I haven’t been very good lately at keeping the blog up to date with the exciting things that are happening. Since I blogged last I have been to Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich. The past month has been a whirlwind!
A group of friends and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Vienna together for a weekend. We hopped on a train and arrived an hour later. I was nervous when we first booked the hostel because I have never stayed in one before. However, when we arrived there our room turned out being more fancy than some hotel rooms I have stayed in. So, that was definitely not my first “hostel experience.”
The next day (Valentines Day), we all woke up and made our way into the center of the city to find a bit of breakfast. On our way there we stumbled upon a street market where they were selling various local goods and giving away free donuts (!) for valentines day. People were selling everything you could ever need like homemade wines, cheeses, and local vegetables. But I was content walking around with my free donut and a cup of coffee.
After breakfast, we wandered around Vienna in search for the cathedral to meet up with friends. The problem is, every church in Vienna is massive and beautiful. We had to have stumbled upon five churches that day thinking they were the cathedral. We didn’t find the actual cathedral until later that night. The thing is though, when you are traveling in a new city, you might have a end destination in sight but the thrill and adventure of traveling comes from getting lost and enjoying the journey.
Wandering around, we found the main shopping strip of the city. On one end of the street was the typical college girl stores like H&M and Forever 21 and on the other side was Prada, Dior, Swarovski, etc. There was also, much to my delight, a fancy Starbucks. (Living up to the stereotype of 20 year old college girl)
Our little group kept walking and walking and eventually stepped into the beautiful square. The National Library was on the right. The History Museum was ahead of us and large gardens and statues were directly to our left. We had the pleasure to listen to a man playing the harp right in the middle of the square and I was especially excited to meet dozens of dogs (and their owners).
We were still searching for the Cathedral to meet up with our friends so we just followed our gut and walked toward a nearby steeple. However, the church we found was just a church no matter how magnificent it was. We kept going and walked into a festival with ice skating and food stands serving waffles, crepes, schnitzel, and any other delicious thing you could think of. There is a ride there that takes you high into the sky for a 365 degree view of Vienna for the small price of 7 euro. The views from up there were amazing.
We finally found our friends at a local pub enjoying some tall beers and all together from there we walked toward the city center again where the shopping was. They finally took us to the famous and elusive St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It is even larger than any cathedral I have ever seen. Like holy wow.
The next day, we hopped on the tram and visited the royal palace. The grounds are expansive and palace is straight out of a fairytale. I can’t wait to go back in the summer so I can see the grounds and gardens in full bloom. The palace is now home to famous art from all over the world. Upstairs was more contemporary art and on the ground level is the paintings from the medieval times when the castle was first built. The whole area was breathtaking. After we explored the castle, we were all exhausted from a weekend of walking and sight seeing. We took the train back home and slept like babies.