After visiting Germany, I flew to the tiny, sunny island of Santorini, Greece.
It was amazing. (More on that later).
Five days later, sunburned and exhausted from all-night flights, I arrived in Vienna to meet up with my best friend.
Sans working phones, Elea and I came from different parts of Europe and met up at a Vienna youth hostel. I looked up, and in walked a girl wearing a straw hat and a huge backpack. I had a mountainous bag to match, and we set off our duo travel with some meandering through Vienna. Traveling with a friend makes everything seem a little less scary and a lot more funny.
We had about a day and a half in Vienna, so we saw a very limited amount of the city. We managed to fit in a church, a handful of buildings from Imperial days, elegant fountains, more graceful buildings, and snacks.
Naschtmarkt: A Linguistic Fruit Tour
Elea and I walked through the Naschmarkt, ogling the stuffed olives and dates, the twists of white cheese, the colorful rows of pastries, and the thousands of bright sugared pieces of dried fruit. Watermelon, coconut, strawberry– never had we seen so many types of dried fruit, and never had dried fruit tasted so good.
Traveling in Europe in the spring greatly increased my fruit vocabulary. Raspberry, pineapple, peach, and blackberry became, respectively, himbeer, ananas, pesca, and mora. If I didn’t know it, I ordered it, tasted it, and walked away with a strawberry smoothie in my hand and the German word for strawberry (erdbeer) in my brain.
36 degrees celsius is hot
Vienna was elegant buildings, church after church, miles of walking, and unpronounceable (to me) street names. The Viennese attention to detail is admirable and not limited to painted designs on buildings; glaring stone faces loomed from the cornices of random buildings. Reminders of Vienna’s musical history reverberate across the city. It felt like the entire city was name-dropping, with streets named for this queen or that composer. I suppose Vienna has earned the right to drop names.
Pigeons are flying rats
Raise the roof
Stephansdom, the main church in Vienna, was Catholic (still a bit of a shock after spending months in Britain), and had all kinds of interesting history clinging to it. The roof tiles made it stand out from the dozen other churches Elea and I saw, because they were multi-colored and arranged in chevron and eagle patterns that were very striking. Stephansdom is a hub of activity, and the church looks indulgently on the frantic swirl of tourists running in currents around her walls. Mozart impersonators, trinket shops, an open air market, horse-and-buggy rides, and a carousel spread out around the base of Stephansdom, somehow not diminishing the church’s effect at all.
We explored the meticulously manicured grounds of a little palace. We were unsure what the statues were meant to represent, but decided some things were best left a mystery.