The End Has No End: Farewell Vienna

Vienna Travel Blog

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It is impossible to put into words the feeling and emotions of being in Vienna in June. Euro2008 brought the city to life and gave us all the experience of a lifetime. Having the chance to live in the host city was amazing. The colour and emotion brought by sixteen nations was something to experience on its own. The first game, in Vienna, saw Austria take on Croatia. Dressed in our rot und weiss, we ventured to the Prater to warm up for the game with a relaxing hit of mini golf. Coming off the U-Bahn in Praterstern was our first glimpse of what the next month held. Croatians filled the station with singing and horns. They were banging on the U-Bahn carriage as we arrived and then parted a way for us to exit as they heckled and continued to sing. As we looked back they lit a flare, which filled the entire station with smoke. The entire month was filled with big nights, betting, and dressing up in our team’s colours. I donned the orange after becoming an honorary Dutch supporter. The first of the big games was Austria v Germany where the winner would advance to the next round. Nobody held much hope for the Austrians but we still dressed in our rot und weiss. The chants started in the packed fanzone with some loud, “Immer wieder, Immer wieder, Immer wieder Osterreich”. The Bon Jovi cover band kept us amused and We Will Rock You got the show rolling only to see the Austrian’s squander early opportunities and go down 1-0. The final was another fanzone night. I was a Spanish supporter after eating, sleeping, and swearing like a Spanish boy for the past 4 months. It felt good to be on the winning side this time around and the European Championships was the backbone behind our last month in Vienna and the highlight of the exchange.

With all this fun around the football came sadness with friends slowly saying their goodbyes. The dream was about to end and nobody wanted this adventure to stop. OneEuro Bar, Loco, and Paddy O’Briens formed the locations for the farewells where in most cases; too many drinks eased the pain. The last Loco was a major highlight with everybody determined to make it til close time. I almost didn’t make it but a Durum at 3am saw me through to the end.

This exchange goes beyond words on how amazing the time was. Looking back to the OK Program with 25 days straight of heavy drinking and missing tours aligned with nights of partying in 219 or 212. Getting familiar with Vienna and having the chance to travel with some amazing people. Playing football with Australians, Austrians, and one Irish recruit brought much happiness. Seeing how much the Austrians loved the game, their improvement, and then coming so close to victory in Vienna was a heart-warming experience. Nights I remember and don’t remember from Loco, One Euro, and Paddy’s. But all this couldn’t be possible and this exchange would never have been the same without the people. Having the best friends, greatest roommate, and meeting the most incredible girl made this exchange an experience of a lifetime. I cannot thank you all enough. PROST TO RATMAN!!!!!!!
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photo by: EmyG