Saturday, 20 August 2016

Travelling Europe: Vienna

So Vienna!! It took 4 hours to get there by train, which I didn't mind because I always had a book to get enveloped in and the views were so pretty whenever I was to glance up. We arrived a bit after 5pm and began our walk to a hostel we had booked near Schonbrunn Palace, it took around 50 minutes to get there, through the short and winding streets of Vienna. I think we managed to stick to the main roads most of the time which limited our chances of getting lost. Once at the hostel we went through the usual check-in procedure and then headed up to our room and chucked our bags on the floor with great relief. We were peckish so decided to walk up the road we were on to find some food. We came across a pub-style restuarant with seats outside so took our place in the sun to enjoy it while it lasted. Dinner was delicious and the portions were so large I could barely finish mine. But we were definitely satisfied!! We headed back to the hostel and decided to spend the evening in the lobby of the hostel as it had a few pool tables and a bar in the basement. That was a lot of fun, it was nice to relax in a sociable environment. I gave Tom a good game of pool (I regained my temporarily lost skills and almost beat him!) and then we had a go in a photo booth they had available and then sat down in the bar area for a few drinks until I was truly ready to sleep. 
The next morning I was woken up by daylight streaming through our lovely big windows. I decided to get up before Tom to write a diary entry and then get ready. We packed up our things and headed down to the reception to check-out. We were asked if we would like to pay for breakfast, but we didn't have enough cash. The receptionist then turns to us and says oh its ok just take these tokens and go down. Free breakfast!! We were so excited haha, our first buffet-style breakfast of the trip and we made the most of it. Once nice and full we headed out for our day ahead. We had set a plan to try and visit as many Palaces, Cathedrals and big buildings as possible before the end of the afternoon (we had another 4 hour train ahead of us that day).Our first destination was the Schonbrunn Palace as it was the closest. We walked there and first came out to a big square that showed us clearly the main palace building in the distance. We headed to it and looked around to see what was on offer. There were so many people queuing we though maybe you had to pay to enter, but that wasn't the case, we were able to walk straight on through and explore the grounds and gardens. It was all so beautiful, fountains and the most magnificent statues dotted the area in front of us, with a steep ascent to another building on the hillside. We headed up the hill to the building with the hopes of getting a good view over Vienna and were not disappointed. It was all so amazing. We carried on through the gardens to the right of the palace and left the area to take a tube into old town. The tubes were so easy to use and I'm pretty sure we managed to avoid paying anything. We got off by the river and headed back in to the undergrowth of buildings, it took a while for us to get our bearings and I think we almost stumbled across our first destination, the St Stephen's Cathedral and then continued on to see the Imperial Palace, the Vienna State Opera and so many museums. Around 3pm we began to tire and decided to make our way to the Hauptbanhof and catch a train to Salzburg. 
Vienna was enjoyable, but it was almost overwhelming how big it was (especially compared to Prague), the buildings were beautiful though and the detail in the huge statues were mind-blowing, we spent a good part of the day trying to work out meanings for them.. Nothing could excite us more though than heading back into the mountains and camping under the stars again. 




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