Episode 7: Thanksgiving, Christkindlmarkts and First snow!

For most people, i.e. everyone back in the States, it’s Thanksgiving break and therefore Thanksgiving time. However in Austria, Thanksgiving does not exist; therefore, after Halloween it is STRAIGHT to Christmas. All the stores begin putting Christmas decorations out and lights are put up in the city center. The thought of missing and completely skipping Thanksgiving made all of us pretty sad. However, the AAIE made sure we wouldn’t miss a thing. On November 16th, we had a huge Thanksgiving dinner, from the turkey to the sweet-potatoes. But with a huge twist:  we Linfield students cooked it all. Yes mom, I said cooked it – from the turkey to the sweet potatoes. The AAIE set up a wonderful program where we went to a school known for cooking and service, used their kitchen and got help from one of their chefs. So for roughly 4 hours, we cooked our Thanksgiving dinner and let me tell you it was not easy.  It makes me even more grateful for all the parents and grandparents out there that have cooked Thanksgiving dinner every year. I do not know how they do it, they’ve got to be superhuman.

Vanessa, Me, Ana, Michaela and Thomas all ready to begin cooking!
Vanessa, Me, Ana, Michaela and Thomas all ready to begin cooking!

After we cooked, our guests began to arrive. Our guests were our host families and professors from the institute. We began with some drinks and a great speech from Hermann. Eventually we sat down and ate all the amazing food we cooked. And let me tell you that was some of the best Thanksgiving food I’ve ever had (besides my moms mash potato’s of course)!

All the AAIE people together!
All the AAIE people together!

Now typically, the day after is spent for resting because of all the food you’ve eaten. However, that day one of my friends from Linfield came to visit! Her name is Alex and she just recently finished her study abroad trip in Norway! Ana and I showed her around Vienna and later that evening we all (Ana, Michaela, Vanessa and Alex) went to the main Christmas market at the Rathaus (city hall). This Christmas market has about 150 stands and an ice skating rink.

The entrance to the Christkindlmarkt at Rathaus!
The entrance to the Christkindlmarkt at Rathaus!
Ana and Michaela at the market.
Ana and Michaela at the market.

There are several Christmas markets in Vienna and i hope to go to as many of them as possible. The Rathaus is more of a touristy area however it is absolutely beautiful!

On thanksgiving day (the 22nd of November) we all decided to spend it together and go ice skating! It was one of the best times I’ve had here and I will remember it forever. All the memories I have made here have been amazing.

Everyone ice skating!
Everyone ice skating!

With finals slowly approaching and only 3 weeks left here in Vienna everyone is trying to make the most of our time. Hopefully I will have a little bit more to share with you next time!

Melissa

Alex drinking coffee!
Alex drinking coffee!
Us girls at the market!
Us girls at the market!