Hello, and Happy Sunday!
I have decided it is finally time to share my trip to Vienna, which also happened to fall on my birthday weekend. (My birthday was on September 27th, btw...so this trip took place about a week ago.)
First of all, I would like to say that I am so happy with the fact that travelling around Europe by bus is incredibly affordable. To go to Austria, and then come back to Prague, it was only about 28 euros total. We left Prague on Friday afternoon around 3:30pm, and we were in Vienna by 10:30pm that night. It was supposed to be 9:30, but there was a bit of a delay due to some rainy weather and unexpected traffic.
The first noticeable difference in Prague and Vienna, which is to be expected considering that they are in two different countries, was the language difference. The primary language in Vienna in German, and I have spent the past two months surrounded by Czech. Czech is finally becoming a bit familiar to me, so adjusting to the German was interesting. (However, German is quite an entertaining language, and in my opinion, much easier to read and pronounce than Czech. That's probably because it is more closely related to English.)
We stayed at the A&T Hostel, which was a bit more pricy than some of the other hostels in the city. However, we were going based on the reviews and sometimes it is a better idea to pay and bit more for safety/cleanliness/etc. The pricing was still affordable though. My friend Jess and I stayed for 3 nights, and paid around 100 euros altogether. I would recommend checking it out if you are ever in Vienna! We shared a four-bed room with two sisters from Australia who have been travelling Europe for a couple of months. They were super friendly and we all got along well. The last night we shared with an older woman from Russia, and the language barrier didn't allow us to communicate very much but we tried. :)
Vienna has a lot of the same "charm" that Prague has. The majority of the buildings are old and beautiful, and the architecture is to die for. Jess, Ephram (my two friends that I went with) and I had the best time wandering around, taking pictures, and admiring everything. Vienna is very laid-back, and also extremely clean. I'm not sure that I have ever seen a cleaner city. It was impeccable.
I feel like Vienna is a perfect combination of history and modern entertainment. The city is full of museums, nightlife, food, architecture, and so much more. The downside that we encountered though, is many things close extremely early (ie; good luck finding an open market after 6pm), and some things are closed for the entire weekend. Still, it's not a deal breaker...you can still find plenty of things to do and plenty of places to eat or buy food. (Speaking of food, there are a million stands where you can buy giant hot dogs or bratwurst sausages...so that's a plus.)
If I had to choose, I would say that my two favorite things about Vienna were wandering around the gardens at Schonbrunn Palace and standing in awe of the parliament building. Both were breathtaking! It was also nice to have a good time with Jess and Ephram...they keep me laughing non-stop and I'm thankful for that!
Austria is the 3rd country that I have been to in the past two months. I will be leaving for a weekend in Berlin next week. I'm very excited about that as well, and will obviously have more details on that to share soon.
Until then, enjoy some pictures from the beautiful Wien! The last few are ones that Ephram took on his awesome camera.