Welcome to the Vienna Blog of Summer 2013!

By: Al Suarez, (JD, ’15) 

Welcome to the official blog of Wake Forest Law Study Abroad Vienna 2013. In order to give you the true vibe of the experience in Wien I decided to write our blog in a bit more of the traditional journal/blog format. I will try not to overload you with pictures or useless details but if I do… It’s our blog so you will just have to deal with it. Enjoy.

Below is a gallery of photos from our days so far: scroll through to view captions! Additionally, view more photo highlights from Vienna.

 Day 1:

Travel day. Charlotte to Chicago. Chicago to London. London to Vienna. A few episodes of TV and a little nap. No big deal. Once we landed to in Vienna it was just an easy cab ride to our place right on the Danube Canal (huge shout out to Katelyn McCombs for finding the PERFECT spot to live). Once we unpacked we snuck down to the bar less than 100 yards from our new home for a pre-dinner cocktail. Tel Aviv! Simulated beach bar with DJ playing electronic music. Pretty solid first impression of Vienna.

Then we had about a 10 minute walk to the perfect little dinner spot- Skopik and Lohn. If you are ever in Vienna, wander over to the 2nd district. Definitely worth the trip. The beef tartar has converted Giacomo in to a rare meat eater. Also, make sure to save space for desert. You are probably going to want to order 2 of the chocolate lava cakes with fresh fruit compote (especially if you have a couple of bottles of wine… which you will…). The group has already made a pact to find a way to budget enough to have our farewell dinner there. Then off to bed for a great jet lagged night sleep with a belly full of wine. No complaints so far!

Day 2:

First Day of class. Professor Parker started off with the traditional introductory exercises. Short class ended with a walking tour of the 1st district. Martina (our TA) served as an unbelievable guide for the main historical landmarks and helped orient us to the 1st district a bit. I was very impressed with how clean and classy the city is. The day was capped off with a long lunch on a quaint little café patio with traditional Austrian cuisine.

Day 3:

Visit to Mauthausen concentration camp in Upper Austria. This site is a horrific reminder of the evil human beings are capable of, and the injustices that can come from allowing government to strip liberties from individuals or society as a whole. Great way to transition our minds in to considering the importance of the topic we are studying. The day was a bit of a solumn experience but definitely worth the bus ride. If like me you don’t have a great knowledge for the history of Mauthausen here is a little background.

Day 4:

Standard classroom lecture day. Professor Parker focused primarily on laying out a solid groundwork of philosophical concepts and real world concerns of both the formation and preservation of constitutional democracies. Also watched a bit of film on Ghandi. Such a boss.

The evening was the welcome dinner at Fuhrgassl-Huber restaurant. Endless wine and all you could eat buffet including a whole roasted pig. Didn’t hear many complaints from the crowd. Thank you to Professor Parker and Professor Gamow for hosting. Also thanks to Jenny for showing some of the Americans around and leading the charge on the after party.

Day 5:

4th of July abroad party 2013. AMERICA!!! Bacon cheeseburger and chili cheese fries at It’s All About the Meat Baby. Smoked burgers, ice-cold beer, great DJ. No complaints from either Americans or Austrians. One of the best burgers I have had in a while. Great way to bring in Independence Day.

Day 6-7:

First travel weekend. The group scattered all over the continent. Destinations ranged from Krems to Berlin to Rome… etc. Our group decided on Prague. The trip was eventful to say the least. We stayed in “New Town” (Wenceslas Square) right in the middle of the busy tourist district. In two days our group managed to cover just about all of the major tourist sites and still found a way to drink our share of local beer and eat our share of several swine (including several knees, at least one neck, and a couple of what was described as the pigs shin). Even though we had a little incident with a nabbed wallet, we escaped the weekend without too much damage. Prague was beautiful, the group seemed to overall enjoy themselves, and I’m glad we went but for the most part I think everyone was pretty ready to be back “home” in Vienna. Check out the rundown of my favorite sites.

Please forward any comments or suggestions to suaram12@wfu.edu. See you next week for a Viennese museum tour, a look in to the legal community in Vienna, and a trip to Zurich. Thanks again.

Dancing House in Prague

Dancing House in Prague

Al Suarez is a WFU Law J.D. Candidate and will graduate in 2015. He is a participant in the summer Vienna program.