From chasing after a bus back to Prague, yodeling in the Austrian mountains, to eating our entire weight in gelato—Vienna and Salzburg left me with great memories.
Our uber dropped us off first at Schonbrunn Palace, which was where Janine got to take a pic with her Billy Joel shirt (Alexa, play “Vienna” by Billy Joel.) Our jaws practically hit the floor as we walked through grand halls and rooms on our audio tour. The ballroom had chandeliers that were dripping crystals, which made you wish a security guard would glance away so you’d have a chance to touch them. The red carpets on the floor made you feel like royalty; while some of the walls were cracked, revealing their true age. The massive chandeliers held 70 candles each, and draped from the high ceiling. Adjacent to the ballroom, there was even a “birthday party room,” where they would host their annual celebrations. The paintings that adorned the walls were so intricate, it was impossible to count how many bodies and carriages were present in each. Another room held a clock in the corner that reminded me of Cogsworth, from Beauty and the Beast, while the paintings that stretched from the floor to the ceiling reminded me of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World. There was a room full of mirrors, which happened to be where a six year old Mozart played. The reflections have the illusion that the room was larger than in reality.
The Austrian National Library was the highlight of the weekend. I felt like a real life Belle, (Disney was everywhere on this trip). The library was the inspiration and model for the film Beauty and the Beast, and I could understand why. My eyes tried to memorize every detail of the room, as there were hundreds of books stacked high to the ceiling. The state hall hosts 200,000 books from 1501-1850.
Another key feature of our trip, was our unique find of the gelato shop. We each probably ate a cumulative number of twenty scoops of gelato throughout the entirety of the trip, as it was the best we had ever tasted. It was homemade with real fresh ingredients, such as fresh strawberries, mango, sweet vanilla, and pistachio. The owner was charismatic, friendly, and helpful, and even gave us free samples and made a reservation for us at a recommended restaurant.
Burggarten and Maria-Theresien-Platz were next. Butterflies danced around us in the garden and we giddily watched as some of them landed on our fingers. Tranquility at its finest. We had dinner at a new lounge, Cavallo Vienna, per recommendation of our friend from the gelato shop. They served fun cocktail drinks, our top favorite being Hello Kitty and Victoria Secret. The Hello kitty drink came with cotton candy, and all five of us girls were hypnotized, as the waiter poured the pink liquor atop the glass and we watched the pink sugar dissipate. Darbi’s mouth was in a perfect “o” as she mouthed “oh my gosh,” at the sight. We ended the night with fire shots, (yes my mouth was on fire…no it didn’t hurt) to celebrate Darbi’s twenty one years of age! #legal #butalreadylegal.
The next day began with a four am wake-up call to ensure we made the train into Salzburg for the Sound of Music tour. Our tour guide told us that ironically, not a lot of Austrians know The Sound of Music, but there’s about 300,000 people who come to Salzburg each year just for the purpose of experiences the notorious film’s iconic sights. I feel as though no picture could ever compare to the sights before me during that trip, yet I will leave some shots below for you to see an idea. The world is truly breathtaking and I’m so grateful for the fresh air, reminder of the meaning of music, and how it connects us together. Cheesy, but true.
Vienna waits for you, and the hills were also very very alive, thanks to Julie Andrews and her jovial spirits.