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Trip Report EU Embassy Week in DC

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We only had time for a quick tour of the four embassies on the "yellow" route, but judging by the number of people everywhere, we probably couldn't have made it to more than that anyway. The weather today was beautiful--blue skies and warm temperatures!

Our first stop was the Embassy of Austria. We are moving to Austria next month for three years and thought it would be fun to stop in. Long, long, lines for the pastries and Meinl coffee, so we took a pass on the food and instead chatted with the cultural team as well as with folks representing Austrian Airlines, to booster our comfort about flying our pet Foxhound overseas. Sampled a Prosecco-like white wine from Lower Austria that was really delicious. We also collected copious literature on the various regions of Austria, so we are well-prepared for weekend outings and for entertaining the ever-growing list of friends and family who are planning to visit!

In the cul-de-sac with the Austrian Embassy is the Slovak Republic Embassy, a newish building dating from 2000. My husband and I wondered if both the Slovaks and Czechs went with new buildings after the fall of the wall...Modern architecture with wonderful art inside. A musical group was performing traditional music, and we enjoyed listening to it while sampling the sauerkraut, potato, and bacon dish. The wine, though, not so much. Too sweet and syrupy for our taste.

From the Slovak Embassy we boarded the bus to "Czech" out the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Guess they lost the coin toss of which half of Czechoslovakia got the 1950's era building with original Cold War barbed wire fencing. All joking aside, the Embassy had beautiful, sweeping grounds in a fabulous location, and the building had very modern notes. Various Czech regions were set up for exploration in the main room, and I glommed onto a map of Czech castles for future weekend travel planning. Outside in the beautiful weather we enjoyed a dish of Czech goulash and large glass of Pilsner. We shared a table with a couple who were heading to Vienna, Prague, and Budapest in a week, and watched with dismay as the wife dismissed the beer as "terrible," and ate not more than a small bite of goulash before dumping the bowl in the trash bin. We think it's going to be a long 12 days on holiday for that couple!

Down the street from the Czech Embassy was the Hungarian Embassy. Low key building, mostly modern. We availed ourselves of the Hungarian kolbascz sandwich, but decided against the "Party Drink of Hungary," of red wine and Coke. Delicious sausage. The multiple level terraces of the embassy were lovely, and at one of the levels were several families who were sharing their Viszlas for the event. What beautiful, enthusiastic, and totally delightful dogs they were!

Remarkably, visiting just these four Embassies engaged our entire afternoon! We will miss this event, but look forward to what life in Austria has in store for us!

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