I took the train to Vienna and arrived without any hiccups, although I had an interesting time checking into my hostel. Turns out they had recently expanded, but didn’t have enough space to add rooms where they were, so they bought another building a block away. So I had to check in and then go around the block to my room. I’d never had anything like that happen before, but I figured it was a good sign that businesses is so good that they could expand. The hostel was nice and there were only 8 people in my room. I had already booked a room for Munich and knew that I would have 40 people in my room there, so I was definitely going to enjoy the calm before the storm. I had a kitchen in my room, but there was no fridge, no microwave, and the oven didn’t work, so I’m not really sure what the point of it was. But the showers were really nice and clean, which was more than I’d had in awhile, so I was grateful for that.
After getting settled in the hostel I went to a big street market and bought cashews, dried apricots and cranberries and some cherries. I absolutely love the street markets in Europe and the mentality of buying food every couple days instead of once or twice a month. They also have small portions in the store so you don’t have to buy big boxes that you can’t possible eat, especially as a single person or solo traveler. It’s fantastic and it made me wish that we had picked up on this in the States. I started to think that my eating and shopping habits would definitely be different when I returned home, especially after living in Madrid for a year.
I was surprised to find such amazing sweets in Austria, especially Mozartkugeln. You always hear about the amazing chocolate in Belgium and Switzerland, but I determined this mixture of marzipan, nougat and chocolate could give both of those countries a run for their money.
After visiting the street market, I spent the rest of my days walking around the city and seeing all that Vienna had to offer. I stopped by Hofburg Imperial Palace and the Hofburg Church. I thought it was particularly interesting how they managed to preserve archaeological ruins in the middle of the city.
I also visited the Butterfly exhibit, which made me a little sad, because it made me think of my sister, Katie. She loves butterflies which is really the only reason I went. I wanted to tell her all about it and have some great pictures to show her afterwards. I did really enjoy walking through the exhibit, but it would have even more incredible to share it with her.
I stopped by the Globe Museum, which is the only museum of its kind in the world. It has terrestrial and celestial globes from over 5 centuries which made me think of my mom, who loves globes, so overall Vienna made me more than a little homesick, which is rare for me. Usually, I don’t miss my family much when I’m traveling. I’m not sure why, we’re very close, but I’m generally just so into what I’m doing and seeing that it’s not a big issue for me. I remember when I was younger it drove my parents crazy, but I guess it’s just one of those things that makes me a bit quirky.
Later I went to the St. Steven’s Chapel and walked up the 343 stairs to the top to overlook the city. I’d walked to the top of quite a few structures over the past few weeks and boy, was I surprised that I’d gotten in such good shape! I thought I was only about halfway up, and the next thing I knew I was at the top!
Inside the tower:
View from the top:
I spent my last day at the Schonbrunn Palace, which has one of the largest estates I’ve seen and reminded me quite a bit of Versailles, especially with the gardens.
Have you ever been to Vienna? What was your favorite part?
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