Vienna Waits for You

Last weekend we all went to Vienna! Then we had midterms all week, which is why I’m just now posting this. We had to meet at the bus stop (a 20 minute walk from our dorm) at 7:45 Friday morning. Needless to say, we were all zombies. After three hours we pulled up right in front of the Rathaus (city hall) and walked to our hotel to drop off our stuff. We then went on a city tour and saw all sorts of churches, government buildings and historical sites. I had no idea how gorgeous Vienna is! Every single building, no matter the purpose, was intricately constructed. At the end of the tour we walked down Mariahilfer Strasse, aka the Rodeo Drive of Vienna, and window shopped. Unfortunately our $180 monthly food budget can’t buy anything in Chanel. After the tour we got gelato. I got cookies and coconut (I have recently developed a coconut obsession) and it was delicious. It was 65 and sunny, so we sat on a bench in the sun and people watched. Later that night we went to the Naschmarkt, a famous outdoor market that sells anything and everything. They even had a store called Käse Land (cheese land). We had sausages for dinner and were serenaded by a band of street performers. They were actually really good so we gave them a few Euros. In Salzburg we pretty much only have bars, so we were excited to check out Vienna’s clubs. We ended up going to a club in this amusement park called Prater, where we had actually gone earlier that day. We showed up before midnight so not only did we get in for free, but we also each got a card pre-loaded with 15 Euros. The club was huge! It was four stories and had so many different dance floors. We didn’t even discover one huge section of the club until after we were there for an hour. We had some drinks, danced, and then saw there was a pizza stand in the club! So naturally, we had to get some. At 4 am we decided it was time to go home. Europe is awesome because the subway pretty much runs 24/7 so you never have to worry about rushing to catch it. 

ImageA pretty building whose significance I don’t remember.Image

Once again, pretty but significance not known.

The next morning we had a tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (the Fine Arts Museum) at 10:45. I strongly dislike art and museums, so it wasn’t exactly the highlight of my day. To clear things up and prevent art fanatics from coming to murder me, I appreciate art, I just don’t like it. When I look at a painting I think wow that artist was really talented, I definitely could not have done that. But that’s it. One thing I did really enjoy was the Faberge Egg exhibit. All the eggs were exquisite, but my favorite piece was a fan set with gold and diamonds. I considered sneaking a picture but there were security guards in every corner just waiting to bust someone and I didn’t want to be that person. After the tour (finally) ended we were in dire need of a nap, so we went back to the hotel and relaxed (ate chocolate) for a bit (three hours). I had made plans to go to the opera so I needed to buy something to wear. It was pouring rain and freezing but fortunately we found shelter in H&M. I bought a dress and then realized I wouldn’t make it back in time to meet my friends and go to the opera. I was bummed, but I figured I would be back in Vienna soon enough and could go then. With even more time on our hands, we went to Vapiano for dinner. Even though it’s an international chain, I’d never had it before. I got pasta with chicken in an orange-chilli sauce. It was so good! Later that night we met up with my exchange student from high school and her friend for drinks. It was so weird seeing them grown up! It was really nice catching up on the past five years.

ImageThe Kunsthistorisches Museum

Image

In my opinion, this was better than all the paintings.

Image

Selfies in the museum because boredom.

Image

I actually liked this one enough to take a picture.

Image

The Roman section!

Image

All grown up!

We had to meet in the lobby Sunday morning at 7:45. We were all a little frustrated with AIFS for coming up with such an early meeting time, especially after most of us went out Saturday night, but what can you do. We went to Schloss Schoenbrunn, where the Habsburg family spent their summers. It was stunningly ornate. Once again, we weren’t allowed to take pictures but this time I snuck a few in. Europe has turned me into a real rebel! We braved the weather (it was insanely windy and cold) and walked through the gardens. I almost blew away, but I got some good pictures so it was worth it. We then all piled back into the bus and headed towards our next destination: Stift Melk Abbey. It’s the strangest name, I know. Stift Melk is the town and Abbey is the monastery. It was an odd mix of modern and historic that still continues to baffle me, but it was cool. They have the most beautiful church I have ever seen. It looks like it was dipped in gold. Pictures don’t do it justice. We finally made it back to Salzburg at 5:30 after stopping at Burger King for dinner (don’t get me started) and studied for midterms. PS: study abroad midterms are immensely easier than midterms back home.

Image Schloss Schoenbrunn and Alex photobombing

Image

I’m so sneaky!

Image

Where the security guards at?

Image

Image

Image

Stift Melk

Image

Solid gold cup. I’ll take it.

Image

ImageImage

All gold errything.

 Image

Advertisements

You do want traveler’s insurance

“Would you like to pay 15 Euro extra for traveler’s insurance?”

No way, I’d rather save 15 Euro! That’s just a waste of money!

WRONG. 

Well, at least when it comes to Ryan Air. We haven’t even gone on the trip yet and I’m already regretting not getting insurance. We recently booked a weekend trip to Ireland and set the return flight for Tuesday morning without realizing Michelle has class Monday night. We booked the flights together under one card to make it easier, or so we thought. Once we realized we have to change Michelle’s flight I went to the Ryan Air website, clicked ‘Change my Flight’ and learned that you can’t change individual flights online, you have to call in. Okay, so this is automatically annoying but it was my only option. The next day I had time in between class so I pulled up all the flight info and tried to call the number listed on the website. The call ended without even ringing. I decided to try the German-speaking number, hoping I could manage to get my point across. An automated message told me the number is not in use. Great. I headed back to the Ryan Air website and chatted with an agent who told me that the only way to change one flight is to call, and then ended the chat before I could ask him about the obsolete phone numbers. I then found out that if we had purchased traveler’s insurance we could have changed individual flights. If I’m already regretting not buying it, I can only imagine my thoughts after the trip. The buyer’s regret will be real. 

Next time I know: Just buy it. 

Food Friday: L’Osteria

Normally I’m not a huge fan of Italian food but the second day I was in Salzburg I discovered this Italian restaurant down the road named L’Osteria and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I’ve already been four times and I haven’t even been here a month. It’s just too good. So far I’ve had their pasta, pizza, and salad and the pizza is hands down my favorite. Probably because it’s the best deal. For a giant (see picture below) Margherita pizza it’s only 6.50 Euros! One pizza is easily big enough for two people to share. I almost forgot to mention that they give you bread and tap water FOR FREE. If you’ve ever been to Europe you know this is pretty much unheard of. They don’t give you bread plates or butter so you just have to eat your bread dry with your hands, but it’s free so you can’t be picky.

Tonight I decided to treat myself for making through the second week of real classes (my German professor Eva is the hardest and most particular professor I’ve ever had. We have to write our essays every other line and leave a 5 cm column next to the right margin so she can butcher our papers with corrections.) so I ordered a Mojito and a Margherita pizza. It was the first Mojito I’d ever had and it was delicious! I barely made a dent in my pizza but that just means more for tomorrow!

Oh and as if L’Osteria couldn’t get any better, they have the hottest waiters.

Image

Image

Forget about those tiny European Cafes you pretend to enjoy.

Image

 Mmmmmmmojito

Image

Texas-sized pizza heaven.