So, now we were in Austria! In the morning, we had breakfast at a nice little gasthaus type place and then walked all the way to Schönbrunn Palace. Everyone had told us to go there and that it would be an amazing place. It really is gorgeous out there, especially the gardens! We decided not to go inside the palace as we both think seeing different rooms is just really boring, but we did see a lot of things outside the palace.
We then noticed a children's maze that you could enter for an extra fee...of course we had to do that! It was almost too easy to find your way out, though, heh.
Our next plan was to climb the hill for the views...that was until we noticed there was a zoo...with koalas and pandas, which neither of us had seen before. We just had to go there! Apparently, Schönbrunn Zoo is the oldest zoo in the world, too, and it was a pretty good place with lots of different animals, such as...
|...elephants (this one is eating)...|
We both agreed that going to zoos is much nicer than going to palaces, heh. We still wanted to do the insane climb up the hill, though, even though we were quite exhausted from walking to the palace and around the zoo. Tia had also gone for a run in the morning! But yes, up the hill we went...
|Hehe, I was EXHAUSTED :D!|
Right, then we still had to go back down and walk all the way to the metro stop. Yes, we decided we wouldn't do any more walking but instead would catch the metro downtown where we'd have something to eat and then go and check out the Ring Boulevard where you have all the old buildings and sights.
|Here we are! This is the Opera House.|
|Really good food! Don't ask me what it was, though, I don't remember anymore. Veggie lasagne, maybe?|
|Apfelstrudel for dessert, yum!|
And then we embarked on our sightseeing tour of the Ring. Tia had been to Vienna before so she showed me around and told me what all the buildings were, which was pretty nice.
|Hofburg Palace and Mozart's statue.|
|Can't remember what this one was but it's a gorgeous building nevertheless.|
And then it was time to go shopping again! As you can possibly guess, this holiday wasn't that relaxing, heh. My trips are never about not being busy and having time for yourself - I'm always going from one place to another all day and then ending the day completely knackered and exhausted. I should probably learn to enjoy beach breaks...:D
Anyway, I didn't buy that much this time and, instead, I left Tia to do her shopping and went to meet up with my Erasmus exchange friend Mirjana, who lives in Vienna. It had been over five years since I last saw her and it was so nice to get together again! We went to a really lovely coffee shop called Café Ritter for coffee, sacher cake and a long chat. Mirjana was incredibly hospitable as well and treated me to absolutely everything! I can't tell you how much fun it was to see her again after all this time. We talked about our time in Växjö and everything that has happened to us since. We had a lot of catching up to do. Then we took the metro to Stephansplatz where Mirjana got me some typically Austrian waffles, and then we met up with Mirjana's boyfriend Thomas, who I also know from Växjö, and Thomas's aunt. The four of us went to a sushi place and chatted some more, and I got to present my extremely vast vocabulary of German words, heh. I had so much fun! Wish it could've lasted longer! Mirjana, Thomas and Thomas's aunt were going to the theatre so we had to part ways, and so I went back to our hostel to meet up with Tia again. I hope we'll see each other again soon!
|Horses and carriages outside St. Stephen's Cathedral.|
|St. Stephen's Cathedral in the dark.|
When I got back to the hostel, it turned out Tia hadn't eaten yet so we went to yet another restaurant so that she wouldn't have to go hungry, heh. We ended up having the best night ever! Let's just say that wine was consumed and lots of hours were spent awake, talking about absolutely everything. I think we finally fell asleep at around 3 am or so? It was so worth it, though - what an epic night, as much as I hate using the word epic.
And that was basically our holiday in a nutshell. The following day we didn't do that much anymore. We had to check out at 10 am, and as we'd done so much the day before, we didn't really feel like going anywhere new. We spent some time sitting at Starbucks, drinking hot chocolate, then went to a restaurant for a burger (I swore I'd never have another burger in my life after this trip but of course I've now broken that promise, heh), did some grocery shopping, and then headed back to Sudbahnhof for our train back to Bratislava. It took us pretty much all day to get back to Budapest as we had to change trains in Bratislava and our train was late as well. It wasn't until 10 pm that we arrived at our hostel in Budapest. Luckily it wasn't Rastel anymore, but our new hostel, the Red Bus, wasn't that amazing, either. Its location was better, though, and we'd only be staying for one night so that was okay. We paid around 20€/person/night for this hostel. We still went to McDonald's for another meal (NO MORE BURGERS, PLEASE!) and then came back, packed our bags, read a little bit and then went to bed.
The following morning, we decided to leave for the airport immediately. We'd ordered a taxi via the reception and that cost around 13€ between us. Not bad considering the airport is quite far away. We spent quite some time playing different card games at the airport until it was finally time for us to check in for the flight and go through security. All in all, yet another great trip in great company! I really recommend Bratislava and Vienna to everyone, and also doing a trip like this where you travel around from country to country even if you only have one week to do it. It's really worth it! I also recommend Budapest but make sure the weather is good ;).