Long time no talk! It seems like I’ve been gone for months instead of weeks. Time moves slower in Europe to me, anyone else? I had the most wonderful time traveling and I wanted to give you guys the highlights of our trip before I start my last, first-day of school!
If you followed along on Instastories you probably have seen a lot of this. My sister Kate and I flew out of LAX together to head to Vienna, Austria, a place we have both wanted to see for many years. My dad’s side of the family is from Graz, Austria, so we wanted to see a little bit of our family history. There we stayed in an air bnb right in the heart of the first district with 2 French hosts, V and O who were great to us.
We arrived at 1 pm in Vienna and my college friend, Sarah, met us at the airport. She moved there to work with her dad after college and it was amazing having a tour guide! She made sure we never got lost and told us what the must-see things were and the must eat foods were. We took general chem, organic chem, and all the bio classes together so needles to say we have seen each other at the best and worst of times.
That day, Sarah took us to see the museum campus and a full walking tour of the first district of Vienna. We ended up in wine country for a light dinner and wine spritzers- they are super popular there.
(This was just a giant German salad with vinegar everything and mixes of potato salads and giant beans- at this point we were just really confused with life because our bodies were dead tired- it looks gross but was actually so dang good)
We went back on the street car and found our way back to the air bnb to fall into the DEEPEST sleep.
We woke up in time for our hosts to serve us breakfast. They served us a carb-heavy breakfast every morning with fresh croissants, baked breads, jams, butter, coffee, and yogurt. That was at 8:30 am and then Kate and I headed out for the day.
Day 2 we went to the Prater , an awesome amusement park just off one of the subway stops. We intended on going there for their giant ferris wheel to see a view of all of Vienna but ended up finding so much more. We didn’t go on the ferris wheel that we thought we wanted to because it was 10 Euro a ticket and it wasn’t that cool so we walked around and found 3 other rides, including another open ferries wheel (the other one was a giant box where you could stand up), to go on that equalled 10 Euro- we were on a budget!
We found a beautiful pathway that goes for miles next to the Prater where we sat and ate lunch and read our books for a few hours. The whole way was lined with trees and we watched people go by like it was our job. This was the only true salad we ate for 2 weeks.
Then we headed back to the first district and found my favorite place of the entire trip, Volksgarten.
This place will forever be burned in my memory. If I see a rose I’m going to smell that rose and that day I got to smell a whole lot of roses, it was basically a dream come true. The entire perimeter was surrounded and there was a full walkway surrounded by more. It was simply breathtaking.
That night we met Sarah for dinner at the Vienna Film Festival where we got to try all types of foods. The dessert was my favorite since it was true Austrian. This is called Kaiserschmarrn that was served with an apricot jam. Basically a giant pancake broken up with raisins.
Day 3 we had the same breakfast and headed out right after to Schonbruun Palace to beat the crowds. We took public transportation there and paid admission to one of the gardens since we didn’t feel like sitting through a 2 hour tour of the palace and pay for the full pass. Can you tell we are garden people?
The gardens were stunning! After that we got back on the train and headed to St. Stephen’s Cathedral to look at the architecture. By then we were hangry since we had burned through our carb only breakfast in like 2 hours so we found a street vendor to get a Kasekrainer basically a cheese stuffed hot dog. We were both CRAVING one after Sarah gave us a bite of hers the night before at dinner. It was all levels of good. We each had one. They serve it with a slice of rye bread and mustard.
After that we attempted to shop and find some AC but if you have traveled to Europe you know that air conditioning is not something you come by often. We then walked to the Opra House to take a good look at it and find some coffee and sparkling water.
Dinner was at a super cool biergarten and dessert was eaten after a walk down by the Canal.
This dessert is called Esterhazy-schnitte and our Oma (German for grandma) makes an amazing cookie version of this for christmas. When we were little we had a variety of Austrian cookies and cakes at every family gathering but as we get older we don’t see them that often so having this brought so many memories flooding back into our hearts. My Otta, who has since passed, loved cookies and he loved eating the wafer portions of this off with us. Eating this solidified that fact that I’m going to have to learn how to make everything from my Aunt who was taught from my Oma because she can’t make them forever!
Some other random stuff we had were lots of iced espresso (they don’t have ice coffee in Europe really so we saw a sign that advertised an iced espresso with milk and we sprinted). We also drank wine at some little bars and a cool rooftop bar looking over the entire city! Wine is just 3 Euro a glass- sooo yeah, we had a few glasses.
Just like that Austria was done! I only gave you the main attractions because if I included everything this would take you an hour to read which isn’t my intention. My intention is to show you that traveling brought Kate and I lots of smiles and new experiences.We had never traveled in Europe alone together before. We ate what felt good which meant very little veggies, lots of meat, and more sugar than we were used to be hey, when in Rome! I don’t travel to eat like I do at home because then what the heck is the point of traveling. We saw as much as we could in 3 days and with a teeny budget and made it awesome. It felt awesome to get the opportunity to do that since I’m not sure when the next opportunity to travel to Europe will come again! I might be an RD by that point (EEKKK EXCITING).
We woke up on day 4 and headed to Florence to meet our parents! We also almost got an a train so Switzerland instead of the Vienna airport, so there’s that. Next blog post will be Italy and San Marino!