3:00am wake up in London all dark and cold waiting for a bus on the side of the road with strangers and freezing our faces off. It isn’t even proper winter yet, haha. It was 8 degrees… Good luck to us when we experience a proper British winter. We caught the bus to the airport and then a plane to Linz, Austria.
When we arrived at Linz it was the most beautiful thing we had seen, as its autumn here with amazing wintery trees, cold breeze and sunny vibes which reminded us a lot of Japan. From the airport we walked 20 minutes to the train station through fields of some unknown crops and beautiful big houses, it was so magical. Along the way we found an apple tree so we sneaky picked one each and it was the best apple we have ever tasted. Small and sweet. We then caught a train to Vienna. It was so beautiful passing all these tiny villages, each with their own tall-steeple churches and lots of beautiful farm land and hills everywhere. We also spotted a massive castle that looked abandoned.
It took us a little while to realise that Vienna is actually spelt Wien.. And a lot longer to realise that Wiener means Viennese. We were wondering why everything was wiener this and wiener that…. Finally it clicked. We started a competition to try and spot the funniest German sign. I think the winner was a big sign that just said “Dumfart”. Haha. Chris is the winner.
As soon as we got to Vienna we started exploring and found a huge amusement park that was basically empty and had a cool vibe to it, like the movie Adventure Land. It’s called the Prater and is apparently the oldest amusement park in the world. We went on two rides first a haunted house roller coster that we screamed the whole way through, and then the tallest swing we have ever been on that was 117m tall… The “Praterturm”. It has a great view over the whole of Vienna. We saw some people eating a huge flat circle thing that looked like a potato scallop but it was even better! It’s called Lángos and it is a sort of deep-fried bread. Ours was garlic flavour and it was seriously delicious.
We walked to the Danube river to see the beautiful view. To our surprise this whole day so far we had not really seen many people at all. It was pretty cool being in a big city but with no crowd… We really enjoyed that. In Vienna at this time of year the Christmas markets start popping up everywhere. There are so many, so Chris chose the top 3. The first one we went to was in Spittelberg and has winding little streets full of stalls. It was pretty cute. We tasted all kinds of delicious things and walked the market twice just so we didn’t miss anything.
We went straight away to a cafe to get a “melange” it’s the Austrian version of a cappuccino I guess. Very foamy, very weak, but not bad. It started to rain so we spent a few hours running away from the rain, which took us to cafes to hide in and eat schnitzel and apple strudel and other tasty treats. Thanks rain. We took a tour on a tram that was very helpful with seeing all the amazing sights that we were unaware of. After the rain died down we hit up The Rathausplatz Christmas Market where we brought a bag of ginger bread and tried plum strudel. The market was so beautiful with amazing decorations in every tree and these cute little wooden huts as the stalls and lots of fairy lights… It felt like Christmas which we loved. We learned that in Austria the Christmas legend has both Saint Nicholas, who gives good children gifts, and Krampus, who gives bad children a bop on the head with a stick.
We walked past the parliament building, and beautiful museums. We saw a monument to Mozart, and the church where he got married. We also saw a monument to the people who lost their lives in the Nazi regime, saw a park where the Nazi SS building used to be, the square where hitler delivered his famous speech, and some enormous WWII anti-aircraft flak towers. We saw a piece of the old roman wall from between the first and fifth century. They say that the Danube was once the boundary of the Roman Empire. So much has happened in this place over the centuries. After a lot of walking, running and hiding all day we went home and watched the movie Amadeus which is about Mozart, as there is a lot about him in Vienna (here he sells everything from alcohol to chocolate) and we wanted to find out more. Mozart was born in Salzburg, but died in Vienna.
Today we had a late start, just walking around random streets and parks, looking at all the beautiful things. Amazingly, we ran into the only person we know in Vienna, Anika, and her little family. It was crazy but really cool! We also caught up with our mates from a band called Cari Cari you should check out their music.
They gave us a local guided tour taking us to lunch at the most viennese place they knew and it was so delicious. Then to a famous cake shop where we had our 3rd strudel on this trip and traditional chocolate cake. Then to the university library which is packed with books to the ceiling.