Vienna through the eyes of Nadeesha Jayawardena (Year 10)
We all met at St Ignatius College at 11.30 packed ready for our adventure. We packed the minibus and were ready to go. The journey to Gatwick was very interesting as everyone was in a good mood, excited about the trip.
We arrived at Gatwick airport and checked in, after which we were given around two hours free time to get some lunch and wander around duty free. We all arrived back at our meeting point at 4.00 ready to board the flight.
As I sat in my seat on the flight ready for take off, it finally became a reality that the trip I had been looking forward to all these months had quickly arrived. I was bursting with excitement to get to Vienna.
We arrived in Vienna at around 8pm local time. We made our way to the train station. The majority of us were exhausted at this point after a long day.
We arrived at Meninger Hotel and sorted out rooms. I was with George, Michael Storey, Daniel, David and Jonathan. After that we headed to bed. At this point the majority of us were exhausted after a long first day.
Saturday morning began with a tour of ORF television studios. This was the biggest TVchannel in Austria and would be Austria’s equivalent of the BBC. On the tour we were given the opportunity to take control of some cameras as well as appearing in front of a Blue screen. Our tour guide also took us to the set of TV shows “Bingo” and “Dancing Stars”. He told us some very interesting TV tricks and showed us some of the first cameras used by the TV station.
After the Tour we made our way into town where we went off to find lunch. I decided to go for “Bratwurst” and found it quite tasty.
After lunch we met up again and made our way to “Schonbrunn Catle Und Zoo”. We found out that this in fact was the oldest zoo in the world after being founded in 1752. We were given a challenge by Miss Nash, in pairs, to see who could create the largest list of animals in German. Unluckily we were met with light rain as we walked around the zoo, which made it difficult to fill in our list of animals.
In the evening we went to the “Centimetre” Restaurant, where very interestingly our foodwas served with swords. I had a lot of Schnitzel that night. I decided to have a red chilli pepper for fun, along with Ryan Mahendran and Cijo Jose. We then had a mini tour around some of the sights at night, after which we made our way back to the hotel.
We had a “lie in” on Sunday compared to Saturday as we had to be down for breakfast at 9.00. After breakfast, we left for mass at a Jesuit Church. The church had very interesting baroque style architecture. Mass was very interesting as we experienced it in German but it was freezing inside the church. After mass we had a tour of the city for two hours. We were given free time after this for lunch where we had a nice walk around town and I decided to have curry wurst. I really enjoyed it. After this we walked around but found that nearly every shop was closed as it was Sunday, so we decided to just sit down and chill out. After lunch we went to “Haus der Musik”. This was very interesting, especially the orchestra conduction activity. After the museum we went back to the hotel then to “I Terroni” Restaurant, where I had a pizza. Then we made are way back to the hotel in the rain.
I was very excited about today as we had a tour of the UN building in Vienna in the morning. This tour was very interesting and factual. The UN building in Vienna’s main purpose was IAEA, which stands for International Atomic Energy Association. At the moment it was dealing with big nuclear problems in Japan after their earthquakes.
After this we returned back to the city centre for lunch where I once again had curry wurst after being impressed by it yesterday. We then had some time for shopping, where a group of us decided to buy some presents for the teachers as a thank you gift.
Later on we were given a treat of an ice-cream bar. My ice-cream was so large I couldn’t finish it. For dinner we went to the “Siebenstembrau” restaurant. I had a delicious meal there, this was a large rack on ribs with chilli sauce. It had to be my favourite meal while there. Shortly after we returned back to the hotel for our final night. It was very sad as we knew we were going home tomorrow but we were still very tired.
The day had finally come, it was very sad as we were going home today and the trip had nearly come to a close. I felt depressed today as I felt the trip went too quickly but I had a fantastic time so I had to be happy. In the morning we climbed up to the top of St Stephens Cathedral only to find we climbed all the way to find a gift shop. After this we made our way to the airport. We checked in and then had half an hour to get lunch. We then boarded our flight and made our way back home.
After 2 hours, we were back in London and made our way to the mini buses to go home. I was looking forward to seeing my family again but still sad the trip was over. We arrived back at school around 8pm and were reunited with our families. I was exhausted and was desperate to get some sleep.
The trip all in all was a great experience and has to be one of my highlights at St Ignatius College!