A Travellerspoint blog

AUSTRIA!!!

Vienna, Melk Abbey, Salzburg

The bus ride to Vienna, Austria was only 1.5 hours. We settled into the hotel and went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner….very Austian, I know. Afterwards I took a bath, used the free internet, and went to bed early.

We woke up and took a walking and bus tour of both the new and old cities. We visited Hundertwasser House and Village, which was awesome. The architect, Hundertwasser, didn’t use right angles, used mirrors everywhere to project light, liked a lot of fountains, and the ground surrounding his buildings were never flat. It was very cool. We also saw St. Peter’s, the Opera House, a few embassies, the Plague Column, and a two castles.

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I guess I should mention that this was Easter Sunday. We went to lunch and got ice cream for a treat. We got some boiled eggs and met up with some others to break them (some weirdo Greek thing ). We went to a fair near our hotel to ride the giant ferris wheel, which is historically important for some reason, but never actually rode it.

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Everyone went home to rest and I took a walk along the river, which was absolutely gorgeous. I went to the hotel and showered before meeting up with some others to go downtown to dinner. We ate at a traditional Austrian restaurant, which was really slow and the owner/waiter dude was really rude. Anyways, it was a good meal and we had a good time, so it’s all okay.

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The next morning I woke up at 6:45 (boo) and boarded the bus to Melk Abbey. The Abbey is one of the most famous in the world, and now a school as well. We only had 1.5 hours to walk around but that was plenty because we couldn’t go inside…. I didn’t see even 1 monk!

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The bus ride to Salzburg, Austria took 3 hours. After getting into the hotel we went downtown. I had a quick lunch with Teresa & Blake. We sat by the river with some others before Nicole, Linsey, & I left to explore. A lot was closed because it was still a holiday (Easter Monday) but we went to a beer garden, another Easter market, and walked by Mozart’s house and the river for a while longer.

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We went back to the hotel and rested up for a little before going out to dinner. We went to a local place which was closed, and two other places which were also closed. We ended up at McDonald’s again.

Posted by Stefani528 23:24 Comments (1)

Dresden to Prague to Bratislava

Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia

We rode the bus to Dresden and spent 3 short hours in the town. It was absolutely gorgeous, even though it was small. We ate lunch outside at a café by the big church in town. The city is on the Elbe River so we walked along the river for a while taking in the views. I really loved it. We just wandered around checking out all of the buildings and gardens in the area. We found a really beautiful garden full of fountain in the center of a museum building and hung out there for a while before heading out.

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We left for Prague, which took 3 more hours by bus. After settling into the hotel I went to dinner with Teresa and Marcie. We tried the local beer, and I got what should have been extremely weird, but was actually awesome tasting: chicken covered with cheese and peach slices. Anyways, I was impressed.

The next morning we woke up early and started off with a 5 hour walking tour. We got to see the Prague Castle, city center, a historic Jewish area, more awesome gardens, and their Glockenspiel. The architecture in the city is truly beautiful…each building is different and uniquely decorative.

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After the tour ended a group of us headed down the hill and walked across the Charles Bridge. There was an Easter Market in the town center where we had brats for lunch. We shopped a little there and walked back to the hotel for showers and naps.

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That night we went to a Black Light Theatre where we saw a “grown up” version of Alice in Wonderland. The effects and everything were very cool, but the whole thing was trippy and kind of, no - really creepy.

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We spent 5 hours on the bus driving to Bratislava, Slovakia. When we got there we ate a quick, gourmet lunch at McDonalds, and went on yet another walking tour. We saw the town square, Slovak National Theatre, St. Martin’s Cathedral, a castle (can’t remember what one), and a palace (can’t remember that one either). The town was pretty but very small and there wasn’t much to do. We had an hour after the tour before we had to leave so we spent it shopping because everything was so cheap there.

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Posted by Stefani528 05:55 Comments (0)

Brrrrr...Berlin

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We arrived in Berlin, Germany at 6ish in the evening. On the ride to the hotel we passed the Brandenburg Gate, a huge Scientology church (always fun), and the hotel MJ hung the baby out of (don’t remember what it was called).

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That night Maria helped me try and figure out Western Union stuff since my debit card expired the day before…super awesome situation.

I went to dinner that night with Jen, Courtney, Damira, Eden, and Aliza. We ate at an Italian place that was really good, and then to a lounge called Solar. The bar was at the top of a 12 story building where you could see the entire city lit up. It was a very cool place.

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The next day we woke up and took another bus/walking tour. The tour lasted 3 hours and covered tons. The city is beautiful, very clean, and the history is really interesting. We saw Potsdamer Platz, the huge TV tower, Reichstag, Alexanderplatz, Checkpoint Charlie, the Victory Column, and the remains of the Berlin Wall.

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After the tour ended we kept on exploring and did some shopping. We spent time exploring Alexanderplatz and a small market there. That evening I had dinner with Angela at an authentic German place called “Der Ulte Fritz.” It was really good! I had some crazy fruit beer (which was green and I have no idea what kind of fruit). We went back to the TV Tower and rode the elevator to the top to see the city before heading in for the night.

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Posted by Stefani528 02:14 Comments (0)

And We're Off!

Budapest, Hungary

The trip begins!

The bus got to the house at 1:15 Monday morning, and we boarded and drove to the airport. We were in Budapest, Hungary by 7:30 that same morning. The day began with a bus/walking tour of the city, which included both sides: Buda and Pest. We stopped at the largest covered market for coffee and spent some time exploring “Castle Square.” We got to see the Freedom Statue and visited two other historical squares.

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We checked into our hotel and Erin, Nicole, and I headed off to the Budapest Zoo. It was kind of small but a lot of fun – I haven’t been to a zoo in forever! We stopped on the way at a little roadside stand for a quick lunch. We did zoo-type things in the afternoon and then headed off to the hot springs. The hot springs in Budapest are natural, ground springs, but they made them into a ton of awesome swimming pools -- and the water is naturally hot! The place was beautiful and a really cool experience.

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After that we were super relaxed and headed back to the hotel for a shower and nap. We were beat so pretty much everyone ate dinner at the hotel that night and went to sleep early.

The money in Budapest was really hard to figure out. I’ve had to use so many different types of money since I’ve been here that I can’t keep any of the currencies straight. Basically, though, 1000 Hungarian Forints = 1 USD. I think. It was interesting to try and figure out how much we were actually spending.

The next day a group of us took the metro back to “Castle Square” so we could tour the underground labyrinths. They were really dark and a little creepy, but very cool to see. There was one room with a fountain of wine that we all liked :), and a “Labyrinth of Courage” that only Linsey, Me, and Marcie went into. It was just a completely black set of caves you have to find your way around... also kind of scary but fun.

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We hopped on the bus just to ride down the hill and got off to spend some time in the local marketplace. I had a sausage for lunch and we all split a really good vanilla sugary-dough-thingy.

So after 2 awesome days in Budapest we had to head back to the hotel to catch the bus to the airport. Next stop: Berlin!

Posted by Stefani528 01:21 Archived in Hungary Comments (1)

aghhhhh!

Ok everyone, so I know I'm being super slow at this but I'm also super busy. I still have to upload my Europe trip pics to my computer, let alone write anything about the big trip. I have 2 more papers to write & 4 finals...once I get all of that under control I will get on top of this business. Promise :)

Posted by Stefani528 09:52 Comments (0)

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