Today started off well for some of us, but difficult for others (not going to name names here…). Ir was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Vienna, Austria, about 50 degrees. Brigid stayed at Sandras (our au pair from 1996) house last night, so she rode with Sandra, Ralf the BF and Sandras dog Niko, to our hotel to meet me, Ben, Mom and Dad for breakfast at 9:45. We walked to the market and had some pretty tasty breakfast. Then, sandra and Ralf had to be somewhere for the afternoon, and Brigids friend Sam had just gotten in from Boston for her spring break trip. Mom, Ben, Brigid, Dad and Sam all went out for the afternoon while I slept in the hotel. Later, I walked around the main square and found a book store i went into 2 summers ago. Then I got pizza, then chilled at the hotel with Ben, Brigid and Sam until dinner time. Tonight we all met Sandra and Ralf at this AMAZING restaurant on the water, and it was fantastic. After that, we went to a wine bar until midnight. The day was amazing, we got to shop, and the weather could not have been more beautiful.
And thus ends this wonderful 9 day vacation in Europe! Spent 4 days in Prague (Czech Republic), took an overnight train to Budapest (Hungary) where we stayed for 2 days, then made our way back to Vienna (Austria). Got to see Brigid and Ben, and got to miss a week of school 🙂 The whole week was just amazing. Thanks to all that followed my blog, you’re the reason why I decided to make this to update everyone on what happens on the vacation. Feedback and comments were definitely highly appreciated 🙂
back to America tomorrow.
The day started off surpisingly better than yesterday. We all got up on time, checked out of the hotel by 11, ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Then off to the train station. We walked there, and we were there with an hour to spare. And good thing we got there with that much time too, because my dad says it was difficult, thanks to the ruthless Communist-like efficiency of the Hungarian clerical bureaucracy. Its true actually, cause Wednesday afternoon, we were trying to buy a 48 hour metro ticket, which the metro lady (or man, as the local hungarian chick referred to) was unpleased about. I mean god forbid she has to actually do her job… anyway, we got on to the train with ten minutes to spare. Got to the St Stehpansplatz hotel at 5, and then we headed over to the apartment of our old austrain au pair Sandra from 1996. She had a big dinner party for us americans! her brother Thomas, their parents, Thomas’s wife and their little baby daughter hanna, Thomas’s friend, and Sandra’s friends Peter and Petra (whom my sister worked for as an au pair 2 summers ago) and their 1 year old daughter, they were all there too, so we got to enjoy some great meat with them. Europeans definitely know how to throw a kickass party, thats for sure!!! tomorrow (or today, as the case may be), last day of vacation. Last blog post later tonight!!!
Today started off easily for some, but more tough for others (if you know what i mean). Dad came in and woke me, ben and brigid up at around 9:30 AM. Ben’s reaction was “nrbgikhkhew lights off, lights off. not cool, thats just not cool, whats that about? the thing with the lights being on, what the hell, turn that shit off…” late night partying perhaps? Anyway, once we all got out of the room (an hour a and half later…) we ate breakfast at a cafe, where i caught a quick nap once i finished my food. Then off to St Stephens Cathedral, where we saw St Stephens right hand. That was probably both sick and totally AWESOME at the same time 🙂 next, we went to the Budapest opera house, which wasnt giving tours until 3 and 4 PM. Dad really wanted to see it, but we had other plans for later in the day. If we had just one more day in Budapest, we would have definitely gotten there. Ah well, theres always the next vacation, right? Then we got lunch, and the off to the budapest baths! It’s located inside of the Gellert Hotel. It’s basically 3 or 4 big heated pools for men and a section of the same for the women, and then heated saunas (one sauna room being 50-60, the other room being 60-70 and the next room being 70-80). Ben stepped into the 60-70 degree sauna and stepped right back out after one second. After that, we got back to the hotel, got all cleaned up and went out to dinner (one of the BEST restaurants we’ve been to on this whole vacation, which isnt saiyng much because we have found ourselves some pretty kickass places for food). We stayed out until 11:30, walked to the metro, probably broke the Hungarian law jaywalking, and almost missed the train because Mom and Dad were slow as shitttt buying the 24 hour metro ticket. The metro went one stop away and let us out, and 1 other person too. We then figured out that we had gone the wrong direction, so we went up the stairs, out and into another metro station only to find that it had just shut down for the evening…oops! So, we were stuck in a part of town that we did not even know, and it looked pretty sketchy. But thankfully, Ben knew enough German to let this random hungarian dude know that we needed a taxi back to our hotel. The dude called a taxi place, and the taxi picked us up 10 minutes later. I mean, we had to have Ben lay across me, Brigid and Mom on the way back to the hotel, but atleast we got back safely. Probably the only travel mishap we’ve had if i dont count the first day where we almost missed the train to prague. train stations fault by the way.
