Ah, Vienna. Today has been quite an adventure! I woke up this morning at 5:30 and couldn't fall back asleep so I sat in bed watching CNN. And some German cartoons. Very fun. And Saturday morning TV is the same everywhere, I've decided. But fun nonetheless. I left my hotel by the airport this morning to begin my adventure and search for the hostel Katherine and I had reserved. I took a bus back to the airport, then another bus to the main train station in Vienna, then walked from there to the hostel.
I'm staying in Wombats City Hostel, which is very nice as it turns out. Just a bit out of the way, but it doesn't really matter since its only a couple of blocks to the train station where we can catch a subway line into the center of the city. When I met up with Katherine here, it was about 11:00 am. We dropped off our bags in a locked room and took off for the city! Great fun! I don't have my camera cord with me right now, so pictures will have to wait!
We went to St. Stephen's Church, the main Cathedral in the center of the city. It was so beautiful. They are working to clean and restore the facade since it was bombed during WWII. The entire front section of the church looks burnt and black. It's a drastic difference from the back part which has already been restored. The interior was very gothic in style, with barrel vaulting and the triforium levels and everything. (Sorry if this is boring you! I'm putting my Gothic Architecture class to good use!). We took a guided tour of the catacombs, which were very cool, but also very creepy. It was so eerie to know that we were walking down where they had buried people in mass graves. Though we did learn that some of the burial rooms were cleaned out and used as bomb shelters during WWII. Very interesting.
We basically just wandered aimlessly until we got too tired to wander anymore, which worked out very well since we just happened upon the Stage Door to the Vienna Opera House! We walked around the amazing building to the front entrance which happens to be on the 'ring'. Vienna is separated into two main sections: the inner ring and the outer ring. There is a tram that you can take that goes all the way around the 'circle' of the town. We got on and rode all the way around the city and right back to the stop outside the Operahouse.
After that, we headed back to the hostel and both fell asleep for a little while. I woke up at about 19:00 (yes, the whole European date and time thing has already worn off on me!) and I went out for a nice stroll around our neighborhood, and wandered until I found a place to get some dinner. I went to the "Kebap-Pizza-Palace", just down the street from where we're staying. I had a falafel sandwich, which was absolutely delicious. It also was the first real meal I've had in about 3 days! Good thing I have some yummy food in me now!
I also have to mention quickly our roommates. A couple from Ireland (Dublin and Cork). Rachel and Rob. They are very nice people, and were telling us all about where they've been so far and where I should go explore while I'm in Ireland. Man do I love an Irish accent. It just sounds so sophisticated. Random. Anyway, this really is a fabulous vacation so far! And I must say....I'm incredibly proud of myself for not being any more homesick than I am! Very good times. Anyway, please please please leave comments and e-mail me! I love hearing from you all. I miss you all like crazy, and I hope your days go well! Talk to you soon!
Love from Vienna!