Saturday, 15 August 2015

Vienna! Austria, Part 1

Whilst browsing through a few different travel blog posts on Bloglovin (those are basically the only posts I read other than cooking and fitness ones - sorry everyone else!) I came to the sad realisation that I'm never going to become a famous travel blogger and therefore never going to experience the perks that come with such a profession, such as the free flights, free accomodation and so on (in exchange for reviews of course). Not only is this because I am unfortunately not travelling to new places a lot, my writing isn't that eloquent and the saddest reason of all - my follower count sucks. Despite the fact that I get quite a few views on my posts (although not on my travel posts to be fair, more so on my other ones), no one seems to go the extra mile and follow me! Sigh. I guess I must resign myself to the fact that compared to the travel bloggers out there, its just not going to happen to me... Oh well! On to Vienna where 3 became 4!


Up to this point on our trip it had only been the three of us - Ashleigh, Cosmo and myself. However, once we arrived in Vienna (after another exhausting night train), we had plans to meet up with our 4th Euro-trip member, Carmen. Despite the fact that I had emailed the hostel beforehand telling them that we would be arriving earlier than their check in time, I had gotten no response and was hoping that they had got the message and would allow us to check in early, seeing as every other hostel had let us do this up till this point and every hostel that we had booked after Vienna said they would allow us to check in early as well. However, after arriving in Vienna after practically no sleep on another couple of night trains early in the morning, navigating our way to the bus that would take us close to our hostel, working out what stop to get off at, walking to our hostel, waiting outside till it opened, we were informed by a really rude receptionist that no, we couldn't and we should have emailed beforehand. Upon informing her that I had done, she shrugged and offered no further help other than telling us to wait around for 2 hours and maybe they'd be able to get us in then. Maybe. So what did we do at 9AM on a Sunday morning in Vienna? Sat on a bench, exhausted, complaining about how hungry and tired we were and not being able to do anything about it because we couldn't get to our beds for another 2 hours and nowhere was open to serve us food because it was a Sunday. When this cafe next to us finally opened up and we went to sit down, they told us that you had to reserve a place for breakfast and we were evicted. Fortunately there was a really cool, hippy cafe across the road that opened up shortly after that, that we managed to get some food in and also managed to get some free wifi. We sat there and ate till it was time to go back to the hostel and see if we could get in early. Thankfully we could, at which point Carmen had joined us (she had flown in that morning), and we all got into our hostel room and collapsed on our beds. 


So far I was not thrilled with Vienna. Although to be fair my only experience of it was one really rude receptionist and the fact that no where opened until really late although it was a Sunday so we should have expected that, so I shouldn't really have judged it that harshly. However, after spending a few days there I sort of fell in love with it. I don't really know why. Not so much as a holiday destination, although it was really cool to visit, but as a place that would be really fun to live in one day. It was a good blend of historic and cultural sights, with the added benefit of also being a modern city that you could envisage youself living and having fun in. It was also that mixture of really Western living but also something foreign and exciting which we hadn't really experienced up until then. Not the foreign part, we had definitely experienced that, but the mix of both cultures. That was something new.


We visited lots of different castles, and museums and gardens and cathederales which were all so beautiful and interesting. The architecture was beautiful there. But we had seen so much of that already. Not that it wasn't still gorgeous but what really got me was that you could live in a place like this and walk around the cbd and go to your job and still walk past a beautiful building with so much history and culture and that would just be your life. And it would be amazing. Everywhere else up till this point had been very touristy, and although they were amazing, they were definitely (in my opinion anyway) places that you visit on holiday but not somewhere that you could realistically live. Zagreb wasn't that touristy to be fair, and neither was Ljubljana but Ljubljana had a very small town feel about it whereas Vienna felt like a big city and was therefore more exciting and Zagreb just felt like a normal city to me, unlike Vienna which still had all this history and culture as well as the city vibe so it was the best of both worlds. 


When we were there we also went to this amusement park called Prater, in Vienna's second district. Its the oldest amusement park in the world and it was so much fun. I highly recommend you go there. When we first arrived it didn't look busy at all and it didn't look like there was much to do, but as you kept on walking you came across more and more rides and more and more people and it was just so much fun. Such a good day out. Its also open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can go whenever you want. It was a nice break from seeing all the castles and cathederals etc.

Although, a great historic site to visit is the Schonbrunn Palace - a former residence of the Habsburgs. Ashleigh and I went on an audio-guided tour there and it was great. It was so beautiful inside and there was so much history. If you want to do a day that is both educational and really fun, I suggest doing this tour and then going to the Prater later on in the evening. 


As you can probably tell, I loved Vienna. Although it wasn't my favourite place we visited in terms of our Euro-trip (Venice and Prague were my top destinations), it was definitely somewhere that I could envisage myself living. The only downside was that we never managed to work out the tramlines... they were so complicated! The underground worked just fine for us though.


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