Posted By Kristabella on November 4, 2013
Somehow the fact that the German spelling of Vienna is the letters of wine transposed did not go unnoticed by me. Also, I couldn’t pronounce it correctly to save my life. My Chicago accent doesn’t lend itself to the harsh way Germans speak.
When we last left off, we had just finished our time in Budapest. On Sunday morning, we got up and took the subway to the train station and were on our way to Vienna.
The last Hungarian thing to do was try langos, which is like fried bread with cheese and sour cream on it. We had tried unsuccessfully to find it earlier on the trip. My stomach was not doing so hot in Budapest in general (I blame all the late night gyros), so I didn’t partake in it. Alli and Melissa did, and they said it was pretty good, but probably not the best, seeing as we got it in the train station.
Train stations in Europe always remind me of the movies. I think it is the open-airness to them. And it isn’t like being under a building or on the side of the road like it is in Chicago on our commuter rail.
The train to Vienna was uneventful. Surprising to no one, we slept most of the way. This was also the shortest train ride, at just about three hours. The train was comfy and clean.
Once we got to Vienna, we took a cab to our hotel. The cab driver was a giant douchebag and wouldn’t let my friend open the window. “It’s not good for me,” he said. It appears that Google Maps doesn’t interact with the Vienna transit, so the only options when I looked it up before the trip was walking or driving. Oddly enough, there is a great subway and street car system in Vienna. I just didn’t know how to navigate it until we got to the city.
Our hotel was a Pension hotel. It was……odd. I guess it’s like a nicer hostel? We had our own room and bathroom, but there wasn’t much in there. The keys were real keys. And there was a door to each floor that was locked. It was definitely safe, but was just different. But it was clean, so that’s all that mattered. And we were only there 2 nights.
We had a tour planned for the afternoon. It was a bus tour of the city and then a tour of Schonbrunn Palace. The tour was nice, but the bus was so comfy and we were in the front and the sun was warm and……you guessed it! We fell asleep! Vienna is such a beautiful city. The buildings are all amazing. I wish we had done a walking tour or another kind of tour because I have all these photos of these amazing buildings and I have no idea what they are.
After the bus tour, we got off at Schonbrunn Palace and took a tour of it. The place is amazing. It’s huge! And so, so pretty! It’s an old palace that was used by royalty back in the day. Now part of it is rented out as apartments. Can you imagine living here?
We learned the history about the Habsburgs and Maria Theresa, two names that came up A LOT on our tours in every country. (And in fact, I just finished this book and the first chapter starts with a Habsburg descendent in Schonbrunn Palace!) The only thing I really remembered was that Maria Theresa had like 13 kids. Someone else in the family had like 21 kids or something. They were fertile myrtles indeed.
After the tour, we had a bit of time to kill before we had to catch the bus back to the city center. So we stopped at the café and had some boozy coffee drinks. They were amazing. And that Mozart sure makes an awesome chocolate liqueur!
We got back to the hotel and got ready to go out for the evening. We didn’t really have definite plans, but needed to eat dinner and get some drinks. We found a café across the street that had really awful service. We were in the museum district of Vienna, which means lots of tourists. The people at this café did NOT like tourists, especially ones that didn’t speak German.
We actually had tried to grab a quick bite here before our bus tour. But we sat for about 10 minutes at a table and couldn’t get waited on. So we left. Why we thought we should go back is beyond me.
The food was actually fine. Just awful service and of course when we tried to pay with a card (with the Visa and Mastercard logo on the door!) we were told it was broken. Thank God for the ATM across the street since we all didn’t have enough Euros.
After dinner, we took a stroll down to the City Center. While we were there, we saw all the pretty buildings lit up. (Still don’t know what they are.) We also walked past the famous Opera House.
Apparently the Opera sells out in minutes and is one of the hardest tickets in town to get. But, they set up this giant Jumbotron outside the building and people just bring their chairs and sit there and watch it. We got there just in time to see the very end. It was pretty amazing. The band geek in me got the chills!
We ended up going to Kruger’s American Bar because we had read that Brad Pitt had been there and it was pretty famous. I learned that American bar tends to mean they have craft cocktails. Apparently you can’t get more than beer and wine at other bars in Vienna.
It was a neat place and they had a lot of liquor bottles.
After Kruger’s, we saw an Aussie bar and we checked it out. Did you know that there has been confusion between Australia and Austria for years? Like so much so, sales of certain things have suffered. So weird! There were all these signs that said “No kangaroos in Austria.” Which was funny when we were in an Australian bar.
We met this weird dude at the Aussie bar and he was very clearly married. But apparently outside the US, people don’t look for wedding rings. Because when we pointed out he was married, he was shocked how we knew. He then spent the rest of the night trying to hide his ring from us. Too late, buddy.
After the Aussie bar we went to this place called 1516 Brewery. I really liked this place. They had American football on the TVs and it was just a pub with good beer. Minus it being ridiculously smoke-filled, this was one of my favorite places on the trip.
After the brewery, we were all significantly buzzed, so we decided to head home. We had an early morning bike tour the next day, and we needed to be not hungover and awake. But not before we got sausages on the street from a food vendor. A night in Europe was not complete without street food.