Day 8: Exploring Vienna (6/10/2017)

By Calvin Tran

We took a train from Budapest to Vienna today. When we got to Vienna, We dropped off our luggage and bags into lockers in the Vienna train station, and then departed on our separate ways for the afternoon. As we walked out of the station, there was a stark contrast between the “new town” and “old town”. One side was filled with modern architecture, reminiscent of New York City, with giant cranes looming over the landscape. The other was the more classical side, with genuine Viennese decor surrounding the area.

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Construction around the new, very modern, main train station in Vienna

All throughout the city, there were public bikes that could be rented, with designated bike lanes too. Vienna seems to have very good bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

The first thing we passed by was the Belvedere Palace. Though we didn’t pay to go inside it, we observed the front and back. It was a very royal setting which reminded us of Versailles.

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Kate walking through the gardens of the Belvedere Palace

After lunch at La Moritz Huth, we took a short walk to one of the local parks. It was very quiet, and surprisingly there were not many tourists out and about. People were laying out on the grass, feeding the ducks and fish in the man-made pond, and there was a local accordion player too. There were also public water fountains, which looked very ornate and provided cold drinking water. The urban green space seemed to be a great addition for both locals and tourists to unwind.

Our group decided to split after that to explore more of Vienna. Some of us paid a visit to the Leopold Museum. We spent the rest of our time learning about the art and history of Vienna in the museum. Afterward, we met back with everyone at a local restaurant for dinner, where I enjoyed a Viennese schnitzel. When dinner concluded, we headed back to the train station, grabbed our luggage, and boarded the overnight train to Venice. Though we were only in Vienna for less than a full day, it was incredible to be able to experience the city and its rich history, even if for just a moment.

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