WVB EuroTrip 2017: Day 8 - Vienna, Austria

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    May 26, 2017

    The USC women's volleyball team is in Europe from May 18-30 for seven international exhibition matches and a taste of European culture and sightseeing. On Day 8, the Trojans traveled from Maribor to Vienna, Austria. The Women of Troy had a chance to see the sights and take in the views of one of Europe's most picturesque cities. Junior libero Victoria Garrick blogs about the team's eighth day abroad.

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    This was our eighth day in Europe. We got up early for a three-hour drive from Maribor to Vienna, Austria, and were basically given the day to explore the city. I slept for the entire bus ride because I was so exhausted from our activities from the day before.

    The first thing we did when we arrived in Vienna was to get lunch near our hotel because we couldn't check in to our rooms yet. When we got back, I got paired with Brittany Welsh, which is awesome because she's new to the team and I get a better chance to get to know her and become better friends.

    When we were settled in, our guide Cory led us to the famous Vienna State Opera building, and a breathtaking chapel, where we were allowed to go explore on our own for the rest of the evening. Everything was so beautiful and I was amazed by the architecture. There is so much detail and beauty around the entire city. We also walked through a park, which was so peaceful, that I took some time to sit and just soak in the people and the culture that are here in Vienna.

    I walked around with Cindy [Marina] and went shopping and looked at the stores and all the cute antique shops where we found these cute matching necklaces. There were vintage clothing stores, jewelry stores, shoe places, etc. I love the European style. Later, we met up with some of our teammates for a delicious Italian dinner where I got spaghetti Bolognese. Afterwards, we got gelato, which is something we've done almost every night in Europe. I've made it a point to get some gelato in every city and country we visit.

    Coming to Vienna, I didn't have any real expectations because I hadn't even really seen many pictures of it. All I had heard about was the name of the city and mostly through the song by Billy Joel, but it ended up being so beautiful and reminded me of Rome, Italy. So many buildings are designed in a similar way with the beautiful statues and architectural styles.

    I can't really remember the first time I heard Vienna by Billy Joel, but it's one of my all-time favorite songs. I know how to play it on the piano, and I like to sing it. In fact, I recently sung it at an open mic night on campus. The lyrics of the song are just really close to my heart and mean a lot to me because I've been able to relate to them for so many years. It's one of my go-to songs whenever I feel like I need music to help me express how I'm feeling. Visiting Vienna was awesome because it felt like I had always dreamt about it. It was so surreal to finally be in Vienna after having the song run through my head; hearing someone else sing about how much this city meant to them as they figured out their own lives.

    It's incredible to see how much is out there in the world outside of Los Angeles and outside of America. We sometimes forget that so much else is going on and that there are people who lead different lives, speak different languages, wear different clothes, eat different foods, and have different customs. It's so easy to become comfortable with where you are and where you grow up, that exploring Europe, especially with my team has opened my eyes to so many other parts of this amazing world. It encourages me to explore more and learn more about everything going on in all sorts of different countries.