Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Vienna Waits for You

Hello again!

This past weekend I traveled with my friends to Vienna, Austria. The trip was pretty last minute, but the price of the bus/hostel were so affordable that we just had to go. We decided to only stay one night, so in order to make the most of our 48 hours in Vienna we took a 5 am bus there Friday morning and an 11 pm bus back Saturday night. The bus we took was actually super nice (company: Student Agency) so it was overall a pretty easy trip (they even gave us free hot chocolate so i was sold).

Our first stop was Belvedere. I'm pretty proud of us because we were able to figure out the public transportation there right away and took subways and trams the whole weekend. The Belvedere Palace has a massive Klimpt collection, so we got to see "The Kiss" (although we weren't allowed photos) along with some other artists influenced by Klimpt's work. The grounds there are also incredibly beautiful, so we spent a while just walking around and taking pictures. Also, my friends Tara and Isabel were filming a music video for the song "Vienna" by Billy Joel while we were there, which was absolutely hilarious. 

After Belvedere, we took the tram to the Naturhistorisches Museum (natural history museum) and ate some amazing cake in the cafe there. We spent a while wondering through the rock collection, and we also saw the Venus of Willendorf, which is one of the oldest pieces of art ever discovered. We were starving at this point, and we ended up eating at a Viennese pub called Bitzinger Augustinerkeller. My friends ordered traditional dishes like schnitzel and goulash, but being the picky eater I am I just had chicken and potatoes as usual. 

We were pretty much passing out from exhaustion at this point, so we went from dinner straight to our hostel, the Do Step Inn. I was so pleasantly surprised by this hostel. It was incredibly cheap, and we had our own private room and bathroom. The beds were nice and they gave us all the linens and towels and such, and the whole experience was way better than most hostel stories I've head. I wish this place existed in all cities! (oh and the room had exposed brick, every New Yorker's dream!)

After finding a small cafe to eat breakfast in on Saturday, we went to the Shonbrunn Palace, which is absolutely massive. There are a ton of things to do there, but we walked through the gardens and decided to go to the zoo there, which is the oldest zoo in the world. We made sure to see all of our favorite animals, and then Tara, Avi, and Isabel went to go see an apple strudel making demonstration in the palace while Cass and I planned (or failed to plan) dinner. 

We went from the palace back to the area of the natural history museum and bought some postcards and souvenirs, and we also saw a protest taking place to support the Kurdish people in Turkey. We couldn't understand what they were saying, but the protest was pretty large and caused a lot of commotion. We then tried to go to a dinner place close to where the bus was picking us up later that night, but we failed to find it and ended up in a diner-ish place inside some sort of theme park, which was really unexpected. 

We were worried about the closing of the subways, so we took the subway from dinner straight to the bus stop and ended up getting there two hours early. Everything closed very early there, so there was no where inside to go and we ended up sitting outside at the bus stop for around 2 hours. By the end, our entire bodies had gone numb from the cold, and I don't think I have ever been so happy to get inside when the bus finally pulled up. We were all going crazy trying to do jumping jacks and run laps around the station to keep warm, so we probably looked nuts to any passing cars. We all slept on the bus ride home, and got back to our dorm around 4 am on Sunday morning (and then proceeded to literally sleep the entire day).

And that was my trip to Vienna! I hope I can continue to document all my other trips like this so I can look back on them in the future. Thanks for reading :)

xo, Sophie

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