Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vienna Waits for You


First sleeper train experience. Reminded me of the scene in Anastasia when they are in the "cabins" inside the train. Slept in the train overnight: 8 hour train ride to Salzburg.

We changed clothes, brushed our teeth, and tidied up in the train station "WC." We definitely got our .50 euro worth of that bathroom.

The Sound of Music Tour- Great opportunity to tour the city of Salzburg and tour a small town outside the town called Mondsee where the wedding scene in the movie took place and tasted some wonderful apple strudel with warm vanilla sauce and ice cream. Danced around the Mirabel gardens where the "Do Re Me" song was filmed and posed on the infamous "I'm am 16 going on 17" gazebo.

Then we headed to the Mozart museum which at first brought about a bit of disappointment but ended up being really neat. Lots of old instruments including an old violin and piano he used during his younger years.

Great shopping and a historical walk through the Getreidegasse where the birthplace of Mozart was also located.

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

We hopped on another train from Salzburg to Vienna where we realized we had hit the jackpot with our hotel! The room on average cost about 280 euro a night and we booked it for 55! (14 euro each). So how do you fit 9 girls in 2 double rooms? It can happen...

At dinner I experienced my first schnitzel (because my stomach has finally adjusted) and was very impressed!

The next morning we walked through Vienna in the hottest weather we've experienced in Europe so far to the Hofburg Palace where the Hapsburgs ruled for over 600 years. We participated in 3 museums: The Silver Collection (who knew a family could have so many dishes??), Sisi Museum (Empress Elisabeth), and the Kaiser Apartments. When waiting on everyone to get through the museum, we sat on the edge of a fountain and watched a rally. Apparently in Austria when a couple is divorced, the wife always receives custody of the children. This group was protesting for the right to go through the proper process to allow fathers the chance to have custody as well.

More shopping!! This time, I only window shopped, which was still good enough for me.

One of my favorite moments in Vienna is waiting to take the train from the shopping center back to the hotel. We had an hour until the next train ran so we sat outside and watched a storm roll in-- one of my absolute favorite types of weather; the calm before the storm and watching the dark clouds take over the sky and give the world a two-toned horizon. After the storm, the weather become so much more enjoyable, thus making the trip even better.

That night, the 9 of us girls (Traci, Meredith, Amy, Tiffany, Erin, Cheniese, Brittany, Lindsey and I) explored the "Bermuda Triangle" for Cheniese's birthday. We began our night in a club called "The Lounge" that was in the basement of a beautiful building. It was fairly empty when we arrived and they were playing great music! From there, we found a hole in the wall pub with ladies in lederhausen and converse shoes dancing to oldies music. One song later, the ladies were dancing on a pole to a "Grease" medley. After that, we knew that it was going to be a good night. We made lots of Austrian friends and ganged up with a small bachelorette party (the ladies in the funny dresses) and they led us to a local night club full of Austrian natives.

The walk to the club was more fun than the club itself. They made us sing a 'Texas' song to which we bursted out with "the stars at night are big and bright---- Deep in the heart of Texas!!" We also chanted "Oh When the Saints" down the streets of Vienna. I have lots of great videos!

At the club there was more great music: Cotton Eye Joe, Macarena, and Sweet Home Alabama.

We got home just in time to see the sun rise (it rises VERY early; 4am) which was gorgeous!

Most of the group left the next morning, but Meredith, Traci and I stayed around to enjoy another day of sightseeing. We walked through the Belvedere Gardens (the Belvedere holds the famous painting "The Kiss," but we decided not to go on another tour) then headed off the the Prater Fair!

The Prater Fair holds the world famous Vienna Ferris Wheel that was built in 1897. While we didn't ride the wheel, we walked through the carnival and rode on a tall swing ride that allowed us to overlook the whole city. Then we took a break in front of the fair to soak up the fun and admire the old ferris wheel.

My favorite place of the whole trip: Schonbrunn Palace; the Hapsburgs summer residence. This is where we had fun in the maze gardens and hiked up the hill to the Gloriette Terrace to once again view the whole city. So beautiful, quiet, and humbling to realize how small you are in comparison to this historical and romantic city. We took that moment to slow down...

Slow down, you crazy child
you're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart, tell me
Why are you still so afraid?

But you know that when the truth is told..
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even
Get halfway through
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

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