Majestic Vienna- by Kirsten
Kirsten lives in Delhi and is one of most awesome people you will ever meet. When one of our mutual friends showed me instagram pictures of her recent travels, I absolutely couldn’t resist asking her to blog for me and luckily for me she was gladly did so 🙂
Gutentag! My name is Kirsten, and I’m so excited to guest blog for my friend Mohana about my recent adventures in Austria. During the first week of July, my coworker, Morgan, and I took a weeklong trip through Vienna and Prague. Be looking for another post about Prague to come. Europe is such a delightful continent with its centuries of history and beautiful culture. Below are some highlights and details of my time in the majestic city of Vienna!
We arrived in Vienna around 12 p.m. We were immediately amazed by the beauty of the city. It is one of the quietest and cleanest cities I’ve ever visited. Most people spoke English, and we felt that the Viennese were very friendly. Vienna is also extremely easy to navigate with a metro system that a child could use, and easy walking to any place you want to visit!
After settling into our hotel, we hopped on the metro to just 2 stops away to the city center called Stephansplatz. It’s named after the St. Stephen’s Cathedral that is located there. Just like many other European cities and countries, Vienna has many old cathedrals and churches to take in for their illustrious architecture. After visiting St. Stephen’s, we took a five minute walk to Petersplatz where the St. Peter’s Cathedral is located. Pictures cannot do these old, beautiful cathedrals justice. You’ll just have to see them for yourself! We finished the evening with a walk to an old brewery, where we tasted the famous Wiener Schnitzel. If you’re curious, it’s simply breaded meat.
That’s all there is to it! After dinner, we headed back early to get some rest for our big day that was to come.
My coworker and I would not call ourselves the adventurous type, but we decided to go out on a limb and bike the 25 km trek through the Wachau Valley. It’s a valley formed by the Danube River, which is known for its historic wineries and where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned in the town of Durstein. In fact, you can still hike up to the top of the mountain to visit the ruins of the castle where he was held. We first boarded a train from Vienna to Krems where we picked up the bikes. Then we began our journey. On our journey back to Krems, we stopped at a local heuriger and filled our stomachs with their scrumptous, traditional Viennese apple streudel!
With only one day left in Vienna, we had to take in all the beautiful sites that the city has to offer. We visited Belvedere Palace and the Hofburg Imperial Apartments. Belvedere consists of two baroque palaces and beautiful gardens, built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy in the late 17th century. Disappointingly, the interior of the palaces has not been well preserved and has mostly been stripped of everything. Now, it serves as an art museum.
The Hofburg Palace, on the other hand, was stunning. It has housed some of Austria’s most important people, and it was the winter home for the Habsburg rulers. It now serves as the residence for the president of Austria. The rooms have been preserved and are shown as they would have been in its golden age. However, my favorite palace of the day was Schonbrunn Palace. This was the summer home for the Habsburg dynasty. I have never seen such beautiful gardens and breathtaking architecture. It has been incredibly well-preserved and the interior decorating of the rooms makes you feel as if the Habsburgs are right there with you. Needless to say, by the end of the day, I felt like quite the princess.
To end our time in Vienna, we visited the famous Café Central, which was opened in 1876. It is known as an instrumental intellectual ground, and in January of 1913, Vladimir Lenin, Sigmund Freud, and Adolph Hitler were all customers of the historic cafe. It was my favorite meal in Vienna which consisted of sausage, fresh horseradish, and spicy mustard. Absolutely delicious! We also sampled the fried cheese and risotto, which was accompanied by a tomato sauce. It was quite the dish, as I had never tried anything like it and enjoyed every bite. To top it off, we had to indulge in some cheesecakes, as the café is famous for their desserts. Definitely a must-visit if you’re ever in Vienna!