Radiating Sunshine: A Weekend in Vienna

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Weekend in Vienna

View from our hotel room <3
I spent this past weekend in Vienna, Austria! I had always wanted to travel to Vienna, ever since I watched 'The Sound of Music' and the classy Baroness Schraeder was from there. Anyways, Vienna definitely lived up to my expectations. It was no Salzburg that is for sure...Vienna was huge and I'm proud to say that it only took me the three and a half days I spent there to master their einbahn (train/subway) system.

I think one of my favorite parts of the city was the architecture. All of the buildings I saw were just beyond beautiful. Even their department stores looked wonderfully designed, they had this immaculate three story forever 21 and I was basically in love. The building you see below is the Hofburg, where the Imperial Palace is located. And yes, the sky did look that picture perfect.

On Friday morning (in Salzburg), we all woke up early and bused it to the train station. We took a Westbahn train to Vienna, Austria and that was probably one of the best travel experiences of my life. Not only were the seats really comfortable but, we got wifi and there was a free bathroom. So, what is not to love? I was telling Noelle that if they had a train like this that could take me back to MD I wouldn't be mad.

After we arrived and got settled in Vienna, we just explored the streets! Then, a few of us went to wait in line to get tickets for the Vienna State Opera. After waiting in line for about 3 hours we got our awesome standing room tickets for only 4 euros! We were the first people in line so we were guaranteed front row standing space.

Grettl Brenna and I at the opera!
The opera we saw was Mozart's Magic Flute! I actually loved the opera. It was in German but, they had a little machine that translated everything into English which was beyond helpful. If you haven't seen the Magic Flute it is definitely worth your time. It is a nice little story about finding love and the hero rescuing his true love... very cliche but, very cute! It also had some Freemasons imagery in the opera which, was really cool.

During intermission we got delicious champagne and small hors 'dourvres. The champagne was right on point and although I don't usually spend 6 euros on a drink, this one was worth it! Like I want to drink that champagne at my wedding, that's how much I loved it!
My favorite hors d'œuvre was the brie and blueberry bite on the far right! 
Seeing the opera was probably one of my favorite parts of my trip to Vienna... there was only one issue! Although standing room was cheap and 'glamorous', my feet hurt so bad I thought they were going to fall off. I wore flats and I was still miserable. I think it was a combination of all the walking and the standing, but by the time the opera was over I just plopped down on the floor.

Later that night Noelle and I had made plans to just stay in and rest our feet but, then we suddenly found ourselves all done up and headed out to a club. Our feet already hurt but, the dancing was worth it. We found one dance floor that played a mix of English/ German music and we majorly jammed! The club had a deal that if you paid 13 euro you got into the club and got a 20 euro voucher for drinks. Some parts of the night were really sketchy but, I'm really glad I went. I don't know if I would ever go back to a club like that (not really my scene) but, I'm glad I had the experience!
First jägerbomb... not the biggest fan, but at least I tried it!
On Saturday, we toured the Imperial Palace. We saw all the silverware that the Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Sisi owned. Let me just say, there were four huge rooms full of silverware. They had plates for every occasion and just the amount of detail on these items was marvelous. Kind of made me wish I could be invited to one of their dinner parties!

After touring the silverware chambers (i'm sure they had a more luxurious title, I just can't remember it) we went upstairs to the Imperial Palace's apartments. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures so, I can't show you the beauty of these living quarters. We listened to a little headset that explained each exhibit in English. I have to say the Empress' dresses and bedroom were probably my favorite exhibits to look at. I also enjoyed the random chairs they had placed throughout the walking tour... my technique was to sit at one and listen to 5 of the exhibit clips while resting my feet. 

After touring the Imperial Palace, me and some girls went outside to find somewhere to eat and discovered it was raining. We had no raincoats so, we just sprinted through the rain. Everyone says you always get more wet if you run through the rain, but walking through the rain is just awful... so, I'm forever going to run regardless of whether you get more wet or not! The sun finally came out and when it did we found the cutest little pub to eat at. 

It was literally a hole in the wall restaurant but, it was so cute inside and the food was so yummy! I decided to be a little wild and try something new! So, instead of getting schnitzel which, is always an easy go-to meal option; I got garlic and cream soup. The soup came with little croutons and bacon in it! All of the soups I have tried over here have been amazing and I'm definitely gonna write a post later this week that strictly covers what I eat over here (disclosure: my body rejects meat now and I will do anything for an egg sandwich)

On Saturday night we headed over to Prater, this amusement park in Vienna. It was the cutest little place and apparently was built on the old imperial hunting grounds. We just walked around and some of us went on some rides. There was this one ride called the Black Mamba and it was this spinning-up-and-down crazy 4 minute wild adventure that was definitely worth the 5 euro we spent to ride it. 

Now, if I were to write in every recap when I had gelato you would basically be reading a post that went blah, blah, gelato, blah, blah, gelato, gelato, blah, gelato, blah so I decided I would just mention here that I had gelato several times in Vienna! I think my favorite flavor of gelato thus far on the entire trip has been the Cookies flavor. I can't really relate it back to anything in the USA but, it is so delicious... I think vanilla or strawberry would tie for second!

On Sunday I went to mass at the Cathedral. The whole mass was very traditional and I couldn't understand one part of it! It is so interesting to me how they do masses differently over here. After mass, we got lost trying to find the Secession Art exhibit, which was quite the experience. We were so confident in the direction we chose and then finally when our confidence started to dwindle we asked a police officer who basically said we walked in the wrong direction. 

We finally found the Secession Art Exhibit and it was really cool to see some modern art that depicted one of Mozart's Symphonies. I must admit that I'm not the biggest modern art fan. I think it is really cool and I totally appreciate it but, I have seen far too many naked women frescoes for my liking. One thing I thought that was really awesome was at the end, the piece depicted that a human finds joy in someone else... so, we as humans find happiness through others!

This is the view from the famous Viennese Ferris Wheel! We got to watch the sunset from the top and it was just one of those moments that I wish I could have captured and stayed in for forever! 

Things not pictured from the trip:
- the scrambled eggs I managed to get my hands on for breakfast
- watching several World Cup games at different bars
- all of the goodies I consumed while on a Cafe Crawl
- the delicious Melon Mint mixed drink I had at a bar
- sleeping in several public places like the line for the opera

I feel like I did so much while in Vienna! I was only there for three and a half days and as I wrote this post I had such a hard time remembering what I did and when I did it! Vienna was beautiful but, I was ready to go home to Salzburg. I'm definitely a Salzburger at heart... well, also an American girl at heart too!!

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