When in Vienna, SCHNITZEL IT UP!
The days are flying by and I feel like there is still so much to see, so much to do! I’ll be walking on my way home from class and just want to go down streets I’ve never been to and see places I’ve never seen. So I end up getting distracted but it leads to new discoveries about Prague! I go to class during the week and by the weekend I’m in a different country. It is all so overwhelming but definitely a great experience. I was able to start off my travels to other parts of Europe by spending the weekend in Vienna, Austria!
It’s crazy that I was even able to go to Vienna because I woke up an hour late with only a half an hour before my bus was scheduled to leave. Fortunately, I packed the night before! So I ran the whole way from my dorm to the tram and then to the metro to the bus station. Ultimately, I was so scared that I would miss my bus and that I wouldn’t even have the chance to get there! It was exhilarating and I was definitely lucky. I made it right on time!
So VIENNA!!! I didn’t know what to expect when I got there but it was a beautiful and romantic city. It reminded me of the kind of place where you could fall in love. There are Romanesque statues EVERYWHERE, scattered all over the city and sometimes all over the tops of buildings. It seems like a newer city than Prague but equally as stunning. My mom would always sing “Vienna” by Billy Joel and tell me “Alyssa, Vienna waits for you!” And I would just roll my eyes. But, Vienna did wait for me! I never thought I would actually be here!
One of the many statues at Schonbrunn Palace
I went with a group with three other people and we didn’t have anything planned on our first day. We kind of aimlessly walked around the city, figuring out where the touristy parts were, going with the flow of the massive herds of people. However, later that night when we went to try some authentic Austrian schnitzel (a deep fried pork cutlet), and we met a woman who was visiting Vienna on a business trip. She sat at our table. (This is another unique characteristic of European dinning; if there are places at your table and there’s nowhere else for someone to sit, they will be placed with your group at the same table) It turned out to be an enlightening experience because she had visited Vienna for 10 years in a row on business and told us the places we absolutely must go! So the next day, we followed her direction and made it to Schönbrunn Palace, the imperials summer home. This was my favorite place in Vienna. The palace was so massive; it has vast gardens, statues everywhere, a labyrinth and there was even a zoo in the backyard. We climbed up a hill to the Gloriette, where we could see the city of Vienna below.
Janet and I at the Schonbrunn Palace Gardens with the Gloriette in the background
Thankfully we met her or we would have missed some great places. That is what traveling opens you up to; meeting new people, learning from them and then taking their knowledge to fulfill your own journey.
Another highlight of this trip was coming across the “Vienna Ice Dream”, a place where people hang out, ice skate, and get some food from the local vendors. We happened to have come across it when we were taking the tram around the city. It was a cool place to mix with the locals and just have a fun time. “Vienna” by Billy Joel even played and it just seemed like a magical moment with watching everyone skating around and enjoying themselves.
The Vienna Ice Dream Building
Eating the famous Viennese dessert, Sachetorte (a chocolate cake with apricot jam and dark chocolate icing)
It was a great first trip outside of Prague, we ate so much cake and schnitzel until we almost exploded, met a great woman, and immersed ourselves into the Viennese culture! Every chance we got, we schnitzeled it up!! Tonight, I head to Poland for the weekend! I can’t wait for even more adventures!