33. Vienna, Austria
(Actual Trip Date: November 16, 2010)
To be honest, I wished I planned my travels to go from Vienna and then Salzburg. After experiencing an entire, fantastic day under the sunshine in the beautiful city of Salzburg, Vienna looked like nothing in comparison. It didn’t help that my friend and I also arrived under the conditions of a chilly draft and low, gray skies pregnant with raindrops.
But my friend loved the city, and I have to say that there is something to Vienna other cities can’t capture. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. There’s a mysterious allure that just hangs in the city air as you walk around. We spent most of our time in Naschmarkt — a long street of food vendors ending in rows and rows of delightful scarves hanging around off shelves and hooks. One of the best things at the market? If you’re nice enough and you hang around a vendor for a little while looking interested, they’ll usually give you a sample to taste.
It was like being back at Costco!
Normally the only things they let you taste are the olives stuffed with cheese, the falafels dipped with some sort of hummus, or the dried strawberries or assortment of fruits they’re selling. After eating a delicious meal of falafel sandwich and a chicken kebab shared between us, we wandered some more, looking at the scarves and thick jackets covered in fur while ending our market spree by buying our dinner of hummus.
I’ve definitely figured out that I’m a huge market-lover.
One place I definitely recommend for any museum-lover is the MuseumsQuartier Wien (The Museums Quarter) which is this large vast area surrounded by a number of museums styled to different tastes and exhibits. I’m not much of a museum lover and can only stand so much museum sight-seeing, but the exhibit my friend and I saw in Vienna that day was quite the eye-opener.
We decided to see the Pop Art museum section where it was concentrated mainly on feminism. While the art inside was quite on the extreme side of feminism and made me rather uncomfortable, it was not a regrettable experience. I learned to throw myself out of my comfort area and into the complex, intrinsic world of these artists and how they think. I ended up spending the most time watching a disturbing video in the exhibit that the artist created, inspired by her childhood of abuse from her father.
The pieces to me were exorbitant, but to not take them into my knowledge and memories would be foolish.
While the night time descended, my friend and I tried to get one more sight into our day. Heading toward Schonbrunn Palace, we found ourselves tired and ready for just some dinner and settling into our night train that we were to board that night. Needless to say, we found ourselves halfway to the Palace before heading back to the train station. We did see it from a faraway glimpse and it looked spectacular so if those of you have energy and free time, go see it!
(Travel hint: You don’t need to pay for any pass to get onto the metro in this city. How convenient!)
And then some of the best part of the long day?
Just figuring out we had the entire night train bed compartment to ourselves making the pretentious price we paid for it worth it. Eating pomegranate. Having good conversation with a great friend. Looking back at pictures throughout our whole trip. Then sleeping comfortably throughout the night (a rare thing on night trains).