Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 24 - Vienna, Austria

You all may be tired of this line but for the sake of beating a dead horse.... Vienna is AMAZING!

We got off the train and headed straight for the hotel. Vienna is a pretty big city so I was a little worried about heading back to the city life. Boy, was I wrong. Although this is a big town, it feels like small town life for several reasons: the people are so enjoyable, everything is so clean and the hustle/bustle is very toned down. We haven't even been here 24 hours and I already love it.

The best part of Vienna thus far is most certainly our hotel. Our room is absolutely huge! Although Kendall is the world's best roommate, I am happy to have my own big, comfortable bed with two pillows! Yes, I have two pillows finally! Everyone is very tired of hearing me complain about that just as you all are.

After dropping off our bags, we headed to Schonbrunn Palace. This was the summer home of the monarchy since before America was a country (a common fact with almost everywhere we have gone). The name Schonbrunn literally means "beautiful spring". This place is more popular for it's botanical gardens than the palace itself. We took a stroll through the place, take a look:

No quite the Trevi Fountain but awesome nonetheless...

The boys are starting to complain less and less about group pics...

A view from up top of the palace:

The Gloriette:

The Gloriette was built to glorify Habsburg power and it does just that:

I'm always looking up...

After a stroll through the gardens, we headed back to the hotel. After eating the most amazing salad of my life from a hole in the wall, I took a long hot shower and a long hard nap. We all met in the lobby around 7pm and headed downtown. It was a nice change to not be bombarded by peddlers selling stupid noise makers and gypsies acting like they are poor. Vienna is the cleanest downtown I have ever been to. You can really tell that these people take care of what is theirs.

The view from the tube stop to walk downtown:

We stumbled upon some street performers. No worries, I plan to compile one video of them for you all to see. Give me just a couple of days to collect some good material. Harv, I hope to not disappoint in this area although I have not seen any violin players...

St. Stephen's Cathedral is located in the middle of downtown and it is yet another unique piece of architecture.

Check out an up close of that roof:

We ate at an Austrian original called Wienerwald Restaurant. I was glad to get some grilled chicken but not too thrilled about the potato cakes that come with it. Austrian's are way nicer than Italians. The waiter let us do individual checks and was happy to do it. He was really awesome to do that for 15 people; a courtesy we have not had since arriving across the pond.

After a terrible night of sleep last night, I am calling it an early night. I hope all is well in the states! Only 19 days left until I come home! Well, 19 days until I fly to Pensacola and detox on the beach.... tough life I have, I know.

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