02.12.2011 - 03.12.2011
Day 1: Dec. 2
My last and final trip began on December 2nd. I had a 4:30 flight out of Barcelona to Vienna, Austria. I had already been to Vienna once about four years ago, but I was really excited to go back because Austria was my favorite country the last time. Once in Vienna, we had to do quite the navigating in order to find out hostel. We got off at the airport and then had to take the train to the metro station. We then got on the metro to the end of the line where we had to find the bus stop and wait for the bus that would bring us to our hostel. While we were on the metro, a really nice guy stopped to help us because we were all so confused and unsure of where we were going, so he helped us and without him it would have been very difficult to find our bus stop. We finally made it to the bus stop and hopped on the 46B. We asked the driver (who spoke no English) where the stop was (in our failed attempt at reading German). All he could do was laugh at us. We made it to the top of the hill, got off the bus and right in front of us was this huge palace hotel. It had to have been a four or five star hotel. Unfortunately, we were not staying there and our hostel was a little further down the road. It was sooo cute and there was a little layer of snow on all the trees and lining the path to the hostel. I was able to touch Austrian snow for the first time!! The hostel looked like a typical Austrian building and was really cute. I was traveling with three other girls so we were able to split a four bed room, which worked out great. We were in the middle of nowhere Vienna, but I loved it!!
After settling in our room, we were all really hungry and needed a place to eat. It was already 10:00 at this point and the center of the city was a good 20-30 minutes away by public transportation so we were a little nervous we wouldn’t find anything in the boonies of Vienna. We asked the front desk where we should go and he told us that 200m down the road was a little beer garden. Perfect. We walked down a completely deserted road (don’t worry mom, it was safe and there were four of us, and I am still living). After about a two minute walk, we ended up at this big yellow house. This was where we were eating. It was all lit up and so cute! We walked in and as if it was not already amazing from the outside, the inside was even better. It had really low lighting and there were candles on every table with Christmas trees and berries. It was awesome. For dinner, we split some Austrian wine and I got Wiener Snitzel!!! I got a wiener snitzel that was a bunch of little ones cut up. I must have gotten at least 24 of them, needless to say I was handing them out to my friends like a crazy person because there were so many. It was so delicious and I forgot how much I liked wiener snitzel from the last time I was in Austria. Then for dessert, my friend and I split a cream strudel drizzled in warm vanilla sauce. Indescribable. It was delicious. We ended up sitting at the restaurant for a little while because we were all obsessed with it, but then we were finally kicked out and went back to our hostel to prepare for the next day in the city!
Day 2: Dec. 3
On Saturday we woke up pretty early so that we could have a full day in the city, and because breakfast was only free until 9am. After breakfast, two of my friends and I made our way over to Schonbrunn Palace. This palace is absolutely huge!!! It is a large, stark yellow palace (preference of the queen at the time it was being built). In front of the palace during December is a Christmas market (I literally must have gone to about 12 Christmas markets during my week vacation, Christmas market galore, I am lucky I didn’t spend more money than I did at them because everything was sooo cool!). We ended up having to wait an hour and a half to get in so we spent some time at the Christmas market. I got lunch there, I am not sure what it was but it was some sort of pasta that was almost like gnocchi and had onions and potatoes, sort of a mac and cheese type deal... (I could be so wrong) but either way, it was really tasty. Once we were able to get inside it was awesome. All the rooms were decorated so nicely and we were able to get an audio guide so we knew what we were looking at. One of the rooms was where Mozart gave his first concert at the age of six! Then there was another room where JFK had met with other famous leaders. The rooms were so ornately designed and it was really cool!
After leaving the palace we met up with our other friend who wanted to go to some of the museums that morning. We went to a section called Belvedere. There was another Christmas market here! I got some roasted nuts, that were covered with brown sugar, I am guessing. I got pecans and almonds, they were really good! I also tried some of the “punch.” All the stalls were selling this drink so I figured that I might as well try some because I am all about trying the local cuisine. I HATED IT. It was disgusting. I got a caramel punch. I did not find out until later that it was a hard cider with whiskey! Dis-gust-ing!. I tried really hard to drink some of it in hopes that I would eventually end up liking it because I paid about $7 for it, but it just wasn’t worth my agony so I handed the cup back pretty much completely full (I had to return the mug it was in because they serve you in real ceramic mugs, you pay a deposit and when you return the cup you get the deposit back). When we were at the market it started to rain and it was already pretty chilly so we decided to head to a museum. We went to the Wein (Vienna) Museum. I am not much of a museum person, so after about 20 minutes I was playing games, such as make a maze out of the collections and see how many ways you can go through it (yes, I am a child, but it was kind of boring!).
After the museum we took the U-Bahn (metro in Austria) to St. Stevensplatz. This is where the Cathedral of the city is located. It was a really nice church and very very big. It was night time so I wasn’t able to get a great look at it. We also went inside. The inside was really dark and kind of hard to see, but it was still spectacular! We then headed to dinner, we were going to try to go to “the best restaurant for wiener snitzel” but the line was over an hour long, so we decided to head back to where the hostel was and try a different restaurant that we had seen the night before. What a great choice that was! I got goat cheese wrapped in bacon on a salad with balsamic dressing. It was soooo good! I never wanted it to end. I also got the house beer, which I thought was cool because Austria is supposed to have good beer and I was able to order one at an authentic Austrian Beer Garden. For dessert, I obviously got apple strudel. Nothing more needs to be said about the dessert, Austrian apple strudel. Done.
We then headed back to our hostel and my friend Kaitlyn and I got ready for our big day trip to Salzburg to go on the Sound of Music tour!