To the City of Music- the Last Travel Break

Hey everybody!  It has been a while since I have last posted, so I had better do it sooner rather than later!  I had two exams yesterday, and now have four papers and 3 finals left until my semester abroad officially comes to a close!  The countdown on the side of my blog is kind of scaring me, 25 days left is not enough!

But let me tell you about my third and final travel break in Vienna!  Jessica and I left for the airport on Saturday, November 10th and met up with her friend Jenny at the airport.  Our flight was only about an hour and a half and although the flight was a little turbulent, we made it to Vienna safe and sound!  We arrived around 6:30, got some euros, and then got our tickets for the City Airport Train (it’s called CAT!).  Then we took the subway which was super shaky.  I thought there was an earthquake every time it started up again.  Finally, we made it to our hostel.  The lady working at the desk let me switch rooms so that I could be with Jessica and Jenny.  I couldn’t decide on where I wanted to go for travel break, so I made a separate reservation when I finally decided on going to Vienna!  That was really nice of her, otherwise I think I was going to be in a room all by myself.  We were supposed to have one more person in our four person room on our last night in Vienna, but she never came!  We were excited about not having to worry about another person being in our room.

Our view from the hostel on our first morning in Vienna

After breakfast at our hostel on Sunday, we headed out to explore at the Hofburg Imperial.  Our first stop was the Spanish riding school where they have the absolutely beautiful Lippizaner horses.  They were playing videos of the horse shows at the ticket stand, and they were simply amazing!  Unforunately tickets are really expensive, so we didn’t go.  I would love to see them sometime in the future though!  We also walked around the State Apartments, the Silver Collection, and the Sisi Museum.  The Silver Collection was so expansive.  There was fine china everywhere!  Now that I’m really into tea and keep looking for teapots, I think I loved it that much more.  All of the silver and whatnot were used in the imperial household.

The library at Hofburg

What a banquet that would be!

The Sisi museum was quite sad.  Sisi, or Empress Elisabeth of Austria, was to marry her cousin, Franz Joseph I when she was 15 or 16 years old.  The original plan was for Franz Joseph to marry Sisi’s older sister, but sister accompanied her mother and sister, Helene, on the visit, and Franz immediately fell in love with Sisi.  Sisi was known for her beauty, incredibly long hair, and her trim figure.  She dieted and exercised like crazy but still loved her ice cream. 🙂  She was often unhappy though and wrote many poems about wanting to be free and fly away like a bird.  She did not stay in Austria very much, and in 1898 she was murdered by an anarchist in Geneva.

After touring the museums and such, we quickly got pizza for lunch and then had a short visit at the National Library.  It was an incredibly beautiful library!  Then we walked to the parliament building, saw Sigmund Freud Park, and then St. Stephan’s cathedral.  On our way to the cathedral, we happened upon a Christmas market!  There were a ton of Christmas markets being set up while we were in Vienna, but this was the only one we saw that was opened.  It definitely gave me some Christmas spirit!  After walking around the bustling Christmas market, we walked inside St. Stephan’s cathedral.  The light effect inside was so pretty!

Me in the National Library

Christmas marketing.

Inside St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

We ended our day buying some ice cream and getting food at a grocery store.  Then headed back to our hostel.

Monday was another fairly busy day.  We were on our way to buy our train tickets to Salzburg and then we went to the Schönbrunn Palace.  But when we got there, I realized that I didn’t have my ticket which was terrible on my part.  But, I probably would have done it again if I had a do-over because I didn’t realize that I could use the same ticket for the Sisi Museum and the palace.  Jessica and Jenny were really nice about it though, and they came back with me to the hostel so that I could get my ticket.  I felt terrible though.  We went through the Imperial Apartments and had audio guides with us, as we did at basically every historic site we went to.  Sometimes I would just get tired of standing around, and would just sit in one of the rooms and listen.

Schönbrunn Palace

Our next stop was a visit to Belvedere, but we just looked at the outside of the baroque style palace.  It was very pretty, but in a fairly sketchy area.  We also went to the Austrian military museum, but only to the gift shop because Jenny wanted to buy something for her boyfriend there, and then we also walked by St. Charles Church.

With Jenny at Belvedere. They were putting up Christmas decorations and a market up here as well!

Our last stop of Monday was Mozart’s house!  It was already dark and around 4 in the afternoon.  We did a lot of walking to, so I was pretty tired.  But, I happily took my audio guide and listened to Mozart’s history.  He had quite the ego!  Afterwards, I was happy to be back at our hostel and eat my yogurt (we had gone to the grocery store again for dinner!).  I think I went to bed around 9ish, because we had to get up really early for our day trip to Salzburg!

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