So our accommodations in Austria were slightly different than those we have had previously on the trip. We ended up using the couchsurfing system to find a verified, and well-referenced host named Segrid. Segrid was the most kind and caring person. She welcomed us with hugs, maps, and a room of our own.
Segrid lived in a suburb called Klosteneuburg which was about half an hour outside the city by train. It was an adorable little hillside village, where we had to walk down thousands of steps through a woodsy area and over a creek. We usually took this stroll while singing The Sound of Music. Let's be honest, we were pretty much singing Sound of Music our entire time here. I'm pretty sure the locals love that kind of thing. Below you can see pictures of our room, Segrid, and our train stop. In our photo with Segrid we are seated on her patio where we enjoyed breakfasts looking over the hills and vineyards of her town. Lovely.
Vienna is full of super ornate buildings. We were amazed by the National Library and Spanish Horse riding School in the Volksgarten. We also made our way out to Schloss Schoenbrunn with its Versailles like gardens and impressive Gloriette, which is also has an awesome view of the palace and Vienna. We also got some free chocolate on our way out of the gardens so that was pretty cool.
As I said, our initial reasonings for traveling to Vienna was to meet up briefly with Sally and her family. With the Diesslin clan we were treated to kaffee and kuchen (which Vienna is famous for), a trip on the Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel, and a stop in the St. Stephen's cathedral. It was great spending time with some familiar faces!
Conner and I spent a lot of time in cafes in this city. However, this is a very Viennese thing to do...so we happily did as the locals do. This included a stop at one of the oldest cafes in the city, Cafe Hawelka, where we enjoyed melanges (pretty much a latte but I was promptly corrected when using that term) and shared a Sachertorte, which is another Viennese specialty. Our favorite cafe was called Cafe Sperl. It was old and ornate inside and we enjoyed breakfast treats while sipping on "small browns" (espresso with a little cream and a sugar cube). Both are pictured below!
We enjoyed sweets and chocolate (lots of chocolate) as many meals, but we enjoyed some real-food and drink as well. Our first Austrian meal was winerschnitzel at an awesome and cheap restaurant called Siebensternbra.They also brewed their own beer so I obviously had to sample that with dinner. Bringing you home a coaster, Pops! Another favorite was a sandwich shop with small open faced sammies and pfiffs of beer for a euro each. Photo of me double-fisting below.
...one was Conner's!
On our final evening, we took a short trip to the suburb of Grinding, known for the heurigers or wine houses, each belonging to a vineyard to showcase their wines straight from the cask. We went to one called Mayer. There was more to that name but I can't remember since it was in German and all German words seem to be 500 letters long. The Mayer heuriger had wonderful outdoor seating where we sipped on delicious and low-priced heurig wine (Conner's with sparkling water).
While preparing for sleep that night I checked the instagram app on my phone and saw a photo of a place that looked very familiar from a friend who went on the Ukraine trip with Campus House. It turns out that Campus House had a layover in Vienna for the night. Of course, Conner and I sprinted down to the train station and to downtown Vienna, where we were able to meet up with friends for a short while! It was crazy!
After a final great sleep in the comforts of a home and our own room, we've packed our bags, hugged Segrid goodbye with hopes of seeing her again one day, and boarded a train which will soon arrive in Budapest! Time is flying but we're loving (almost) every minute of it! We love and miss you all! Aufweiderzehen!