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Vienna was... cloudy. I wish something would come to mind initially, but that's it. The "blah" weather conditions. Before I get too whine-y and annoying, let me tell you about the rest of my time and the awesome people that I met.
Day 1 - October 25th, 2016:
My day started on a bus. Okay, so this probably isn't the exciting beginning that this story deserves. But it's reality, not a fairytale... so yeah, it began on a bus. 11 hours on a bus. I worked, and I slept, and I worked some more, and then I slept. It was dark, so I wasn't particularly worried about missing any amazing sights.
Oh, and for a quick promo: GoEuro and FlixBus are basically amazing when it comes to saving money. GoEuro compiles all available options into one site (including Flixbus) and Flixbus' site is just really well designed and laid out. They have routes all over Europe for next-to-nothing costs. For example, my ride from Verona to Vienna took 11 hours and cost me just shy of 40€ ($45). I call that a win.
But yeah, back to my day. I arrived in Vienna mid-morning near a train station and took that to Floridsdorf, where I was to be staying. I made the rookie mistake of buying a 24 hour train ticket for around 5.50€ (this was a mistake because just like much of Germany, nobody seems to check tickets in Vienna; take this advice at your own risk because the moment that you get comfortable, they'll check). Anyways, money wasted and lesson learned.
Once I was at the flat, I was greeted by two other couchsurfers and brothers from Texas, Eric and Nick. Nick's an ex-military professional hobo and adventurer and Eric is a writer/entrepreneur (check out his business NMR and his books HERE) and they're both hilarious. Not long after arrival, I was introduced to the term, "friddle" which you can google if you'd like, but is most definitely NSFW.
Anyways, we got to work assembling the couch that our host had drunk-ordered while in the States which turned out to have instructions like IKEA and after a while of thinking we were doing it right but with something not working out quite right, we realized that we were missing the arm rests entirely and there was an extra couch part (minus the backrest). With our innovative minds and plenty of time on our hands, we decided to turn this mess of pieces into a gargantuan couch/bed. It was glorious!
From that point on, our time was spent looking up places to rent in the Balkans as we'll all be in a similar area and why not save money by sharing a flat/house? Oh, and we bought groceries + wine and they cooked. I ate. Shortly after, our host, the super intelligent and witty, Burgi, arrived. Which was followed by a game of RISK (of which I was unprepared and subsequently was demolished.
Day 2 - October 26th, 2016:
I spent today grumpily wandering through huge crowds of people. Why? Because today was National Day in Austria (lucky me, eh?). Though this meant ridiculous quantities of zombie-walking people and smells of carnival food, it also meant that an entire string of museums and gov't buildings were open to the general public. So... yeah, I got lucky.
The architecture was beautiful, the statues plentiful, and the murals everywhere. Notably, the National Library was breathtaking as was the interior of the one Jesuit Church. I also ran into a man playing the accordion to the tune of the Super Mario Bros theme song. Which was awesome.
Day 3 & 4 - October 27th and 28th
It was nothing but boring, cloudy skies and rain. I still had more that I wanted to see, so I wasn't about to move forward. So I just spent these two days working on revamping this site and sorting through the hundreds of pictures that were waiting for me... Oh, and applying for freelance jobs to bring in some extra cash while traveling.
Day 5 - October 29th, 2016
The weather was decent and I saw a peek of sunlight, so I went out on the town again. Back to a few places that I had already been and a few that I had missed the first day and really wanted to see. Whilst out and about, I ran into two women from Illinois University (Abby and Kayla (spelling for both of them is purely guess) who are studying architecture in Spain. They were doing sketches of the makeup of the one church and I was studying the murals in the church. Meeting was kind of inevitable haha. Plus, I heard one of them saying she had lost her 0.005 pen and I happened to have one in my pocket (always). So I offered it to her and with that, conversation began. Unfortunately, the church was closing soon so we didn't to talk long, but it was nice to run into someone who appreciates the architecture as much as (if not more than) I do.
On the note of the church, it was both a shame and an awesome experience. The name is Karlskirche and inside of the church, there's scaffolding. Which I feel completely ruins the beautiful architecture... while at the same time allows you to go up to the dome for both a closer look at the frescos and a panoramic view (out of super dirty glass). As much as I hate the scaffolding, I love the chance it gave me to get a closer look at the frescoes in the church. The highlights on the golden murals were really just yellow paint cross-hatched to create the illusion of glimmering metal. Well, see for yourself.
Here's a 360° view so you can see what I mean about the scaffolding:
(hover over the image for a few moments to enable moving around in image or click if it doesn't work)
Besides the church, I spent most of my time trying out different locations for timelapses, though in the end I didn't really like any of them. Oh well, it's as they say, no time wasted whilst enjoying is wasted time. Right?
So here are the rest of the photos from that day:
Day 6 - October 30th, 2016
Honestly? It was cold out again, so I spent the day sketching with my camera set up on a table taking shots for a timelapse (that I didn't like in the end). I also spent a portion of that time while my camera was shooting to educate myself. For those of you who watch Rick and Morty, did you know they have both German audio and German subtitles?! They do and I spent about an hour watching episodes in both German and English with the opposite subtitles on. It's fun AND educational!
Day 7 - October 31st, 2016
Wasn't supposed to be an actual 7th day... I was planning on saying bye to Burgi (my host) and then heading out around noon. But she arrived late and thus slept semi late and I took that chance to sleep in myself. So that turned into me planning to catch the 15:00 bus. Which didn't happen because I procrastinated and accidentally jumped on the wrong train (going the wrong direction) and by the time I got to the bus stop, it was gone. So I had to wait until 17:15 for the next bus which is how I got here. To Prague. :)