SO…I decided to finally post again to my blog after many many weeks of absence. Since I’m not being academically productive at the moment, I will take a break from reading the NYT and Funshion, and give some updates about the trips I’ve taken!
Last week, a wonderful and splendid trip to Austria with my friend J, whom I have known since 1st grade :) It was the first trip I’ve taken where I wasn’t exactly looking forward to coming back to CPH.
Wonderful weather! Gorgeous gardens! Spectacular scenery! Awesome travel partner! I’m running out of adjectives… but there’s no way I can describe how much I enjoyed this trip. It was a very smooth trip, we stayed in decent (one very good) hostels, and the beauty of the Alps really completed my trip. I’ve always wanted to see snow-capped mountains with lush green hills and deep blue lakes (that’s the image in conjure when I’m told to think of somewhere peaceful) and imagine my happiness when I sighted some on the train from Vienna to Salzburg. And we were just at the periphery of the alps—can’t wait for a return trip!
Vienna has always been at the top of my list of cities to visit and I’m so glad that it met my expectations and more. The people there are very friendly and so lucky to have beautiful palace gardens to stroll through each day. Too bad all the flowers hadn’t bloomed yet. Ahh. J and I still can’t believe a week ago we were in Germany looking at Watzmann mountain. Yes, we had time to pop into Bavaria Germany for a few hours :)
So, let’s let some reminiscing begin!
J and I spent our first 2 days in Vienna, then on Thursday we took a 3 hour train to Salzburg for one night, and returned to Vienna for one more night on Friday. I wouldn’t say we were very rushed, it was still satisfying and not overly tiring (I don’t have very good stamina), but more time (especially in Austria) is always better!
Day 1: Schonbrunn Palace-summer residence of the ruling Habsburg family.
J and I bought tickets for an audio tour of the inside—we saw rooms of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Elisabeth (who seems to be a very popular figure since there’s a museum named after her, etc) and also of Empress Maria Theresa (mother of Marie Antoinette). I really wanted to pick up a history book after this tour. I think we all tend to forget what a large and powerful empire Austria (and then Austria-Hungary) was (before WWI).
So you think this is the “front”? That’s what we thought..until we turned the corner…
Yep, its ginormous and yellow. Expansive gardens on 3 sides (plus a zoo) and a hill overlooking the palace and Vienna with its own small “palace” - now a cafe. Once again, too bad the flowers weren’t in bloom! Notice the clear blue skies and lack of coat :)
Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Perhaps I will spam my blog later with more pictures of this palace. Did I mention J and I took about 2500 total pictures during our 5 day trip? =D
Okay, one more, view from top of the hill.
Just imagine it with swirly colorful flowers…like the picture posted in my previous post.
Our hostel, the Wombat at Naschmarkt, was beyond my wildest expectations for a hostel. More should be like this! Granted, it just opened a few weeks ago, but I heard the other ones are good as well. It was spacious, modern, VERY clean, great location, and had a lively character to it. There were always people hanging out in the lobby, they had helpful tourist information, even a bar. Oh, how I miss it.
There was also a market across the street from it:
The title of this post? When you think of Vienna, you think of classical music. And I really felt the presence of classical music while walking through the streets. How I wished they would blast some Mozart or Strauss in the pedestrian areas.
Apparently, I’m not the only tourist who felt that way, because there were lots of people trying to capitalize on this. Ticket peddlers dressed as… I don’t know…men from the 18th century?..would constantly approach us trying to sell us concert tickets. We realized we could haggle with them. But we weren’t able to get the prices down as low as we wanted…despite their “student discounts” and our awesome haggle skills.
Me “inquiring” about prices.
Saw the camera.
There would be many of them in front of the Opera House…
Main shopping street in Vienna:
I’ll try posting some more pics in a following post!