Vienna was my least favourite stop of the trip. Nothing against Vienna though- it is fantastic in its own right- but when you have a line up of so many amazing cities, it just doesn’t quite measure up (my opinion only). Although the city was built with the intent of being a grand, beautiful city- and it is; somewhere along the way, it lost any sense of charm. It is almost too perfect, and too grand- to the point it seems artificial. Almost feels like a world pavilion at Disney World’s Epcot- Where they create a city to imitate a city. That is what Vienna is, and it doesn’t seem quite real.
Regardless of that, after what felt like a very long bus ride (purely due to the evening before), there was a lunch stop in Kutna Hora, a teeny tiny town in the Czech Republic. There we visited the bone church, which is basically what it sounds like. It is a church, where the inside is fully decorated with human skulls. Although it sounds a little bit morbid, it is quite fascinating. As well, the designs are so impressive and intricate.
From there we made it to Vienna. Same drill as always. Get ready at the hotel, short walking tour- then free time for dinner.
Dinner was quite the treat. We went to a chain so eloquently called “Wienerwald”- home of the extra large schnitzels. The food was good, but we did not go on a good night, as our service was something special- definitely one for the books. Oh well, at least we all had a Viennese schnitzel. Due to that ordeal, we were caught running for the bus again!
Another pretty easy going night- but we chose to make it as interesting as possible and go to the Prater amusement park. Because you know, when in Vienna, go on some rides. It was so much fun! I think we all got taken back to our childhoods for a few minutes. The bumper cars seemed to be pretty popular with our group. But we hit up all sorts of rides. My favourite was the world’s highest swing. I think it was a lot of fun because of how out of place it seemed in our trip. We were seeing all sorts of historical sites and cities and all of a sudden we were in bumper cars. I suggest it to anyone going.
On the second day, we took a lengthier walking tour through the streets of Vienna- it didn’t take all too long, so it gave us tons of free time. As soon as we were set loose, we went straight for Café Centrale; a classic Viennese café, one that you would expect to see in the movies. We all got some form of coffee with desert to match. I opted for a cappuccino with an apple strudel. I chose this as not too long before this trip I watched Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, and the café reminded me of a scene from the movie, which involved an apple strudel- so it only seemed suitable.
Now that we were all fed and properly caffeinated we dispersed to go out on all of our individual missions. By this point, my fellow Canadian, Craig, and I basically buddied up for all of our daily missions. For Vienna we decided to skip out on history as we’ve already had an overload and instead opted for shopping and ice cream. I think if there is any city to take a break from the history, this is it. As on this night we were going to a classical concert at the Schönbrunn Palace, we had to get some fancy clothing to match. For whatever reason though, we were terrible with time. Perhaps it was the chalice of ice-cream he ordered, or perhaps me forgetting one of my purchases at this café and having to run back. Either way, we did run it back in time to get on the bus for the next stop, which was the Schnapps museum. I’m not going to lie, I had pretty low expectations of this optional- but I figured, when you’re here, just do everything. It was actually very amusing. It wasn’t long winded- to the point and funny too- and capped off with a tasting of as many varieties of schnapps as you wanted. Now that everyone had a good buzz going- back to the hotel we went to get prettied up for our classy night out.
We headed out to the palace in the early evening, where we started with a dinner and ended in a classical Mozart concert. It was a great experience, and I can definitely say I’ve been to a classical concert in Vienna- would I do it again, probably not, but I did enjoy it at the time. Perhaps if it wasn’t so hot and we could take drinks into the concert venue it would be better, but it was still good.
That was basically good ol’ Vienna, I likely won’t visit again, but I am glad I did go and checked it off the list. But leaving Vienna only meant one thing; Budapest was up next- and that is something I was really looking forward to!