Vienna day 5 cont. -
So when we got to Vienna it was pouring down rain, we had been so lucky with the weather up until this point. Rome, Venice, and Switzerland had been absolutelz beautiful. The first place we checked out was the Hapsburg palace, we took a guided tour of the rooms and it was very impressive. We then walked aroud the grounds out back and took some pictures before taking the subway to the town center to buy some umbrellas. Unfortunately all of the museums were closed since it was Mondaz, so we walked around the city and took some picture by some very cool churches and buildings. After figuring out the cities subway system to keep dry we went and stood in line for opera tickets. Yea I know Im not much of an opera guy, but if you stand in line an hour and a half before the show you can get tickets for 3 euros (the cheapest seats are 170 euros) that let you stand at the top of the theater. Since it is known as the best opera house in the world, and it was pouring rain outside, we decided to check it out. After getting our tickets you run upstairs to mark your spot by wrapping your program around the banister they provide for you to lean on. After that we ran to a nearby subway restaurant to use the hand dryer in its bathroom to dry our socks and shoes. Again I cant emphasize how much I appreciate american restaurants. Then we bought our second weinerscnitzel of the day. Favorite thing I have eaten so far. I will have to post pictures but the way they prepare it is awesome. They take a small loaf of bread and cut off one end of it and then put it on a metal spike. They then put the ketchup inside the bread and put the sausage in, makes it way easy to eat because you dont have to worry about it spilling all over, plus the bread is way good too. We then bought snacks to sneak into the opera and had to run back to the opera house to make it in time. Im pretty sure there are many people who have gotten a kick out of two American kids running crazily all over Europe. There are lots of undergroud walkways in many of these cities and so there are not alway crosswalks where you want them. Because of the walkways very few people jaywalk, except for Brian and I. Instead of finding the underground walkways we just play frogger through the cars, making it pretty clear to everyone else that we are not from around here.
Budapest day 6 -
Budapest has been my favorite city by far. It is beautiful, good food, and has a different feel than the other cities we have visited. All of the other cities we have visited are more tourist oriented, Budapest is not. This gives it a much more original, authentic feel. Some people have told us that Budapest is the new Prague, that they believe within a few years Budapest will be the new cool place to visit in Eastern Europe as Prague is now. The Parliament building in Budapest is amazing, my favorite building so far up to this point. We then walked along the Danube and crossed Budapests famous chain bridge. We then climbed castle hill and checked out the sites. I bought some Hungarian goulash and ate it at this little cafe on top of a hill overlooking the city. For dinner we ate at a little restaurant and had a really good meal. It was this beef served on top of some dumplings, best meal so far. It was good to eat something real and filling after living off of gummy bears, sausages, and soda for the last week! We then got on a night train to Prague, or so we thought...
Slovakia, Warsaw, Prague Day 7 -
So the train system in Budapest is not exactly the greatest. Nothing is labled clearly and few people speak english. We asked several workers and they all told us this train was going to Prague, also there were several people in our car who also believed thez were going to Prague, everyone was a little worried since nothing was really clear. We were in a car with a girl that we had stood next to at the opera in Vienna the day before, kind of a wierd coincidence. They got off in Bratislava and that is where we learned that our rail passes are no good in Slovakia so a very large unfriendly man made us pay 16 Euros for a train ticket. We then met our Finnish Lesbian friend who was on her way to Berlin for Europes biggest gay pride festival, made us excited to be in Berlin in a few days! She was also going to Prague first on her way and we had a lengthy discussion about american politics, universal health care, and gay marriage. Very interesting to hear her views of America, all based on what she sees on mtv for the most part. We all then fell asleep and woke up in Poland. The next few hours were really crazy. If it had not been for the Priest interpreting and helping us out we would have each had to pay 80 euros to get to prague. After that we had a little time to walk around downtown Warsaw and eat some Polish donuts that the Priest reccomended. I also bought a Mountain Dew, who would have thought the first place in europe i would see a mountain dew would be Poland? Well we are off to potsdam, ill write more later!