So, back to the travelling-- we got to Vienna without any problems. Since it was my second time visiting the city, we figured out the U-Bahn easily. Jenna has a friend from her research lab that has close friends in Vienna, so we had a wonderful place to stay! The mom (Terri) works for the UN, and the dad (David) takes care of their 3 kiddos-- one 14 year old daughter and two 8/9 year old adopted children from Sri Lanka.
They had an unbelievable apartment right in the center of town with a beautiful view of a nice Viennese church. We arrived in Vienna in the evening, so we just hung around with our hosts and had a pizza dinner while getting to know them.
It was so lovely to have a safe place to stay with such nice people! It was also pretty great to elevate and put some ice on my crippled ankle, which had turned a charming shade of purple by this point and was definitely sore from walking around Salzburg all day.
On Tuesday (5-10), we slept in then spent the entire day walking around Vienna. Thankfully, my ankle miraculously felt fine, although it still had swelling/limited movement/purplish shading. After picking up some delicious pastries, we headed towards St. Stephen's Cathedral but got sidetracked by a bunch of other churches.
The churches in Europe are so great-- most of them are huge and ornate, and they have massive organs in the back. In contrast to all of the churches, we found a really interesting billboard advertisement for ketchup.
Europe clearly feels more comfortable with nudity than the US-- there are naked people on advertisements and basically all of the statues are naked. Charming!
We cruised past the opera house, St. Charles' Cathedral, and decided to take a break once reaching the Museum Quartier. We had tried to take breaks all along the way, but we couldn't find a place to get a coffee for less than 3 Euros ($4.5)! After giving up on the coffee, we settled with sitting on public benches so I could elevate my ankle.
This, apparently, was socially unacceptable because people either scoffed at us/straight up told me to put my food down at nearly every place!
Even on PUBLIC benches!!! It must be some sort of horrible social mistake to put your foot on stuff. Oh well...
After our little rest, we walked through the musuems and gardens to the Rathaus-- pretty much exactly the same route I did last time I was in Vienna but it was no less beautiful the second time around.
The fountains and statues are so great, and the gardens were in full bloom. What a great time of year to be in Europe! We picked up a few giant bratwurst hotdogs filled with mustard and ketchup, and they were so delicious.
They hollow out a giant bagette and fill it with condiments, then shove the sausage in! The brat was pretty great, but the frankfurter was especially delicious. When I was in Vienna with Dad, I got a brat and he got a frankfurter, but we didn't try eachother's.
Dad thought that there was cheese inside of his and I saw no trace of cheese in mine, so we looked it up on the internet. No mention of cheese in frankfurters, so we assumed it was fat and were pretty grossed out. Turns out that it definitly is cheese.
They literally infuse the frankfurter with globs of stringly melted cheese!! What a fabulous idea! Because they were the size of our forearms, we only ate one and saved the other for later.
We headed back to our friend's house to rest a little bit, then took our second bratwurst down to the river to have a few beers and people-watch. The people-watching is pretty prime, and obviously everyone else agrees with us because we get stared at constantly-- not unfriendly or friendly staring in particular. Just curious staring.
It must be more socially acceptable to stare here than in the US... Then we went back to the house again to get ready for bed and call it a night. Walking around for 10 hours a day really takes it out of you!
On Wednesday morning (5-11), we woke up and talked to David for a little while. Turns out they used to live in Boulder and are planning to move back in a couple of months! Hopefully we can have them over for dinner and return some of their kindness and hospitality.
After packing up all of our stuff, we headed to the train station to catch the train to Budapest. We made a really stupid mistake-- there was a train arriving from Budapest on the same tracks as our train that was departing for Budapest. Apparently, they were both delayed so the train arriving from Budapest pulled in at the time ours was supposed to depart.
We saw the signs for Budapest so we hopped on and off we went! Thankfully, it only took us about 5 minutes to realize that the train was heading towards Salzberg rather than Budapest, so we hopped off a few minutes later at a different Vienna train station. The whole mistake only cost us a little over an hour, but we learned our lesson-- must be more careful in the future.
So now we are on the train to Budapest! We had a delicious picnic of bread and cheese (which we took a picture of because the bread was so ridiculously large). The entire train ride is only 2.5 hours, so we are about 1 hour away from Budapest now. Will post again soon! Auf Wiedershen!
I'll preface with a thank you to everyone who has expressed concern about my ankle. Luckily, I must have twisted it in just the right way for it to turn black and swell up huge but not hurt to walk on! If you haven't noticed, this blog isn't exactly in "real time," so by this point the swelling/bruising is gone and I have almost full range of motion back. Hurray!