1. Paris Musee d'Orsay and kid's excitement to be there
2. Schobrunn Zoo
3. Vienna Museums
4. Church meeting in Bratislava
5. Hungary iron curtain info
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Tuesday October 18: We began our day in Paris with a metro ride to the Eiffel Tower and a walk around the gardens. We rented electric scooters and rode along the Seine and to Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysees and to the Louvre and gardens. We dropped off the scooters and took the metro back to our Airbnb to check and switch to a new place (thanks to the national train strike and our changed travel plans). After our accommodation switch, we went to the Musee d’Orsay where we spent a few hours with Monet and van Gogh. After the Musee d’Orsay, we stopped at Angelina’s café for some most delicious liquid mud hot chocolate then called it a day.
Wednesday October 19: We headed to the airport and took our flight to Vienna. Upon arriving in Vienna, we arrived at our Airbnb, and decided to forgo any more sightseeing. We went to the grocery store and then spent the afternoon/evening in the apartment working on seminary and work.
Thursday October 20: We woke up with our Vienna city passes in hand and walked down to the Schonbrunn Palace where we spent most of the day visiting the main palace, the garden maze, the zoo, taking the train, climbing the Gloriette viewpoint, watching the Apfelstrudel show, and enjoying the overall grandeur of the place. We took the hop-on hop-off bus into the city and walked to the St Peter’s cathedral and then St. Stephens Cathedral and took the elevator to the north tower. We ate some street food, and then returned home to watch “Amadeus.”
Friday October 21: We headed straight into town and toured the upper Belvedere museum. Then we toured both the Natural History Museum and the Fine Art Museum. We dipped into the Museumkwartier, and walked over to the Bonhoff Palace to see the Welt museum and then the Sisi museum and finally the Mozarthaus museum. After dinner back at the apartment, we returned to Schonbrunn for an evening music recital of Mozart, Haydn, Strauss and other Vienna music masters.
Saturday October 22: I woke up early to go to the airport to pick up the rental car, then came back into town to pick up the family and drive 2 ½ hrs south to Graz where we met up with our great friends the Pimentels, who are there on a sabbatical year. We ate at a great local restaurant, then walked up to the Schlossberg mountaintop fort. We entered a few different mini-museums at the top, then Tera and the kids slid down the tunnel slide and we got some ice cream, then bid them goodbye and drove home.
Sunday October 23: We drove to Bratislava, about an hour from Vienna, leaving about 7:30am to attend the 9:30 church meeting. We got there early and walked around, not being able to find the church building, until we saw a pair of missionaries walking up the street. We grabbed a quick breakfast at a nearby grocery store then attended sacrament meeting. Tera was an answer to prayer to play the piano for the children’s primary program. After church we drove to the Devin castle, then we drove to the Slavin WWII Russia memorial. We went into the old city and joined a free 2 hr Bratislava walking tour and learned about 20th Century Slovakia. Thereafter, we met the missionaries for a local Slovakian fare dinner at the "Bratislava Flagship" restaurant.
Monday October 24: We checked out of the apartment and drove to Sopron, Hungary. We walked around the medieval downtown, had some desserts in a café, admired the building where Liszt gave his first performance at age 9, then drove up to a hilltop state park where we took an outdoor stroll to Varhely Kilato, a large lookout tower. We drove along the iron curtain trail through a Hungary/Austria border town that still had a replica of the barbed wire fence that originally bordered the country. We drove to the Forchtenstein Castle, and then to the Esterhazy Palace, both about an hour outside of Vienna. Then we were finished with our trip in this area, and we drove to the Vienna airport to prepare for our red-eye flight to Skopje, North Macedonia.
1. Paris Musee d'Orsay and kid's excitement to be there - It was fun to be with both Megan and Jacob in Paris. Both had been there before, but neither had much of a memory about it. Jacob was very excited to see the Eiffel Tower, and Megan was excited for it all. Everything we did and saw was new and exciting.
2. Schobrunn Zoo - I'm typically not much of a zoo fan, but this was a really cool place. Tera had been to see the cheetahs in Africa, from afar, but here in the zoo, we were sitting inches away from them behind the glass. Ditto for the hippos and lions and extremely cool stick insects. We enjoyed our visit a great deal. It was a fun zoo.
3. Vienna Museums - We made a museum blitz of 6 of the dozens of museums. Some were incredibly cool (Belvedere, Natural history, fine art) and others were so-so (Welt Museum and Sisi museum) and others were dissappointing (Mozarthaus). Though is interesting to note that the order of seeing the museums directly correlated with how much we enjoyed them. (First museums were the best, last visited museums were the worst).
4. Church meeting in Bratislava - We had a wonderful visit to the branch, and it happened to be their primary program day. One of the American mothers confided to us that the pianist wasn't available so they would have to wing it. Tera volunteered to play, to the great appreciation of the mother. After the meeting, the mother confided in us that she had been praying all week for a solution to the piano, and even that morning had been putting it in the hands of the Lord. And we arrived! It was nice to be part of little miracle for that branch on that morning.
5. Hungary iron curtain info - We passed by a section of the iron curtain barbed wire fence in Hungary, and it was sobering and informative to learn more about the history of the cold war and the countries that were involved.
Fall Semester 2022
Here we go again! Our 8 Suitcases have been whittled down to 4 suitcases as we take a four month world trip with our two youngest kids, Megan and Jacob. From Canada to Europe to islands in the Indian Ocean and finally to South Africa, from Sep to Dec 2022, here are our travels and experiences.