After an hour flight delay Ariel and I had left Croatia and landed in Vienna, Austria. Two passport stamps later and we were in the train station waiting to go into the city. Once we left the station I noticed a woman who was holding a Starbucks cup. I said to Ariel, that cup is little, meaning she either drinks her coffee really slow or there is a Starbucks close by. We were supposed to take a right from the station to get into the city, but we ‘accidentally’ took a left. I believe we were supposed to take this left, because very soon after we spotted a Starbucks! I was elated.
With a caramel macchiato in my hand, I left Starbucks with Ariel and we turned in the right direction this time to get to the center of the city. Vienna literally swept me off my feet. I came there not being that clean, and not dressed in the most fashionable attire. But I had never felt so beautiful. The architecture, the slower pace, the people, the horses on their drawn carriages, and everything else was just completely out of this world. Ariel and I toured the city for a good 6-7 hours that day, but even now I only felt as though I had a small snippet, and I already am planning in my head the next time I can go back and really get to see it more.
The day consisted of a lot of walking, a lot of browsing [theatres, one of Mozart’s homes, Parliament buildings, the Museum Quartier, parks, etc.) and a lot of aweing at all of the cakes and other decadent desserts in the pastry shops. At the end, we were tired, but we had one more place to go. We hopped back onto the train and made our way to Schonnbrun’s Palace [A UNESCO world heritage site] where Schloss Schönbrunn had his summer residence in the 16th century. Just like everything else I had seen this past week, it was beautiful.
Since Ariel and I were exhausted and knew we had to leave soon to get back to the airport, we thought the best way to spend our time here was to sit on the palace steps and enjoy the deserts we had bought earlier that day.
Once we arrived back to the airport we had a small dinner and then boarded the plane. I looked around the plane and realized I was again surrounded by Israelis. The plane ride was hectic, much like Israelis are. No one was sitting in their seats, and numerous times the pilot had to talk on the speakers and ask everyone to please cooperate and sit down. But no one actually did. I was back to the mentality I had grown into, and man did I miss it.
Now I am currently sitting at Ariel’s aunt and uncles waiting to start the final part of the OTZMA program. Tomorrow I will be officially moved into an apartment in Jerusalem with four other OTZMAnikim. Monday I will begin my internship. I can not wait for part three, and I can not believe I will be back in the states in less than two months. This European vacation made me realize things about home that I had missed and not even thought of. But it also made me realize that after such a long amount of time, you don’t crave things as strongly anymore. While I am excited for home, I am also starting to get really sad to leave Israel. I missed Israel when I was in Europe, I got excited when I heard people walking by speaking Hebrew, or when I saw Hebrew writing on buildings. I missed cutting people in line at the grocery store, and I missed jabbing elbows with people and not feeling like I have to apologize for it. But much like Israeli’s, I will continue to live in the present moment and enjoy Jerusalem for all that it has to offer. I will not think of the future too much (though some because it is officially the beginning of job hunting time), and I will continue to thoroughly enjoy the beautiful life that I am living. I especially can not wait to share all of my experiences with you. Shabbat Shalom everyone!