In my post before, I described my train ride to Vienna. After we got off the train the morning got a lot easier. Our hostel was only about 4 blocks away from the train station, which was nice after a difficult night train. We got there and the staff was really nice and we were able to lock up our stuff and use the bathroom to freshen up before heading out for the day. Afterwards we found the Austrian version of Aldi, got breakfast, and then we ate it at a neighborhood park. By the way the weather was absolutely beautiful compared to Berlin (you could say we were in heaven) :)
We then walked to the train station and took a train to Michaelerplatz which is almost the city center (a famous city square).
This is also the place where we could see the Vienna imperial palace. I really wanted to see the Imperial Apartments and K accepted. We paid for the Imperial apartment museum but accidently saw the Sisi museum as well (went more in depth into the life of Empress Elisabeth). Half way through the Sisi Musuem I began to tag along with a talking English guided tour and followed them until almost all the way through the Imperial Apartments until they went too fast for me. In doing this I lost K for most of the museum and we needed to find each other at the end, which was unusual because we are used to just being able to just text each other where we are. This would be the first of many similar incidents.
When we were finished with the museum we decided to walk a ways and came upon the museum quarter, but we weren't prepared to do any more museums. We did sit on the grass and eat lunch while planning the different things that we wanted to do in Vienna.
Around 1 we decided to go back to the hostel to see if our room was ready, and it was!! We showered rested and then headed back out into the city.
Outside our room
We went to Stadtpark. We walked around and took pictures, just taking in the incredible architecture. We then sat down on a bench and decided where we would go to eat and how to get there.
We chose to go to Amerlingbeisl, which would be our first sit down restaurant of the entire trip.
This restaurant featured authentic Austian food in a very cozy outdoor courtyard.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
When we were finished we were going to head back to the hostel, but we stumbled upon a rose garden during the beautiful golden evening light and decided to take pictures and just people watch. This included a man swimming in a fountain (needing to be taken out by the police), new engagement photos, and baby ducks.
Again how much I love Vienna
Then after our really successful long day we headed back to the hostel, where I planned my visit to the Vienna Spanish riding school for the next day.
Originally, K and I planned that we would each go our own ways in the morning, but I was afraid I would get lost and so K was gracious enough to come with me to find the box office (which proved to be difficult). I then had an hour before I was allowed to go into the early morning exercise and we went in search of breakfast. We ate it and then I rushed off to my morning of horses, while K went to experience the Sigmund Freud museum. I absolutely loved every second of the early morning exercise and I was lucky enough to get a 1st floor seat after an hour of sitting upstairs, which was nice because of the better view.
After I was finished, I had planned to meet K in Michaelerplatz, but we had some miscommunication and had some trouble finding each other but did so in the end. I was not without things to do though. I asked a couple if they wanted me to take their picture together and we got to talking (fellow Americans--they were from Cincinnati, Ohio). They had gotten married 6 weeks ago and were on their honeymoon. We talked about the Imperial Apartments and my suggestions (get the audio tour as the plaques had not been enough information). Where they were staying, where they would be traveling to and from, college and degree and where I was going afterwards (Americorps in Leavenworth Washington [the husband actually knew where it was]). They apparently have a niece in Americorps working in Washington (too bad I didn't get contact info). Either way after I saw them off, K showed up not long after and we got lunch. We had a picnic in the rose garden, it was nice to discuss our different things and day. We peopled watched and talked in the park until I had to go to my guided tour of the Spanish Riding School at 4pm.
I am so glad that I splurged on the guided tour because it was really interesting and informative as well as getting the chance to get up close and personal with the behind the scenes stuff and seeing the horses (we weren't allowed to take pictures or touch the horses, but still seeing them and just being in their presence was more then enough).
