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Fourth of July in Vienna

by Jillian Lovell
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View of the iconic Ferris wheel, from the top of another Ferris wheel.

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“When will you realize Vienna waits for you”

One of the unique opportunities provided by AIFS is optional weekend trips to other surrounding cities. For my program in Prague we have one trip to Krakow, Poland included in our program fee, and trips to Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany available for a very reasonable additional cost.

I opted for all of the weekend trips, and as a result I had the chance to spend America’s Independence Day in the beautiful city of Vienna.

Vienna is a city with a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment. And it has one feature especially appealing to me, having grown up in the Los Angeles area, within driving distance of Six Flags, Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm: the Wurstelprater Amusement Park, also known simply as Prater. Located in a large public park, Prater was first mentioned in a document dated 1162, making it the oldest amusement park in the world; it has been open to the public since 1766.

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My friend and I both won bears at Prater and set them up for a patriotic photo op.

Attractions at Prater range from high-speed roller coasters, intense thrill rides, and interactive mini-tours, to typical carnival-style games such as darts, pitching, and archery. It also features a variety of food vendors, including some exceptionally delicious bratwurst.

A perfect end to the day was a ride on one of the park’s ferris wheels, providing a spectacular view of the park and the city.

It was truly amazing way for me to spend my very first Independence Day away from home. I was missing my family, but truly in love with this beautiful city and the adventure of a lifetime.

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