Below is a story about a recent trip to Eastern Europe written by one of the student’s at my English school, Smith’s school of English Ohtsu. Two of my student’s traveled to four European countries together, along with 20 other people, a tour guide, and their cameras!
My students’ names are Masako and Kimiko. This story was written by Masako after they returned from Europe.
If you are interested in reading about Masako & Kimiko’s other adventures, please click on the following links.
We packed our suitcases and had a yummy breakfast. Our tour bus was toward Vienna. We dropped in to Szentendre, an old artistic town, and had a coffee break at a local café. We got separated from our tour guide on the way back to the parking lot so we were lost as suspected. It always happens, but we could find our tour bus “All’s well that ends well”. Next stop was Esztergom. There was a magnificent old church on a hill along the Danube River. A medieval costumed musician played three recorders at one time. The lunch at an old folk house style restaurant was good but there was too much food for our small stomachs. The restaurant’s owner spoke Japanese very well. In the afternoon, we visited Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, for around 2 hours. A Slovakian tour guide explained the history and story in Japanese fluently. I only remember the names of the three mountains on the national flag, Mt. Tattara, Mt. Sattara, and Mt. Mattara. In the old town, in front of the Japanese embassy, we saw folding cranes, flowers and candles. We certainly received heartwarming feelings. Thanks a lot. Trend Bosei Hotel was in a suburb of Vienna. Our room was on the 4th floor with a nice view. We had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant with the tour group. Day by day, we are getting to know other group members.
The local Vienna guide was a Japanese woman. She’d been living in Vienna for 25 years. Her guidance was good and proper with humor. At Schonbrunn Palace we realized the gilded glory and wealth of the monarchy of Hapsburgs. Wow, Queen Maria Theresa had 16 children and reigned over the country for 40 years. Great mom! After lunch we had free time. We bought “Vienna Residence Orchestra” tickets opening at 18:30 in advance and then rode the Vienna Ring Tram with Japanese information provided by the multimedia system. Vienna is a beautiful city with boulevards, magnificent medieval buildings, green parks and the Danube River. The Orchestra with opera singer and ballet dancers was nice. Our seats were B grade but we could sit in the front row center. Lucky! On our way to the hotel, we lost our way seriously. There was no one around the dark station and we misunderstood the direction. We walked down for several minutes feeling queasy till we met a kind man walking his dog. He didn’t speak English but fortunately I brought the hotel’s card and showed him. He indicated the opposite way. Aha!
Whole day free. We planned to visit Kahlenberg hill, so called “Vienna forest” by tram and mini bus/ Heurigen Express. But the mini bus wasn’t running yet in this season (travel guide book didn’t say so) so we walked up from the Beethovengang tram terminal. In these countries, there are few visitor information signs and boards are located in obscure places so sometimes we felt inconvenienced but on the other hand they don’t destroy the atmosphere. When we started feeling tired and thirsty we found a local restaurant in an open vineyard. We drank two glasses of delicious wine each under sunshine and then DRANK. Fortunately, we two drunks reached the station before the rain started. We went back to the urban area and tried to get to Mozarthaus Museum. When we asked an old lady the way, she held Kimiko’s hand and gave us a gentle word about the Japanese tragedy. Thanks. In Mozarthaus Museum I rediscovered him as a unique genius. It began raining in earnest and became cold. We had dinner and went to “Kursalon sound of Vienna” concert. The Orchestra and performances were nice but some thoughtless audience disturbed the music by taking photos and mobile phone’s sound. Unbelievable! We went back to the hotel smoothly. Well-done.