Posted on October 8th, 2016
Vienna was the next stop on our Eastern Europe round trip and so after a long 4 hour train from Prague (with wifi, I might just add!) we arrived in Austria. We took that evening very slowly and just had a walk through the Naschmarkt right next to our hostel before having a traditional supper of schnitzel.
The next day we took the metro to the beautiful Schonbrun Palace. It was just so grand and spectacular with such beautiful gardens filled with colourful rows of flowers, rose archways and neatly trimmed hedges. Oh so very Austrian!
We took the metro back into central Vienna and walked around this incredible city where every building is more opulent than the previous one. We admired the Belvedere Palace before walking down to the Opera. Unfortunately there weren’t any shows on while we were staying there but usually one can get last-minute tickets for dirt cheap prices.
After many hours of walking around we took refuge in a park right next to Mozart’s statue and enjoyed our picnic of shop bought goodies. It was so lovely to spend good quality time with Amy after being a part for so long. We lay on the lush green grass and caught up on the past 9 months as we chased the fading Autumn sun.
Up until this point I don’t think either of us had been too impressed by Vienna, a natural consequence for any city following the magnificent Prague. But once we entered the real heart of the city we understood a bit better what all the fuss was about. Wide pedestrianised streets lined with famous branded shops and roasted chestnut sellers. The Hofburg Palace towered over us, with horse-drawn carriages clippity-cloppitying at its base.
We walked over to the St Stephen’s Cathedral and craned our necks to see its intricate steeples.
We walked through the Museums Quarter and then to Parliament which was just magnificent. There were many food stalls at its base and we enjoyed a glass of rosé sturm which is a typical Viennese drink. It is basically fermented freshly pressed grape juice and is only available from the end of September to mid October (I didn’t know this at the time, but have since realised this fact after doing a bit of research. So we were actually very lucky with our timing!).
The Viennese have quite a sweet tooth and a very strong cafe culture. So we decided to give the local specialty, Sachertorte, a try. This is a decadent chocolate sponge cake with apricot jam. Delicious!
Our train was leaving at midday the next day and so for breakfast we decided to check off another must try: Kaiserschmarrn. This is a shredded pancake dusted with icing sugar and served with plum sauce. Honestly one of the yummiest things I’ve had!
We spent the rest of the morning in Stadspark which was very pretty, before grabbing a vienna hot dog and catching the train to Budapest. I enjoyed Vienna but it wasn’t one of my favourite places. Prague is just Prague and so nothing compares and little did I know what lay in store for me in the most magical city in the world: Budapest.