Leaving the romantic land of enchantment, Zürich, we headed to Zürich Hauptbahnhof International Train Station. We took an 8 hour train ride which passed through eastern Switzerland, a corner of Liechtenstein, part of Germany, and finally, Austria. Needless to say, we also rode through the Alps, which are breathtakingly beautiful, deeply green, and appear a little more jagged and rocky than the Rocky Mountains (how ironic!). They are also the highest and largest mountains in Europe, covering 8 countries. We wished that the train would stop so that we could enjoy them more, but it never did until we reached Vienna.
Vienna, the capital of Austria, is the largest city in Austria and has the 2nd largest number of German speakers in the world. It’s known as the city of music because of musicians like Schubert, Beethoven, and Mozart who made a living there, the city of dreams because of the world’s first psychotherapist, Sigmund Freud, and considered the world’s most livable city. It’s also well known for its chocolate cake and coffee (view source here for all the facts listed above).
Vienna was occupied by the Roman empire from the 1st century until the 5th century. We saw some ruins from their city that are still standing in the center of Vienna today. Vienna has some fascinating history that goes back for many, many years.
While in Vienna, we stayed in a newly remodeled apartment not far from the city center. On our second day there, we realized we would need to get a fan since most of Europe doesn’t have air conditioning and Europe is pretty hot in the summer. The locals told us that this summer was one of the hottest they’d ever experienced.
Also in Europe, you must pay to use the bathroom – everywhere. I’ll be honest, we found this to be very frustrating, and it didn’t help that I was drinking a gallon of water every day. But, I’m sure America has little quirks that foreigners probably don’t understand either, so we mostly laughed about it and we now have some funny stories to tell because of it.
As the weeks passed, we began to really enjoy Vienna more and more. The Viennese are very active and outdoors-y type of people, so they were always having picnics, napping, playing games, walking, or running in the parks. We spent a lot of time in the local parks doing the same thing.
The city came across to us as a very relaxed and nonchalant city and we quickly began to feel more and more at home.