vienna

We arrived in Vienna around 8:00pm on Friday December 19th. I have a dear friend who lives in Vienna, Elida whom I wrote about in a previous post. I met Elida while I was on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage over the summer. Elida and I made plans to meet in Vienna on that very Friday night! After we checked into our hostel in Vienna, Lacye and I rushed to a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant, Landia, one that Elida claimed was near our hotel! It was near our hotel, however, due to poor iPhone map directions, we got lost and did not arrive to the restaurant until around 9:00pm. Seeing Elida was so so special. I knew we would meet again but it was so special to see her, I have missed Elida so much! After a quick drink at the restaurant we stopped by a local falafel shop where we bought the best falafel I have ever had! We then went to Stephens Plaz. where the cathedral is and where we would meet my dear friend Hannah, a Pepperdine student, who embarked on the Camino with me as well. It was special to see both Elida and Hannah all together. The four of us headed out to a small cafe where we chatted and caught up for hours.
The next morning Lacye and I accidentally slept past our alarms and did not wake up until nearly 1pm. At first I was sad that I missed half of a day that I could have spent in Vienna, then I realized that we both needed the extra sleep, as both of us were beginning to feel sick. Where was the first place we went on that Saturday afternoon? Back to the falafel shop! We also stopped by a fresh juice bar which I loved, it was like being home again!
After breakfast/lunch we headed to Stephens. Platz. where we visited the grand cathedral then toured the cathedral’s catacombs. The catacombs were not As much like a scary movie as the ones I saw in Sicily. After the catacombs we headed to a nearby church where a a quartet was playing beautiful Christmas music. After some here we looked at some nearby Christmas markets then took the underground to the Vienna’s opera house. That night Rigoletto was showing at 6:30pm and we decided to wait in line for standing tickets. We waited for around an hour and a half and got tickets for €3! The Opera house was incredible. I was quire underdressed in jeans and hiking boots, but it was wonderful nonetheless. During the Opera the man who played Rigoletto actually got I’ll and by the third act another man came out and played his part. It was so interesting, I had never seen that done before, especially in such a prestigious place!
We both felt sick and tired so after the opera ended around 11:30pm, Lacye and I headed back to bed. It’s hard to travel and rest, I have learned. Though I am traveling, this is my break, so I’m not trying to push it! The next day, Sunday December 21st was Lacye’s birthday! We woke up early and had the breakfast that was provided by the hostel. That morning we met a brother and sister from Brazil who were traveling, they were the sweetest! The man even gave Lacye a cookie since it was her birthday, it was a sweet, kind, genuine gesture. After breakfast we headed towards Vienna’s palace. When walking through a gorgeous park we visited both a botanical garden and a desert garden, it was so special form Lacye on her birthday. We then went to the Christmas markets and explored the Castle’s grounds. We then headed to a famous Thai restaurant and had lunch there since Lacye’s favorite food is Thai food! After the restaurant we explored the city more and saw other famous monuments including the Parliament. We then headed on a bus to Grinzing and Kahalaning where we could over look the entire city during the sunset. On the bus we met two young men from Isreal whom since they were traveling to the same area we were, traveled with us! Elida met us there and we all conversed for some time. It was sad saying goodbye to Elida, but I think she will come visit me in Florence next semester, at least I hope. After our time on the mountain, we headed to new Christmas markets in search of a ice skating rink so we could ice skate on Lacye’s birthday. Sadly, after searching for about an hour we did not find one and learned that their ice skating rink does not open until early January. I hope we can ice skate in honor of Lacye’s birthday while in Paris. I bought my Italian family (in Milan) traditional Austrian Christmas cookies and a card to thank them for hosting me these next upcoming five days. Afterwards we stopped by a few cafés and talked! I really hope Lacye enjoyed her birthday, it was so special to share it with her in Vienna.
We returned to the hostel around 12am and I then packed everything up and prepared to leave at 6:00am this vary morning! Lacye will spend her Christmas with her friends in Switzerland while I spend it in Milan with my Italian family. This morning I woke up and headed out quickly. When I got to the train station at 6:05am when I realized that my train was to leave from a different station! I quickly rushed to the subway in order to catch my train, I made it just in time! My train was to Venice, then from Venice to Milan. I am about to arrive to Milan shortly. I am very excited to spend Christmas with my family! I hope you all have a good Christmas.
Stay true, live justly, and always travel on. Peace and love.

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