This weekend I got to experience the exact vision that I expected of Europe before arriving. Vienna met every expectation that I had of Europe pre departure: white buildings, amazing palaces, jaw dropping churches and delicious food.
The churches in Vienna were undeniably the most shocking and extravagant parts of the city for me. I am by no means a religious person. Though I was raised by a Cathlic family, I never had a desire to continue my young adult life with religion. Even though this is the case for me, the churches still found a way to knock me off my feet. Never in my life have I seen buildings so beautiful and extravagant. I ended up visiting the church on Sunday, not on purpose, and had no idea how amazing this experience would be. Walking into the churches while they went through mass, playing the organs, the choir singing and the detailed sight of the decor of the Church made for indescribable feeling. Thankfully, a picture is worth a million words.
One of the most interesting churches that we visited what the Karlskirche (English: St. Charles Church). Besides its amazing infrastructure, I found the history, of which I learned from a handout given before entering the church, revolving around the church to be especially interesting. Around 1712, the last great black plague epidemic hit vienna, killing thousands. The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI, pledged to build a church for Charles Borromeo, who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers. An architectural competition began in which Johann Bernhard Fischer won with his designs. Unfortunately, after Johann died shortly after winning the architectural competition, his son took over the construction, however, not without first making drastic changes to his fathers plans. The partially altered construction was completed in 1737, leaving one of the coolest buildings I have ever seen.
The Sunday that I came back to Berlin I had a few hours to walk around Vienna before catching my flight. However, these hours were what I considered to be the first lonesome traveling I have ever done. I walked around with no one and nothing but my headphones in my ears and my google maps in my hand. It was a different experience than being all by myself, however, I loved how much ground I was able to cover not waiting for others. During this time, I decided to climb to the top of one of my favorite buildings that I had seen in Vienna. It took 343 steps, but this was not the biggest challenge for me. A trait inherited from my mother, I am very afraid of heights. I feel sick watching people lean over edges or hold their phones out windows with sidewalks of people beneath. Unfortunately, these 343 steps were up some of the darkest, creepiest steps I have ever seen. There were multiple times when I contemplated walking back down and not continuing. I think that attempting this by myself really haltered my ability to feel calm. Luckily, I’m a sucker for a good view, so I kept going. I am beyond grateful that I did because by the time I got to the top, climbing hand and foot up the stairs, I really felt like I had earned the view.
Another cool part of the weekend was seeing the electric scooters that the company I am interning at imported. The electric scooter companies are big customers for FreightHub right now because Germany just recently passed the laws that allowed the scooter companies to do their business in the country. As a result, the company needed their product where they wanted it and very fast, as the competition for this industry is high. This urgency benefits FreightHub because the fastest way to get the scooters to Germany is airfreight, which is also the most expensive and allows for the highest margins. It was exciting seeing the scooters around, knowing the company I work for was a big part of getting the scooter from their origin toVienna.
Lastly, I visited the Schönbrunn palace, which dates back to the Middle Ages. The fellow Pitt student that I had traveled with had recently traveled to Paris, France. As a result it was interesting to hear his comparisons with the Schönbrunn Palace and the Palace of Versailles. Luckily, we were able to take a tour of the inside of the palace. The room that I found the most interesting was a beautiful ballroom that, according to my audioguide, Moazart had playing in for Maria Theresa when he was only six.
Ps Patrick stop reading these