Budapest was lovely, off to Vienna Austria on day 7!
The trip to Budapest started with an overnight train ride, my first overnight train ride of my entire life. I liked it a lot, but a bigger compartment (or a compartment just for my brother, and a compartment just for my parents) would have been better, since mom and dad snore a lot and Ben just smells. But it was still a pretty interesting way to travel, and as my mom put it, it felt a whole lot like prison..dont ask me how that makes sense. We finally arrived to the train station at 8:35 AM, and were trying to decide whether to find our way to the hotel by walking or by taking 2 taxis. A taxi driver convinced us that 2 taxis would be better, so we did. We got to our big, fancy hotel, and got breakfast, and got ourselves situated and cleaned up. by 1 PM, we were on our way to the fanicular, and we saw the budapest castle! We even got talked into getting a private tour guide. By the middle of the tour, he had us breaking all kinds of laws that Americans should not be doing at a European castle (or atleast we thought it was illegal…but hey, maybe the tourists are allowed to climb on the statues and get pictures taken!!). It was an awesome tour, followed by a walk to a nice church. It happened to be closed for the week, but we were still able to soak in the beautiful view of the entire city from a castle, After that, we headed back to the hotel, sat at the bar, ordered drinks and then went out to dinner. All in all, a pretty good first day in Budapest, and more adventures tomorrow!!!
Tuesday was our final day in Prague, so we got up early and checked out of our hotel (apartment really). We finally caved in and went to starbucks for breakfast. Took us longer than I thought it would, but Mom finally decided she wanted breakfast there. Then we had to take all our luggage to Brigids dorm building (slezka). I guess i was an honorary slezbian for the day 😉 Brigid had a 3 PM class so we walked around Wenselclas Square, went to a few cool shops, went inside a church, went to a few cafes, just kicked back with some drinks, then met brigid for dinner. After that, we took the metro to Jiriho Z Podebrad, which is the station right by her dorm, and she got packed, then off to budapest we went! It was a very great time in Prague, and I will definitely visit again.
day Three started with a surprise: noon. Big surprise. Apparently we are still jet lagged. But we did get going finally, and went to lunch in Old Town, at a Cuban restaurant. Sat upstairs overlooking the bar. If Dad’s chair slips back five inches, he lands on the waitress below. Not a good scene. Amazingly, Brigid finds us, even without the name of the restaurant. Then off to the fifteenth century Jewish cementary and holocaust memorial. 80,000 massacred in WWII In Prague. Wow. All the names on the walls of the church. After that, up the clock tower on the main square with thirteenth century astronomical clock and great view of the courtyard below where two years ago we watched the europeans watch the world cup on big screen tvs. Then Brigid went to class while we sat in a bar on the square and had coffee and coke and mulled wine and wine and beer and just sat and talked and had a fine time until time for the restaurant with Live Gypsy Music!! Then to the Czech beer museum, which really means bar with lots of beers, where Brigids friend met us so that we could leave and Ben and Brigid and her friend could go on their merry way. We got a litte lost getting home, but made it before anyone had an accident. Which was a little touch and go there for the last quarter mile!! But we made it home and are hoping Ben can do the same!!
So first wew woke up at 10:30 and went for lunch at this underground cave place. Then off to Prague Castle, where the defenestration of Prague happened a long long time ago.Don’t ask me what defenestration means, but I think it has something to do with dudes tossing other dudes out the window. It was very cool seeing all the history and all the war stuff and things of that nature. Then got some crepes, and then to a cafe in search of beers. Then all tuckered out, still from jet lagand such, so back to the hotel for nap time! For dinner, a nice restaurant with pasta that Dad found listed as a five star restaurant. Excellent! Then the long walk back across the city after a long day and off to bed, except for Ben and Brigid who partied on until the wee hours.