Saturday, 13 November 2010

Who could ask for more?

I spent my first week of travel break exploring Vienna, Budapest, and Prague with my roommates Clare Margaret and Sarah.
Friday night, Clare and i were so excited that we were ready to go hours before it was time. Margaret on the other hand, left off packing and eating until the last minutes :)
i fed her as she finished packing haha
wasting time at the airport waiting for our flight
once on board we could watch our flight progress
they gave us yummy bread with butter and chives :)
when we were over the ocean, the video screen told us what our view would be.... yeah...
blue screen = water  who knew?
when we got off it was in the middle of the tarmac and we had to be bused to the actual airport building
Tada! we were in VIENNA!!!!
our flight landed late at night at we found the right bus to our hostel.
as we were boarding the RUDEST lady sat down in the seat next to Margaret before Sarah could get there, and when Margaret said, 'um, sorry, we wanted to sit together," she just responded with "then you can do that in the back" and refused to get up. we were all shocked. finally Margaret asked her to move so she could get out and we found a seat in a different part of the bus. i still cannot understand what would cause someone to be that blatantly rude!
once at the train station we followed our printed direction to our hostel. they were a bit confusing and when we asked a store owner for help, another guy in the store said, oh, i know that, and wanted to show us the way there.
 at first we were like, OK, um thanks, but as he wanted to take us down a back alleyway we were not down to follow anymore. he was really insistent that his was the right way, but he could barely speak any English and we just did not like the idea of following him into a dark back street, so we said thanks and left to find it on our own. a few minutes later, we did! thank goodness!
check in, unpack and hit the sheets by 1230am
the next morning, after breakfast,  we realized that the way the man was trying to show us was a shortcut.
 but at night in the dark it just hadn't seemed like a good idea to follow him.
oh well, I'm still glad we followed our guts!
our first stop of the morning was to buy tickets to a Mozart Concert we had found online.
at the Opera House, we bought our tickets from guys dressed up in olden days clothing.
they were really friendly and gave us advice on what to do and see while we were in town
from there we headed to Brunnenmarkt, the 'everyday stuff' market in the city
 it was full of random toys, sweaters, cakes, veggies, lots of eggs, cheese, hats, flowers, and children's Vienna dresses
i was longer than some of the cars we passed!
after the market we were wandering and came across this random church. it was simple compared to some European churches but i thought is was beautiful.
from there we headed across town to Naschmarkt (a fancier market near lots of restaurants and cafes)
i got a fodleboller in a cone ( it looks like a dipped ice cream cone, but the top is really a yummy gooey marshmallow frosting type thing instead)
THESE ARE RAVIOLIS!! i wished so badly i was somewhere where i could make these because they looked fantastic! but i doubt they would have lasted well until the end of my travels. there were all kinds of fillings and flavors
and pretty cookies
here's something odd, a Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" movie poster without the Jonas brothers as the stars... its just Disney, milking all it can out of every storyline
next we headed up the main walking street in Vienna, called Karntner St
we checked out some souvenir shops,
secretly got Clare a special drink for her 21st bday
Austrian style  :)
a hole in the wall entrance turned out to be a very cute cute cafe on the second floor. Clare and i split french onion soup and Margaret and Sarah had pumpkin YUM!!! just thinking about it makes me hungry right now.
we also enjoyed wine and juice
and PIZZA!! (oh how i miss pizza!)
after lunch we hit the streets again to enjoy some street art
when we got to St Stephan's cathedral we decided we had to go all the way to the top!
step 300 and counting
the view of the city from the top was impressive!
carved into one of the walls were the initials "CJ" i thought of you Grandma! :)
 outside, there was a mini replica of the cathedral
Clare had fun chasing the pigeons :P
the horses wore hats!!
we wandered through the Hofburg Palace Gardens next
the FALL colors were so great!! 
past Marie Teresien Platz
and onto the Parliament buildings
even the LAMPPOSTS were covered in detailed decorations!
i made friends with a Griffin :P
the concert that night was a lot smaller than we'd expected, but the music was still beautiful.
the Wiener Residenzorchester performed a Mozart and Johann Strauss Konzert at the Palais Auersperg

after all that, we got back and figured out where we wanted to start in the morning then crashed pretty hard!
 after a stop at the train station to see about tickets to Budapest we trammed out to Schonbrunn Palace.

pretty huh?  we thought so too
around the side and through some gardens
BOOM! Cue jaws dropping!
WELCOME to the foot of Mount Olympus!
this was SOO much more than we were expecting! and the clouds converging around the top made the awesome scene even more compelling! i could not help but feel like at any moment a Greek God was going to descend from the sky right where we were! 
on the way to the top we got sidetracked playing in the leaves :)
visual senses overload :)
our next stop was the Cemetery... what better place to go on Halloween right?
there must have been something in the water here that makes people become musical geniuses because there we A LOT of composers buried here
food time :)
Italian again! at Casa Romana Pizzeria Ristorante
my gnocchi with white sauce and spinach was SOOO tasty and filling i could hardly finish it
Clare wanted to see Marie Teresa's tomb, but we didn't want to pay to get in, so after dropping her of at the entrance we enjoyed the Hofburg Palace Gardens some more
so many fall colors!
she looked so tired and small sitting there waiting for us to come pick her up. hahaha
yes, this is a real sign in the subway station... quite a word huh?
 passes Karlskirche Church
 a memorial to Soviets during WW2
 the middle window is my bedroom!
and back to the Hostel! (the Wambat Base haha)

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