Back at the end of June I took an actual true vacation. As in, one that involved almost no scheduled activities, goals, events, or itineraries. Just go, hang out with friends, and chillax. Much. Needed.
I don't have much to say because I basically did what I set out to do- Hang out with friends, chill and relax. So I'll mostly show pictures. I visited Vienna in 2006 as part of my backpacking extravaganza through Europe, so while I didn't feel particularly in need of doing a lot of site seeing, I did want to see the city from a "local" point of view. Good thing I have an Austrian friend from Vienna. We walked around the city quite a bit, so of course I saw some of the touristy sites, and of course I just snapped a few photos....
Spanish Riding School. We went in and saw a practice in 2006, but I was only in this area to go to a really great cafe.
One of my favorite sites in all of Europe is in Vienna- Schoenbrunn Palace. It was the summer home of the Hapsburgs. Kind of strange since it's not that far from their rest-of-the-year palace downtown, but alas. I suppose if you had to take a horse-drawn something-or-other there, it might seem quite far. I remember it vividly from my 2006 trip, and it still is one of the more impressive palaces/properties that I've seen. I rode the subway there with my friend, and we got off one stop past the actual palace so we could walk through the HUGE park/garden/grounds that are behind the palace. I had no idea it was so big, but it was pretty sweet to see. And we came out on the hill overlooking Schoenbrunn, took a few photos, and walked down to the subway stop near the palace. Oh, so wonderful.
I already wrote about the wonders of watching the World Cup at the urban beach in Vienna, which definitely was at the top of my Awesome list for the trip. But I managed to do a few other "local" things. I mean, they're partly touristy too, but whatever.
Turns out that at the opera house you can watch outside on a big screen what's going on inside (FOR FREE!) for a variety of summer concerts/ballets/operas. Sahweeeet.
One of many colorful booths at Naschmarkt, a 1 kilometer long market in Vienna. Apparently it used to be mostly locals who went there, but it's become really overrun with tourists in the past few years. I can affirm that, because I saw a boatload of loud cargo khaki and sneaker-wearing Americans with big cameras. We. Are. Everywhere.
Vienna has a famous amusement park called Prater. Well, I guess the huge ferris wheel is the really famous part, but I knew none of this. I went with a friend and had dinner in a beer garden (hello Paulaner Hefeweizen and schnitzel!) and stared mouth-agape at all the crazy cracked-out colorful rides. It was outrageous. And awesome. We rode the one above. We did not so much ride the one below.
And then I rode a bike. Through Vienna. With a friend on her bike ahead of me. It's an incredibly bike-friendly city, and pretty much everyone rides bikes. I was a little apprehensive at first, but then once I got over that it was all smooth sailing. I didn't even run over anyone or anything! And it was a splendid way to see more of the city.
So, that's Vienna Round Two, done by the one and only Spangles.