It’s been a while. Between midterms, spring break, and traveling, I have been one busy bee. I also still promise a cheese blog. I have been taking many photos and it will happen soon! In the meantime, this blog is about roaming around Austria on a budget. My sister came to visit me last Monday, so together we’ve done a little exploring and I figured I’d document our experience.
First, we tackled some of the Vienna basics (Stephansdom, Naschmarkt, and Cafe Central). We perused the first district, stumbled across some Easter markets (Easter is a big deal here), and ate many a pastry.
After touring Vienna for a while, we decided to head to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. This cute city is only about an hour from Vienna by bus and tickets were only 7 euros each way. The city contains a section known as Old Town where tourists meander through small shops, restaurants, and ice cream stands. A few funny statues color the cobblestone streets and we heard many languages besides Slovak. It seems to be a rather popular spot for visitors from all over.
We also took a day trip to Melk (about 15 euros each way). This charming town lies near the Wachau region of Austria, where many vineyards grow. Melk is quite small (about 5,000 people as of 2012) and incredibly adorable. The downtown only takes about an hour to explore, but Melk Abbey, the highlight of the town, is worth taking an entire afternoon to tour. Aside from being absolutely stunning, the Abbey contains an incredible museum, with artifacts dating back to the 1100’s, and the most amazing library I have ever seen. Apart from some very elaborate ceiling frescoes, the library contains hundreds of old manuscripts and leads to a red marbled church with more gold plating than you can imagine and a few displays containing bones of old saints. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos in the church, library, or museum.
As hard as it was to leave the abbey, we walked downtown again after a few hours to rent bikes. We biked along the Danube which borders Melk and happened upon a castle which we later found out dated back to Roman times. Overall, Melk was a splendid trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone who ever stays in Vienna.
We meant to travel to Budapest as well, but I unfortunately came down with some sort of cold. Despite the fact that I am currently sick in bed, I hope to head there on my own next weekend or the weekend after and report back! Until then, warm wishes from Austria!