Adventures in Austria

Another country unlocked! This one wasn’t very far from Italy, and only took an hour to travel by plane.

Vienna, Austria wasn’t necessarily on my list of places that I wanted to visit, so I was a little apprehensive when two of my friends asked if I wanted to join their plans for the weekend. However, I knew that I didn’t want to waste a weekend, especially because we only have so many weeks left to travel, so I booked a flight.

Upon my arrival, I wasn’t exactly happy with my decision to come; this was because it was pouring and freezing. By “freezing” I mean 45 degrees, which feels a little embarrassing to say as a Bostonian and college student in Massachusetts who endures much lower temperatures, but compared to Florence’s temperatures, this felt brutal.

Unfortunately the poor weather lasted our whole trip, but our experiences made up for it though. The first night we ate delicious Vienna sausages (which I’m pretty sure are just hot dogs) and then explored some local bars. PS credit cards alone won’t get you by in Vienna- make sure you have cash! We didn’t have much on us and we weren’t exactly the waiters’ favorites.

Although food is typically the highlight of my trip, the art and architecture won me over in this city. We walked around the Schönbrunn Palace, and admired beautiful gardens and fountains. Across town, we visited the Belvedere Museum, where we saw both modern art and the classics, such as Klimt’s famous piece, “The Kiss”. I wouldn’t consider myself a museum-enthusiast, but this specific painting took my breath away.

Vienna pleasantly surprised me with its unique charm. I can only imagine how much more I would have liked it if the weather had been nice.



A Nice Change

Last weekend’s destination spot was Nice, France! When my friends proposed going to France, a few things came to mind when I thought about the country: the Eiffel Tower, éclairs, and the Mona Lisa. Aside from the delicious pastry, I soon realized that I heavily associate the city of Paris with France. With that being said, I was surprised when I found out we’d be going to a different city, and truthfully, I had never heard of Nice.

Despite my skepticism, I was exited to go, but getting there was a bit of a challenge…En route to the station where I was supposed to take a bus, I realized that I left my passport at my house in Florence! My friends assured me that I’d have enough time to go back and still make the bus, but after spending nearly an hour in a taxi, I was not able to get there before the bus took off. Fortunately, I was able to take the next-bus-out later that night.

Unfortunately, the fiasco didn’t stop there. Once I got off the bus, I felt relieved that I had made it, and all I needed was a taxi ride to the station. Simple right? Well it would have been if the taxi services that I had called spoke English, like their websites promised. I then resorted to different app’s on my phone, and after an hour of trial-and-error, I finally got ahold of someone who could take me to my hotel where my friends awaited me.

There are many reasons why this city is my favorite I’ve visited so far, but the main one is because of it’s beautiful beaches. I could be biased because at the time I hadn’t encountered a beach, or any warm weather for that matter, in months. Regardless, the pebbles, palm-trees, and bluest water I’ve ever seen are unmatched.

The food was certainly a plus, too. From fresh fruit at markets, to cheese boards, to creme brulée , my taste buds were very happy.

In terms of the city’s atmosphere, I felt it was incredibly peaceful. The city’s unique architecture rivals that of Florence, but is certainly less crowded with people and cars, making for a more pleasurable city center experience. The people there seem to walk in a more relaxed way, and live more laid-back overall.

I’m so very happy that my friends chose such a NICE travel destination, and I hope to return someday (with a passport in hand).