Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snowy Day

Christmas came and went without any snow to speak of, but we finally got a snowy day in Vienna today! The fifth graders were delighted to play outside amidst the freshly falling flakes. This is a light, powdery snow - good for snow angels and tossing fistfuls into the air. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the joy on the students' faces as they played in the snow!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Year's Eve

This video was taken from my apartment balcony on New Year's Eve. People were setting off fireworks all around the city to celebrate the arrival of 2009!

A Christmas Visitor!

My dad came to visit me during Christmas Break and I had a great time showing him a bit of my life here in Austria. During his visit, we took a three day trip to Innsbruck, where we especially enjoyed seeing the mountains and the Olympic facilities.

This is the Bergisel Olympic ski jump. There is a cafe at the top of the jump where Dad and I warmed up over mugs of hot chocolate. The Olympics were held in Innsbruck in 1964 and 1976.

This is a view of Innsbruck in the foreground with the snow-covered Alps in the distance. It was great to see the sunshine each day we were there (Vienna can be pretty cloudy) and to take in such breathtaking glimpses of the mountains as we toured the town.

Christmas 2008

The weekend before Christmas, my roommate and I celebrated the arrival of Christmas Break with a trip to Hallstatt, near Salzburg. This quaint town is located on a lake with mountains all around. We enjoyed wandering through the town, visiting a few Christmas markets, driving a rental car, and staying at a guest house run by a friendly, elderly couple.

Another gorgeous view just outside Hallstatt.

This is me in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. My roommate and I have enjoyed having a live tree this year. We now know that it's necessary to request a fresh cut on the end of your Christmas tree trunk if you want it to draw up water. Even though our tree hasn't taken up water since we brought it home, it's retained it's color and vitality beautifully, even lasting well past Christmas and New Year's!

This is the Rathaus (City Hall) in Vienna, with an elaborate Christmas market set up in front of the building. I enjoyed visiting the market on Christmas Eve, the day it closed for the season. The top row of lighted windows on the Rathaus are decorated like an advent calendar. All the windows were open on this day.