Sciences Po winter break: day 4
Actually, on the contrary, I’d argue that Vienna doesn’t really wait for you, considering they close up most of everything when the sun goes down. Vienna waits for you at least until dusk, and then you’re on your own.
On day two in Vienna, we did allow ourselves a late start to the day. One of my friends wasn’t feeling well (was it coronavirus or just a cold? I guess I’ll never know), so we took our time getting ready in the morning. I probably would’ve preferred to head out earlier, but looking back, it was probably good to allow ourselves a slower morning. We basically didn’t have any others for the rest of the week.
Our AirBnB apartment this time wasn’t really anywhere near the City Centre, so it was a solid 30 minute walk to get to any of the tourist sites. It was interesting to see Vienna during the daytime this time, walking the same streets as I’d walked the night before in the dark. Vienna feels like a relatively laid back city, at least in comparison to Paris, which can at times feel somewhat stuffy, or even another Central European city like Budapest, which can feel a little cold and unforgiving.
At the City Centre, we saw the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral (an interesting name, given that there’s a St. Stephen’s Basilica in neighboring Budapest) and Hofburg Palace. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a walking tour this time, unlike in Prague, so I couldn’t really tell you the historical significance of any of the buildings we saw.
Then, we went for what I think was my favorite dining experience of the trip — a snack at a Viennese coffee house.
I mostly didn’t bother planning for this trip beyond organizing AirBnbs and buses. I figured I’d go with the flow and figure out what to do each day on the fly. But I did know that Viennese coffee was something I wanted to try.
The place we went was called Café Central, in case you ever want to check it out. I would definitely recommend — the building itself is beautiful, with high vaulted ceilings and colorful paintings, and the food was delicious. I got an iced coffee and goulash (again), and my friends got desserts.
After our meal, we floundered around for a bit trying to decide what to do. By then, the sun was going down, which meant everything but restaurants was closing up for the day. We had wanted to go to the Schonbrunn Palace, but that, like everything else, was closed by about 5pm. We weren’t ready to just call it quits and head home for the night, especially since we’d only really gone out in the afternoon, but there didn’t seem to be much left to do other than eat, and we’d literally just done that.
Finally Margo managed to find a museum that was open called the House of Music, a tribute to the many famous composers and musicians from Austria, such as Mozart and Haydn and Mahler. A lot of the exhibits kind of went over my head, as I don’t really know much about classical composers, but I loved looking at some of the handwritten pieces of sheet music and sitting and listening to the video of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra concert. If I ever go back to Austria (which I really hope I do), I think getting tickets to the Vienna Philharmonic would have to be at the top of my list.
After spending a few hours at the music museum, we were hungry so we treated ourselves to an authentic Austrian feast: sushi and potstickers.
Of course, I’m being sarcastic — we got Asian takeout. We were all feeling a little exhausted from trying new foods in every city, and the heavy Central European stews and sausages were growing old. I probably liked the food the most of everyone — I think fondly of the goulash I had in Prague at least once a week — but my friends were sick of it. In truth, I was also craving some comfort food myself, and nothing reminds me of home quite like stir fry.
And that’s the story of the cover photo for this post, which is probably one of my favorite photos of me that’s ever been taken. Ebba shot it while Megan, Margo, and me were gazing hungrily at the menu. I love the soft lighting, the way my hair falls, and how excited I look to be ordering noodles.
That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life during my semester abroad in the Paris, France. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest,Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Coat: A vintage shop in Budapest (thrifted)