As I have previously mentioned before I’m in college. This makes travelling harder due to lack of time and money. However, I have been very adamant to not let college overload my life and to still make time for travelling during college not just during summer.
The thoughts of doing that always scares me. The thoughts of just going away for a week or two in summer like you would in a job. I couldn’t live like that and that’s probably why the digital Nomad life is so appealing to me.
I recently booked a trip to Vienna in Austria. I booked it for Saturday to Tuesday, which meant missing a few classes. However, I happened to book it during one of the busiest weeks of this semester, where there was a lot of assignments due. Which meant the week before going to Vienna was very stressful trying to get all my college work completed.
The Friday night I packed a small bag for the weekend and went to charge my camera for going away the next day. I spent ages looking for the charger til it dawned on me, I had lent it to my friend for her camera. And my camera was dead. And I had no camera for the trip.
This honestly instantly put a bit of a damper on my trip. With being so busy that week I had never even thought of it. Travelling for me goes hand in hand with doing photography. As someone who travels solo my camera is my companion and not having it made me feel a bit more alone.
The trip to Vienna took 5 hours roughly, from my front door to the door of my hostel. One thing that I just Asperger loved was the fact that Vienna airport is a silent airport which meant no announcements.
When I got there I checked straight into my hostel and went straight out.
Vienna is huge let’s just get that point across now, its huge. I spent most of the few days there lost or wandering. I never make plans travelling which I’m beginning to learn is the worst thing especially if your only somewhere for a few days.
The Saturday I arrived was just wandering around and eating. I read a couple of other bloggers posts about doing a few days in Vienna but honestly I was just overloaded reading them and just stuck with my method of winging it.
But it wasn’t like I was bored, I just hopped on and off the metro visiting different parts of Vienna soaking it in and people watching.
An interesting thing about Vienna metro though is that it is based off an honour system. At the metro in Italy you had barriers blocking you til you scan your ticket but you were able to walk in and out of the metro as you please. The honour system is based on the fact that the government thinks you’ll be honourable enough to pay. Well that’s what I read anyway. And honestly you should cause it’s an expensive fee if you get caught with no ticket.
That night after being in my hostel for a bit I headed out to go find something to eat. I had read about this restaurant that does great gluten free food not a far walk from my hostel and set out to find it. Following the instructions I ended up taking a wrong turn down this not very well lit street.
I was walking down til I got the sense someone was following me. Looking back over my shoulder I saw a mid aged man behind me. I kept walking looking back now and again and noticed he was trying to duck into doorways when I saw him. I knew something was wrong but If I kept walking forward I’d be lost and I knew I had to turn back. Then I saw him talking to this other man and them staring at me.
I carry around this keyring with me travelling, it has few bits on it like a little torch, keys, padlock etc, not only does this it keep these things together but I like to know I have something to protect myself with if needs be.
I pulled it out, wrapped it around my hand and started walking straight back making a mental note to start self defence when I got back home. The first man said nothing but the second man started yelling hey at me. I picked up the pace til I got stuck at the traffic lights, by myself no one around and the second man standing right beside me.
He was only talking to me and hadn’t touched me so I couldn’t really turn around and hit with my weapon of choice and didn’t want to make him angry, so I started speaking in Spanish.
Look I have no clue why I thought this would be a good idea but it definitely worked. I kept speaking Spanish really fast, basically reciting off my notes for my Spanish presentation on pastimes and hoping he couldn’t speak Spanish. After a few minutes of him still trying to talk to me he left mumbling something that sounded like bitch.
Let me tell you something I never legged it so fast. I ran across that road til I got to the nearest McDonalds where I hid out for a hour and finally walked back to the hostel and stayed there til the next morning.
One thing you should know about Vienna is that most things close on Sundays. I went for a walk on Sunday morning hoping to pick up a few bits in a supermarket which didn’t happen, there all closed.
That morning I also got talking to one of the staff in the hostel who give me some ideas of where to go.I decided to go down to Schönbrunn Palace, as someone had recommended me to go to at least one palace in Vienna.
This was the most perfect place for a lazy Sunday. The palace grounds where massive with even a zoo at the back. This was one of the only places I paid for, but the grounds are free to walk around on.
They do different passes based on what you want to see. I wanted to go into the palace and to the zoo. I was told the winter pass would be my best bet which cost about €30 euro including letting me see two other features on the grounds, which I never got to.
The price was worth it even just to get into the palace because it was just such a surreal place to be in. The security is strict, you must leave your bag in the cloakroom and no photographs to be taken inside the palace. A good benefit though, is you get an audio tour of the palace on this little phone looking object they give you which works like a phone you just press the number of the room your in to get information.
Using the ‘phone’ you are given the history of the family who lived there to being in the room where Mozart gave his first concert.
After the tour I went down to what is known as one of the oldest zoos in the world! From the palace to the zoo it took about twenty minutes to walk. The place is massive and not very well signposted.
The zoo was really cool, like this room with sloths just roaming about the room.
It was a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon wandering around here, I stayed here for over four hours!
Vienna is that big on museums that they have their own quarter/part just for them!
Due to this fact I felt I should visit at least one and went down to the Natural History Museum.
This was actually quite cheap to pay in. it cost me 7 euro using my student card. I decided to also pay for the audio guide for the museum as I liked the one in the palace but this was just information overload. It actually goes over the top 100 attractions in the museum but I just wanted to wander around.
Like I really didn’t need to know that much about rocks.
I also went down to visit the famous Naschmarkt after leaving the museum.
And also wandering down to the Hofburg Palace but arrived too late for a tour which I wanted to go on.
The best bit of the trip happened that evening though. My sister is away on Erasmus with her college for a few months in the Czech republic. That morning we were talking and organised to met in Vienna. We met up that evening, feeling very posh meeting up in Vienna for the evening!
I also got to experience Vienna at night which I hadn’t been able to do since my scare from night one, I didn’t want to go out alone. Vienna is even more beautiful at night and well worth going around when it is dark!
Vienna is beautiful but its also expensive. You see people walking around with their tiny dogs and chanel bags and fancy coats and you feel slightly awed. It’s a life I have no clue about it and watching people around Vienna was fasnicating.
It’s also so hard to find gluten free food in Vienna unless your willing to pay a lot for it. I have never eaten so much Mcdonalds in my life. However they do gluten free baps there so I got to try loads of mcdonalds burgers I have never had.
I feel if you want to experience Vienna properly you should have a strict itinerary or at least ten days to get your bearings.
For me, I wasn’t crazy on Vienna. It was steeped in history and had so much beautiful parts of it but it didn’t capture me the way Italy did. But I know I won’t love everywhere the road takes me and that’s okay, at least I’m on the road seeing new places and experiencing new things.