Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas travels: Wien/ Vienna I

A view of the Palace. Emily's photo

             So plenty has happened since our last post, we went on an adventure to Vienna, Wien, for three days. For Christmas we stayed at our friend Benny’s apartment while he went back home to Bremen. Then we were in Prague for a few days. Now we can’t talk about all the adventures we had or the sights we saw in one post, so we will at least cover the past week in two or more posts.
I got serenaded by Mozart!
                Our adventure to Vienna started on Wednesday the 19th. As soon as I finished my mid-term Emily, Alex, and I made our way to Hannover. We had our first couch surfing experience and can’t wait to have some more. Our host was very nice and generous, even made us dinner and took us to the tram stop to make sure we got on at 4 in the morning. The flight wasn’t bad to Vienna. I got to see the sun rise over the clouds and it is one sight I will never forget. It was simply amazing. After landing we found our way to the hostel and they were still serving breakfast! After eating a very fulfilling breakfast and a quick nap we sat down and planned what we would do during our time in Vienna. 
Alex and some horses
               Once that was all done we found our way to the nearest tram and went to Schönbrunn Palace to see their Christmas market, it was too late to take a tour since we were told it would be an all-day event. I do wish that we went to it since it looked just gorgeous, but the rest of the day was well spent. We decided to go to Stephansplatz where we saw Stephansdom, Stephan’s Cathedral.  Parts of it were under restoration, but you could still see most of it. Right next to the cathedral were horse draw carriage rides. Emily and I both agreed that this would be the perfect gift for Alex, because we couldn’t figure out what to get him. We had come up with several ideas, but none seemed right. However, when we saw the horses we just knew. He could see Vienna and be around his beloved four-legged creatures.
Christmas market by the Rathaus
                On the tour we saw a few Christmas markets, some cool buildings, and my terrified face. I can tell you this much: horses scare the living daylights out of me. I don’t know why I am terrified of them, I just am. Alex found this extremely funny. When we got on one tried to sniff me and I almost ran for the hills, well across the road.
Goofing around.
                After the tour we decided to have dinner and then head to the Christmas markets that we saw. We kind of stumbled upon the restaurant that we had dinner. It was down a random alley next to an antique shop. When we walked in there was no one, but a group of 12 or so people eating dinner. We didn’t know if it was a private event, since there were so few people, but the owner reassured us that it wasn’t. Alex even got to have his first taste of venison! I was downright shocked. How could you have never had venison? Emily and I had a nice dinner of pumpkin soup and chicken with a zesty potato salad. The atmosphere was awesome, until the music stopped. The music literally stopped and we didn’t know if we could continue to talk since we were the only ones there. The silence lasted about 10 minutes until we broke out into laughter.
Rotary in Wien!!!!
                Once dinner was done we decided to go hunt down the Christmas market by the Rathaus. We got a wee bit lost, but on the way we stumbled upon a nice surprise. It was a Rotary club sign, for those who know me I was just ecstatic. It took us about 8 failed picture attempts to finally get a decent on of me. I have this nasty habit of making faces when I should be serious. Rotary love.
                Upon finding the Christmas market, we just wandered around it. Mostly looking for an ATM, but sadly we didn’t find anything.  The market was very beautiful though. There were about 6 trees that they had lit up. Each tree had something different. One had candy canes while another had owls or presents. That was probably the only thing that made it stand out from any of the other Christmas markets we saw.
                Once all pictures were taken and everyone was happy with the outcome of the day we went back to our nice hostel. After such a long and busy day we just wanted to relax before bed.


Travel tip:
Don’t try to see everything in one day. Just take it easy and enjoy what you do get to see.

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