Monday, August 24, 2015

Europe Diaries : Austria

To be honest, I was not too keen on a trip to Austria since the trip sounded like a costly affair. Thankfully, I had a sound mind to say yes to the trip and join my colleagues (how come there is no cool term for colleagues who are more like friends).

Being the last one to hop into the trip, the flight turned out quite costly - around two hundred euros for a return trip. To my surprise, I discovered that the flight was not full and still they chose not to cut back on last-minute rates. Hmpf.

Landed at the Vienna and took a high speed metro train which took me to the heart of Vienna and to my relief, my friends were there to pick me up. I promptly handed them my luggage (it was pretty heavy!!) and dropped them off to the hotel.

Vienna has a pulse which can be heard. It can be heard in the numerous bars and restaurants which line up the riverside. The river itself had lit up in fiery orange with the setting sun and was soon reflecting the bright colours which are so characteristic of the riverside cafes.

 The plan was to cover three cities - Vienna, Salzburg ,Innsbruck in three days which meant that we spent a considerable amount of time travelling. We found the Vienna City Card a welcome convenience since it saves the hassles of purchasing tickets for short distance. Plus, it also provides free entry or reduced prices for entry into museums and other tourist spots :)

Our plan was Vienna --> Innsbruck --> Salzburg --> Vienna and each city is around two hours of train ride away from each other. We preferred catching the early morning trains so we had sufficient time to explore.

Austria awed me with its efficient transport system. The public transport is well-connected plus there is so much information available to plan out your trip. Trip highlights were going all bling at Swarovski Museum, visiting Mozart's birthplace, siesta on riverside after a particularly heavy meal, getting drenched by Trick Fountains at Hellsbrunn palace and absolute calm after reaching the top of the mountain.

Austria will always remain special because it was my first trip outside of Belgium since I arrived. And it literally opened my eyes to the world. It is hard to express what I felt at that moment.. I would be belittling my emotions if I tried to describe it...I leave you with pictures to help you understand my state of mind :)


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