May 10, 2012

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VIENNA, Austria - The Miami University volleyball team spent its third day of its European tour exploring Vienna on Thursday. They spent the day visiting several historic sites and enjoyed the beautiful architecture of the city. To tell fans about the incredible day, today's blog is written by juniors Kayleigh Cox and Madison Hardy.

Hello Fans!

Greetings from the beautiful land of the east, Vienna! This is Kayleigh Cox and Madison Hardy on our first day of real sightseeing in Europe. We started off the day with an incredibly delicious breakfast at the hotel which was then followed by a two-hour tour of this wonderful city. Before proceeding into each historical location we were given brief history backgrounds of the families and cultures that created what is now known as Vienna. On our way to the church we stumbled upon beautiful fountains and architecture that was truly breathtaking. Each monument had a story to tell that helped sculpt the city as it is today. After numerous team pictures in front of all the fountains, buildings and monuments; we finally reached the church. The outside alone was enough to give us all goose bumps. A place so beautiful is hard to describe in words but we will do our best. As expected, this church was huge! It had a gothic feeling with dark windows and almost seemed a little eerie. The doors were massive and made of solid wood with black iron gates guarding them. Even the door knobs had immaculate detail and were something special all on their own. It's amazing that even after all these years this church somehow found a way to keep its elegance and poise. When we walked inside we were even more taken aback. The room was lit solely by the multicolored stain glass windows and candles; it was unbelievable. The detail that went into each statue and painting was something that I think we all appreciated immensely.

As the tour continued, we continued to be amazed with the beautiful architecture and people. It seemed very quiet and peaceful with the amazing weather that we had until suddenly we turned a corner to what I would call the expensive shopping district where every man seemed to be wearing a suit and women could have stepped out of a fashion magazine. We saw stores like Dolce and Gabana, Burberry, and Gucci, since none of us could afford these places we window shopped. We walked down the beautiful streets smelling amazing bread and foods, stopping for some of Austria's best ice cream. We soon came to an open square surrounding us basically on every side. This huge building we were told was the Austrian library, unfortunately we could not go in due to renovation but was so vast I could not imagine how many books this building held. On the other side of the library was the original Hofburg Castle which has been beaten up by the Romans in the 12th and 13th centuries, then later during World Wars I and II. It was amazing to see the statues on and around this building, all Greek gods and warriors who looked like they were real almost. In the distance from this building was the National History Museum which we found out has the largest and most beautiful graphic art pieces in the world due to the Hofburgs collections.

Later on in the day after a wonderful lunch the team and parents took a metro ride to the Schönbrunn Palace. This was the summer home of the Hofburgs during their reign. The overwhelming size of this estate cannot be put into words. The palace itself had close to 300 rooms all of amazing color and design with chandeliers hanging in each room. The most well-known item of this palace is its enormous gardens. From the beautiful canopy-type style walk ways that led to a different and more beautiful scene than the last to the amazing fountains placed around the land. A few of the girls walked to the biggest fountain on the site threw in a coin and made a wish, all for MAC championships I'm sure. This was wonderful sight we will never forget. Tonight we head to a true Austrian dinner where we will be served traditional Wiener schnitzel.