After a sad day of saying goodbye to Germany and our new friends from the program we headed to the train station for Vienna, Austria. With no other expectations than a smaller Germany we were pleasantly surprised! Vienna was amazing, with tons to do and even more to see. The culture was very much like Germany, including the same language and efficient transportation system. The streets were clean and beautiful and the people were incredibly kind and helpful. On our first day we travelled all over the city using the Metro system and walked the local zoo, which happens to be the world’s oldest. After spending a little over 5 hours watching pandas, wolves, elephants, seals, giraffes, monkeys, and rats (yes, they had a rathouse) we decided to head back to the hotel and get some rest. Unfortunately, we hadn’t done our research and ended up in a very nice 4 star hotel… with no air conditioning. For the 6 days we spent in Vienna, the low was 90 degrees!
Our second day in Vienna we roamed the streets of the altstadt (“old city”), which was filled with cobblestone streets and 900-year-old churches. Every corner had chocolate truffle shops, ice cream shops, and beautifully constructed fountains. The focal point of the old city is St. Stephens Cathedral and the State Opera House. Each landmark was more breathtaking than the next. Later in the day we ventured to the Schönbrunn Palace. The Palace was massive and included multiple gardens, two hedge mazes, and the green house where League of Extraordinary Gentleman was filmed. At the end of the tour we walked into the restaurant for an apple strudel show, which was the highlight of Chelsea’s day (It was pretty cool and we got to eat strudel). Check out the link and pictures below to see the Palace.