After leaving Bratislava, we trucked on to Vienna. We arrived later in the afternoon, and quickly checked into our hotel. This room was nice! I still can't remember the name of it, but the painting of the ladies and the larger bathroom was a blessing after the long day! Throughout the whole tour, I believe there was only one accommodation that we didn't care for. And that was mainly because I found mold in the shower stall.
This dinner was included in the tour, and I believe we went right around the corner to a dinner and had a traditional Austria meal, some sort of stew or goulash. Honestly, we can't really remember what exactly it was. It didn't stand out as delicious, but it was a meal! Also, our friend Kate wrote down on her diet specifications that she was lactose sensitive, so we were served our food. Then, this lady (that wasn't so nice) came up to Kate and snatched her plate away saying, "No" really strongly! We had a giggle! She brought out some sort of substitute that was actually worse! For dessert, they served some sort of pancake type of thing that had a dollop of ice cream on top, and poor Kate received an apple on a saucer! Don't worry we snick her a bite when the lady wasn't around.
After finishing up dinner, we went on a guided walking tour with our tour leader, so all sight seeing was at night. Nevertheless, the sights were amazing! Oftentimes on tours like this, when you arrive at dusk in a city, the tour leader will guide you on a night walking tour of the city because you will leave early the next morning to a new destination! This is what Expat Explore has to say about the Vienna stop, " After your Bratislavan ‘breather’, you are all set for the Austrian city of Vienna - boasting some of Europe’s most impressive architecture, and a cultural heritage steeped in glorious flamboyance and style. Home to Sigmund Freud, the Vienna boys choir, a clutch of the worlds most celebrated composers (...try Mozart, Beethoven & Brahms), the United Nations, OPEC and Weiner Scnitzel, the city centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. Take a glance at the famous Schonbrunn Palace as you approach Vienna, and once you have arrived, explore the centre on your guided walking tour of the city. Taking in the Golden Mile, Imperial Castle and St Stephen’s Cathedral, allow the history to wash over you and marvel at Vienna’s significance in modern and ancient history."
Vienna surprised us by being #2 on our list of favorite places. Our tour guide brought us down one of the major shopping streets called Mariahilfer Straße. My favorite was the Skwarovski Crystal just because of all the beautiful crystal on display! There also happened to be a place with the word "weiner" in it, and the Mr. made a funny face and giggle, which made the rest of our little pack giggle also! This became "The Weiner Face" and stuck around until the end of the tour!
Continuing our night time stroll, we came upon St. Stephen's Cathedral, or Stephansdom. This place was truly magical. We all couldn't resist taking a peek inside! Forgive my camera settings, I tried really hard to keep up with the group AND take great nighttime photos!
They also had a Vienna Opera going on that night. HUGE production! You have probably watched something about the Kardashian girl getting tricked when she went this past year. It's a big to-do, and we were able to pass along side the building. No celebrity sightings, at least none that we knew, but it was still nice to watch the limos pull up and folks decked out to the 9's walk into the Opera house!
Check out where Mozart studied and lived! The first two pictures are the little hall where he studied. They were having a small concert, so we had to quietly sneak by and take photos discretely. The second photo is where he lived during this time. The second level is all one flat. I believe he was married or newly married and his wife lived with him here.
Just a couple of extra photos to show you how gorgeous this city really is
See all the shiny pretties in the window?
Once our tour was over, we rushed back to our hotel and tried to get a quick shower and sleep. It's always a bit of an adjustment for me to fall asleep in a new place, but this day, I was extremely worn out from Bratislava and Vienna's walking tours that I fell asleep right away. Breakfasts are almost always included in the tour, so all you have to do is show up! it's mostly fruits, cheeses, some sort of salami type meats, maybe some eggs, plenty of coffee, tea, and juices. Depending on what you like, breakfasts are pretty filling. How Expat does their tours is this, you get up, get dressed, and packed. You bring your luggage down to the bus while the driver loads it for you. Then you go back into the hotel for the breakfast, and after everyone gets back into the bus. If you choose to sleep in and forgo breakfast, that's your choice, but it could be hours before we stopped to fuel up and you could purchase snacks! Also, if you were late getting on the bus, (we think most mornings were about 8am to be on the bus) then you had to get on the bus PA system and sing to the whole tour group! We only had a couple that were late :)
Check out how I managed to bring everything in ONE PACK here! Yep, you heard me right. 38 days traveling through Europe and we each brought one back pack. It was such a great idea for many reasons. AND, this trip was during Winter! I could only imagine what I could bring in a warmer time!
How about you- what's the least amount of luggage you've brought on a trip?