to a local pub that has become a crowd favorite (Kangaruh Bar) but I decided to make it an earliesh night.
Vienna Bar. Today we had a local attorney come in and explain about the Austrian legal system and what the day-to-day life of a Viennese lawyer is like. He was an incredibly cool guy and very informative. He also arranged for us to visit the Vienna Bar. Here we meet with several high ranking officials of the Vienna Bar who gave us some of the the history of the legal community in Vienna and explained a bit how the legal system is structured in this part of the world. Really cool experience and definitely a thank you to the Vienna Bar for taking time to meet with us.
Class in the morning discussing how the issue of abortion is treated throughout the world. Dinner and pack for Zurich in the evening. Best dinner I have had in a while. Mochi. Delicious Asian Fusion in Austria. Who would have known?
Zurich. Absolutely beautiful. Definitely pricey. Still a bit overwhelmed by the amount of Ferrari’s, Bentley’s, and Maserati’s we saw and the seemingly endless streets full of extravagant shops and boutiques. Even though our trip was only a couple of days I feel like we were able to see most of the sights and soak up the whole Zurich experience. The first night we got in in the late afternoon and went and had dinner and wandered through old town. We stayed in West Zurich and again we lucked out. This area was definitely more our speed and only a few stops on the tram from the heart of old town. We spent all day Saturday seeing Fraumunster, St. Peters, and Grossmunster (but mostly popping in various shops to check out the summer sales). My favorite part of the trip was definitely dinner at Frau Gerolds Garten. This place is one of my favorite places I have ever been. It was probably a bit too local for us (some issues ordering) but the concept is amazing and something I would love to see more of in the states. The restaurant was actually in the garden where the food was grown and the cows were grazing right out back. The place was absolutely packed all night but we still heard rumors they are going to try and tear it down to put in a convention center. Either way if you are ever in Zurich it is absolutely worth a trip (expect to pay $30 or so for a meal, which is sadly a bargain for Zurich). Definitely plan a day around this area. West Zurich, especially Viadukt, is the most unique part of Zurich. Even though we had a great time and ran in to a little hiccup with the trains once we landed in, it is still really nice to be back home in Vienna.
Check back in next week for our discussion with Lord Phillips the former Head Law Lord in England and the first President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and for our trip to Budapest to experience the culture and difficulties of the Roma people.
Al Suarez is a WFU Law J.D. Candidate and will graduate in 2015. He is a participant in the summer Vienna program.