Monday, July 26, 2010

Travel Log: Vienna

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.


Carrie said...

oh my gosh, put that last pic as your fb profile pic! it's so cute!

preethi said...

Oh how I love Vienna. Did you go to the Haus der Musik either of the times you were there? Best. Museum. Ever.