Vienna Waits for You

This week started similarly to my other weeks so far.  I had a quiet Monday, catching up on some reading and writing, and went to Absolute Harmony in the evening.  My friends and I all decided to go to ‘Monkey’s Monday’ in the evening at the local pub, but I went home pretty early, because I have 9 am lectures on Tuesdays.

I had a pretty uneventful day on Tuesday as well.  I went to lectures, got lunch with Clem and Thea, and went to Tesco with Thea in the afternoon before meeting up with everyone for dinner.  After dinner, Clem, Em, Liv, Issy, a girl from our hall Olivia, and I decided to go back to Monkey’s for the evening.  We met up with Harry, Kieran, and their friend Jonty at the bar.  All in all, it was a really fun evening!  The bar was quiet, so we managed to snag a table, and spent the evening talking and singing along to the music at the pub- they were playing everything from High School Musical to the Friends theme.  We headed back to Founder’s about 12, and Em, Liv, and I spent the evening chatting together.  It ended up being a pretty late night by the time we all got to bed!

Wednesday was a lot of fun.  Thea came over in the morning, and the two of us caught up on some reading together before we got lunch.  At one, I went to meet my friend Leigh-Anne and walked with her to her house to get her roommate Bethany, so we could all go to Windsor together to do some shopping!  We spent the afternoon strolling around the Windsor shops, and I got a nice look at the outside of Windsor Castle.  I picked up some leggings at H&M, and had a really good afternoon!  When I got back, I grabbed Thea, and the two of us went to dinner together.  After, she and I went to Em’s room to hang out for the evening with Em and Liv.  I left around 11, intending to go to bed early, but ended up staying up until about one, because Allison and I booked a trip to Vienna!

Thursday was a pretty low key day.  I had my lecture at 9, went back to my room to get some work done, got lunch with Thea and Em, went to the library with Thea until my seminar at 5, and then met up with Thea and Liv for dinner at 6.  After dinner, Thea and I scooped up Rhys, and the three of us went to the CU for the evening.  We had a sort of quiz night at the CU, and it was so much fun!  Our team did not win, unfortunately, but we had a blast coming up with the answers, even if some of them were the wrong ones.  When I got back to Founder’s, I went to Issy’s room for a  while to catch up for a bit.  She and I had a nice chat before I said goodnight, and went to bed.

Friday was a bit chaotic.  I went to my 10 am lecture and 11 am seminar, before having lunch with Thea and Issy.  When I got back to my room, I finally started packing for Vienna- a necessary feat, seeing as I was leaving that night.  I caught a bus to Heathrow at about 3, and arrived at the airport around four, when I met Allison.  We went to our gate, only to find that our plane had been slightly delayed.  We were a little worried, because we had a short connection, but thought we would be fine. The plane kept getting pushed back, however, and by the time we finally took off, we were in a bit of a panic over whether or not we would make our flight to Vienna.   We landed in Munich, and ran through the airport.  Fortunately, we just made our flight. We landed in Vienna around 11, and made it to our hotel with no problems.

Saturday morning, Allison and I woke up at 8:30, and left the room about 10.  We stopped in a coffee shop on our walk into Old Town, and grabbed coffee and pastries (note: Mokka does not equal Mocha.  A Mokka is an espresso shot, not a delicious chocolate milk and coffee beverage).  We walked into the city center, booked a Mozart and Strauss concert, and got tickets for a Big Bus tour.  We got on the bus, and rode around for about an hour until we got to Stadtpark, which was this beautiful park with a really cool gilded statue of Johann Strauss.  We wandered around for a bit, before realizing we were hungry, and wanted lunch.  Allison and I found a cafe near the Vienna Opera House, and I had a weiner shnitzel for lunch, which was so nice.  We walked around for a bit longer before going on a walking tour of the city.  After the walking tour, we were hungry again, so we decided to grab dinner.  We happened to be visiting the city on the 60th anniversary of Austria’s independence, so there was a really cool street festival going on in Heldenplatz, the square outside the Hofburg.  Allison and I decided to grab food form one of the many tents in the square, and had a great dinner sitting outside the Hofburg before we headed to the concert.  The music was absolutely beautiful, and there was ballet and opera as well, during the performance.  I personally enjoyed the Strauss portion more than the Mozart portion of the performance, but both acts were truly amazing. After the concert, it was a bit late, so Allison and I walked back to our hotel.

Sunday was another eventful day in Vienna.  We woke up at eight, and headed to the Opera House for another walking tour of the city.  We learned a lot about the modern history of the city, despite the fact that the tour was called the “Imperial Walking Tour,” but we learned a lot.  For instance, Austria gained its independence from the Allied Forces on October 25th, 1955.  Before the tour, Allison and I hadn’t had a clue what the festival in Heldenplatz was for.  After the tour concluded, we hopped on a bus that took us to Schonbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Imperial Court.  Words cannot describe the grandeur of this palace, but I’ll do my best.  The outside of the palace was breathtaking, and overwhelming because of the sheer size.  There are over 1,000 rooms in the palace, and during our tour, we got to see 40.  Each room was more beautiful and opulent than the one before.  Everything was gilded, the colors were rich, and the artwork was astounding.  It was such a cool thing to see, and I’m so glad we managed to make it.  Following the tour, Allison and I grabbed a bit to eat, before walking around the grounds.  We both kept exclaiming how excited we were to be visiting in the fall, because all the trees were turning gold. It was a beautiful walk.  It’s so hard to imagine that people actually lived in this palace, and called it home. We caught the bus back into the city around 5:45, and decided to do dessert before dinner. We went to the Hotel Sacher, and had the Original Sacher torte, a chocolate cake with apricot jam filling, covered in a chocolate glaze- it was delicious.  We also had a slice of apple strudel, and a melange (a coffee drink akin to a latte) each.  After dessert, we realized we should eat something with some substance as well, and went back to the street fair for food.  We split a langos, which is like a pizza, but with sour cream and cheese- it was awesome.  Allison and I decided to do a loop around the Silent Disco going on, and headed back to the hotel around 11 or so.

Monday morning, we woke up at 8 again before taking the bus to the Opera House, and having a traditional Viennese breakfast of ham, cheese, a roll, a croissant, apricot jam, and an egg at a cafe nearby.  Then, we went postcard shopping for a bit before heading back to the hotel to grab our stuff, so we could head to the airport.  we got back into Heathrow around 6:15, and I was back at school by 8:30.  When I got back, it turned out everyone was going to Monkey’s, so I went out for a bit before coming home and collapsing into bed.