A European Roadtrip: The Vienna Edition.

iphone-latest-113-2We arrived in Vienna late that night, at our hotel, Aparthotel Adagio Vienna City ,which we had booked early that morning via hotels.com. It had been a rough drive for me, which in turn made it rough for Brad. For whatever reason, my body was exhausted. I felt feverish & could not for the life of me stay awake in the car. I think my body was burnt out from the weather, the constant wandering, and probably by bazaar sleep schedule.

Once we were checked in, we headed up to our room, and pretty much immediately I climbed into bed, and passed out. The next, morning, as usual… I was up before the sun. Preparing for our next drive & picking our hotel for Prague. {TIP: A great way to get through a road trip adventure such as this, is to not over prepare because you can get some great last minute hotel deals, and it allows flexibility in your driving schedule.} Since Brad continued to sleep, I decided it would be a great idea to get up & shower. This plan ended in frustrating because the blow dryers in European hotels are inadequate by American standards. It took forever to get my hair to dry. …and you can’t wander around in the frigid Austrian cold with wet hair… 

iphone-latest-087-2Eventually Brad was up, and it was time to explore the city of Vienna. We were on the hunt for good, and one of the first places to pop up was sadly, Starbucks, but it was easy. It was wrapped up in a busy shopping area. Locals were going to work, and tourists were passing through. We each got a sandwich of sorts, Brad had coffee, and I had tea. We were content & enjoyed relaxing and talking, but we knew the time was drawing near to hit the streets once more. The square was calling our name.  It was such a great walk, we got to see so many sites that day including the Austrian Parliament building. {FUN FACT: The Austrian Parliament is composed of 183 National Council Members whose terms last 5 years}

iphone-latest-092From there we continued on to Rathausplatz. This is where the Christmas market is held annually. It was quite large. We had a lot of time exploring. We walked up and down each row of booths, and were able to see all of the beautiful colorful things that were available to the passerby. Tasty candies, pretzels, bratwurst, hot wines, and trinkets… trinkets everywhere! We decided to embrace the culture & try the bratwurst stuffed with cheese, that was shoved into a hollowed out piece of bread & the condiments of your choice… It was fairly tasty, but a lot for me to handle, since I’m normally not a cased meat type of person. However, it was fun to try something new…  Does it look appetizing to you? Because it didn’t to me, but I ate it anyways. We tried some of the German candy that reminded me of the licorice ropes because of the size. They were labeled as sour, but they had nothing on Sour Belts (an American treasure). I am pretty sure that Europeans just don’t use as much acid in their sour candy as we do. Brad made the decision to try the hot wine in Vienna, and I think he liked it more than the one he had in Munich, but I don’t know that he would label it as one of his favorite things, but we did keep the souvenir mug, and I can’t wait to bust it out this holiday season!

iphone-latest-094We took some time to sit on a nearby bench and relax, while we watched others wander through. The area was beautifully decorated, and it was fun to watch the children ride on the horses nearby. Eventually though, it was time to move on, and we began to wander aimlessly through random Austrian roads. They led us all over the city. At one point we ended up in a large barren park where we watched a man play fetch with his 2 Jack Russel Terriers. We wandered on and through a beautiful architecturally designed tunnel into another random cobble stone square  full of horse drawn carriages where we were stopped by men in costume inviting us to a classical concert that included ballet & opera. We went back and forth on whether or not it would be a good idea or if it’s something we would want to do, but Brad made the executive decision that we should go (It was a great idea).  Once we knew what our evening plans were we continued onward in search of the next great thing. it turned out to be Starbucks. Brad needed to use the restroom & I need a pick me up…. A bagel & hot chocolate. It turned out to be one of the worst bagels I have ever had, but the hot chocolate was divine.

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We enjoyed our refreshments as we headed back to the square because we knew that we would need to be at the concert hall with time to spare. We decided to sit on the steps of a building directly across from Rathausplatz and watch the people go back and forth. You could tell as the day went on, the social nature of the area was on the rise.

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iphone-latest-103-2With our  hot drinks and bagel finished, we were at it again. The slow decent t to our hotel to find some decent outfits for our concert, and to drop off my bag and any unnecessary extras. We took a different route that led us past St. Stephen’s Cathedral & and through Stephansplatz which was full of shops and small eateries.  We stopped in St. Stephen’s for a quick peak. The outside was so beautiful, that we were curious about the inside. I would say it equally as decadent. {FUN FACTS: Groundbreaking for the Cathedral took place in 1137 AD & was originally completed in 1160 AD prior to add on contrustucion in the centuries to come. Also, the spire at the front of the Cathedral stands at 447.6 feet tall.}

Once we had what we needed and left what wasn’t, we were back out and about. We still a while before the concert so we stopped by the Christmas market once again for some quicky snacks (aka pretzels). We ate what we could, and then held onto the rest & headed for the concert location. Sadly, I don’t recall where the concert was held & we were not allowed to take photos inside, so it is hard for me to say. However, the tickets were sold through Music of Vienna. The performance we saw was by the Vienna Residence Orchestra, and it was truly fantastic. Brad & I both enjoyed it, which says a lot for the quality of the show. Pictures were not permitted, so sadly I have nothing to share with you. Because of the large amount of tourists they take in, they were not picky about our clothing which was very nice. {TIP: If you are going to Vienna, and have a free night and don’t know what to do, add this to your list! It is so enjoyable, and really creates a special night.}

When the concert was over we decided to take the long way back which led us back through Stephanplatz. It was really a fun night outing because all the streets had amazing Christmas light displays, and a massive tree to match. It made our holiday trip so much more enjoyable.  We got back to our room relatively early, got somewhat repacked, and were off to bed. We were headed to Prague the next morning, and wanted an early start… and that’s just what we got.

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LESSONS LEARNED: 

1) Hot Wines apparently aren’t that good

2) There is such a thing as too much bread…

3) A musical concert in Vienna is always a good idea

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The Compulsive Traveler

out to see the world, and snap beautiful photos while doing so.

3 thoughts on “A European Roadtrip: The Vienna Edition.”

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