On my tour I met a girl from Canada and we hit it off, it was really nice to have someone to talk to before the tour, during the tour etc, I wish that we could have done more together, but alas. K and I found each other more easily this time. While I was in my guided tour K went to the Vienna opera house and took pictures, and tried to get inside (apparently it was difficult to find access). Apparently the guided tour was difficult to find as well. He then went to the film museum, but it was just playing movies and whatnot. The theater museum was right next to the film, but it was also confusing to maneuver as well. We sat down and decided what we should do, but a lot of the things that we wanted to do were about to close. We opted to go back to the hostel and look at things for Florence.
This was the day of our night train, but we would not be leaving until 9pm. We had a full day a head of us. We decided to do some gardens. The first that we went to was Belvedere, which was the Winter Residence for Imperial family.
My new house.
I was wearing my chacos and so I was getting a lot of gravel stuck under my feet which was the only unfortunate fact about this trip. We opted not to go to the museums because we thought that it would take too much time from our day and we had other places that we wanted to go. Honestly, it would have needed an entire day if not more to give it justice.
When we left Belvedere, we got some picnic stuff and then headed to Schnbrunn, the Summer Residence of the Imperial family. As soon as we walked in we knew that this garden was going to be different, the walk up to the main building was a stretch. On our way to the side garden to find a place to sit, we saw a wedding party taking pictures and we stopped to gaze at them (alright alright, mostly me ;) ). I thought it was so cool that they were taking pictures at palace (the bride really did look like a princess in a huge poofy dress, and the flower girl [ I assume ] was wearing a huge poofy dress too, that wuld make alla little girls feel like princesses). Anyways, off of the bridal tirade, we found a private garden to sit and eat at. We sat on a bench that overlooked a pond or fountain at began to eat. And then it began to rain and we thought it would pass, but it was getting worse and worse. We opted to run and find shelter underneath a tiny pavilion (we were not the only ones). We finished our meal under there and by that time the rain had slowed. We continued on and as we rounded the corner of the side of the house we had been on ( now at the back side of the house--building ) we saw a huge land spread before us.
I don't have a good picture from where we stand on my phone, but I have one from a different direction that will hopefully give it justice.
We walked around and took pictures (as per usual :) ). There was this huge fountain that we gazed at for a time and then realized that people were taking pictures underneath it and we decided to see what that was all about.
We walked up and took pictures . Directly behind the fountain was a huge hill that you could climb to see the views and a building (which I thought was the guest house, but it was kind of a monument type thing [no rooms, just airy]).
We climbed up the hill, which was a nice little hike that we were not expecting, but was really cool and very rewarding!
I got a chance to break in my chacos even more and see them in a terrain setting, which was nice. Unfortunately between getting gravel stuck under my feel and the hike, I got more blisters :( . There was an option to pay to go to the top of the building, but we were satisfied with the view that we had gotten from our hike, wouldn't you agree it was still pretty cool!
We finished the garden and hill (we didn't even see half of the entire garden [too large]. Once again we did not go into the musuem, because it would be closing in a couple of hours and we did not think that was enough time to give it justice. Also, I wanted to see the Spanish Riding School Horses from the courtyard that their stable surrounds. They have the option to stick their heads out of their stalls and into the courtyard. I had not been able to do it the day before because all day the courtyard was being prepared for a party that was going to happen on later that night. We went back to Michealplatz and found the courtyard, but it was still being taken down from the party. Though, I was able to get closer to it then I had the day before, and so I used my camera to zoom in the horses. Those cutie pies ;) . As we came back there was a rally occurring and so a lot of police were surrounding Michaelerplatz which was slightly concerning, just by the sheer amount of police people around and the amout of sirens and screaming cars driving through. We found some post cards and decided to go back to the hostel, I couldn't bare my shoes another moment. :( . Back at the hostel we cleaned up for the train ride, I downloaded the Vienna pictures (sooo many), wrote postcards, and waiting until 8ish to head over to the train station.
We got dinner at the train station and got on our train and headed towards our final destination--Venice. I will tell you about the train ride in a different post, because this one is already so long. I will say a lot better then the one from Berlin to Vienna. Anyways, we made it to Venice and today are planning on getting lost in the canals! :) Until next time.