Our overnight train from Zurich took us all the way across Austria to Vienna, the city of music! We only had 24 hours to explore here, so we hit the ground running.
Our hostel was right across the street from Austria’s famous Naschmarkt, an incredibly diverse and colorful farmer’s market. Here you can find just about any type of produce, cheese, spice, meat–you name it.
Octopus, for example. We did not sample.
They even have Turkish Delight. (I didn’t know this was a real thing.)
We went on a walking tour of the city led by the most hilarious, entertaining woman. Most of the time Sarah and I were the only ones laughing at her jokes. Maybe it was lost in translation. English was not the first language for most in the group, consisting primarily of students. They were from all over the world: the U.K, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, Australia, Germany, and Korea. Pictured here is the Vienna Opera House.
She took us to Old Town where places like the parliament building, the Imperial Palace, and other old, old buildings are located. I was surprised to find a lot of Greek and Roman influence in the architecture.
This is part of the Imperial Palace where the Austrian emperors resided for six centuries.
The Schweizertrakt (Swiss Gate), named after the Swiss guards who served as the palace watch, was built in 1552 and connects to the Alte Burg (Old Fortress), the oldest part of the palace.
This is the Hofburg Palace, or Neue Berg (new castle), of Heldenplatz (Hero’s Square) where the President of Austria resides. On this balcony is where Adolf Hitler made his first speech to the Austrian people after the Nazi invasion in 1938.
I forget the name of this gated rotunda, but it was cool, inside and out.
She also recommended tasting coffee from a “real” Vienna coffee shop, but unfortunately we never did make time to stop in one.
Then our guide took us through the swanky part of town where you’ll find shops like Dior, Tiffany, and Michael Kors.
The Pestsäule (Plague Column), erected in 1679 after the Great Plague epidemic.
The tour ended at this Gothic-style cathedral. St. Stephen’s was being renovated, but as the tour guide told us, that’s been true her whole life!
“The Music Mile” is equivalent to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
The view from our hostel overlooking the Naschmarkt.
Walking the streets to find us some schnitzel with noodles! Or fries, as the case may be. Actually, these would be considered “chips,” and our tour guide informed us that potato salad is actually the preferred side to schnitzel, not noodles. All those years Fraulein Maria led me to believe Austrians ate schnitzel with noodles!
That evening we attended an opera in the Vienna Opera House!
It was a Czech opera called Jenufa by Leoš Janáček.
The inside of the House was stunning! We felt terribly under dressed.
Our cheap seats in the side box offered us a spectacular view of the orchestra pit–my favorite part, naturally.
We were uber excited and enjoyed ourselves immensely!
We got back to our hostel late and then had an early morning to catch the train to Prague. More adventures to come!