Wednesday, 11 May 2016


An impromptu trip, and one that I will never forget. We got lost every day in this city, but I didn't mind. Wondering through the streets, marveling at the beautiful architecture, taking in the grandness of everything, I felt so comfortable and happy here.
It was nothing like London. There was a calmness about the place, no rushing or urgency. Perhaps not peaceful, definitely somewhat bustling, but not claustrophobic.

We spent our days exploring. Yes, we did have a (sort of) itinerary, but our feet often led us to new discoveries. Our first day was spent doing just that, exploring. Before coming here, I had a vision of what it might be like in my head, and it lived up to that vision almost perfectly. We kept the Cathedral as an almost base, because if we knew where Stephansdom was then we knew where we were. The south tower loomed over every other building, so it was nearly always in sight and a perfect point of reference.

Originally white, the limestone structure has blackened with years of pollution. I quite like the colour though, it makes the cathedral seem even more gothic and intimidating.

Somewhat unexpectedly, we stumbled across the Hofburg palace and Burggarten.

I particularly enjoyed the butterfly house of course. It is the only insect that can fly at my face without me running away. Perhaps it is because they look so beautiful, or are so delicate and graceful. I particularly liked their curly tongues, only unwinding when they drink the nectar of a flower. 

Drinks at a small bar in the Naschmarkt followed, and we subsequently decided to get dressed up for the remainder of the evening. Needless to say we felt overdressed when we went out for dinner. The atmosphere in the evening wasn't what we were expecting. Very quiet, very casual. 

We wanted traditional Austrian cuisine, so we found a traditional Austrian restaurant. I sampled the Beef Goulash with Bread Dumpling. I wasn't thrilled. Viennese food in general wasn't hugely to my taste (apart from the breakfasts which were incredible). 

Day two was spent at the Zoo and Schonbrunn palace and gardens. The zoo is the oldest in the world, starting off as the imperial menagerie of the palace in 1752. Original cages from that time remain which is fascinating, and Baroque architecture can be found preserved when wondering through the grounds.

The palace gardens are spectacular. Tree lined walkways, fountains and sculptures make them all the more charming. I can just imagine what the gardens will be like in the summer when all the flowers have bloomed. 
The palace itself is like something out of a period drama film. It was the imperial summer residence, and what emperor wouldn't want to spend his summers somewhere like this? The building is grand in scale, which matches the surroundings, and the view behind the palace. 

Walking up the 200ft high hill, in front of the palace, you find the 'Gloriette' structure, pictured below. It is from here that you can see the epic views of Vienna.

The 212 foot tall big wheel or 'Reisenrad' sits at the entrance to the strangest amusement park I have ever been too. We were told that a ride on this structure would provide us with views of the entire city. It did, but the views from the Schonbrunn palace hill were better. 
The funniest thing about this section of the trip was the absolutely mind boggling nature of the amusement park. Johann Strauss was played through loudspeakers throughout the park. And it was deserted. And very old fashioned. And there was no one there. Perhaps it livens up in the evening? Walking around the park felt like being in a really strange, and somewhat disturbing, dream. 

Now this is just a small insight into what we got up to. We spent most of our time laughing and eating. My type of holiday really. I would go back to Vienna. Maybe in the height of summer? Only being there four nights, we didn't get to see an opera, or visit many of the museums, and I would like to try out some of the more recommended restaurants in the city.

In case you were curious, we flew with Easyjet and flights cost around £58 each return. We stayed at the Mercure Secession Wien, which was in a perfect location, and was great quality for the price (a find).

1 comment

  1. Brilliant blog post hollie. I'd love to go back xxxxx


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