Hallo aus Stuttgart! I didn’t really mean for it to, but it seems that my blog’s become biweekly since I moved to Germany! I have much less time here, so I need to make the most of it to travel. That, along with work, doesn’t leave me much time to write!
This weekend I went to visit my friend Elle, who lives in Vienna. I booked this trip two or three months ago and really looked forward to it, and it didn’t disappoint!
Vienna is about 700km from Stuttgart; you can get there by a ten-hour long train journey or a seventy-minute flight. Since the flight actually worked out ten Euros cheaper, I went with that! (Sorry, environment!) It’s been one of my furthest and most expensive trips, but it was well worth the effort and cost! I don’t know that I’ll ever have the freedom, friends in the same situation in different cities to visit, or free money (my Erasmus grant) to travel like I’ve had this year so I have to make the most of it!
I took Friday off work and got a horribly early flight (I left my house at 4am!), which gave me a full three days in Vienna. It turned out that packing my bikini in the hope of swimming in the Danube was a tad optimistic – the weather had been beautiful until the Thursday night and was mostly overcast or rainy over the weekend! It must have known I was coming.
To escape the rain on Friday morning, we went to the Musikhaus. The Musikhaus is a museum dedicated to all things musical; the many famous musicians who lived in Vienna and music and sound in general. I’m not very musical at all but when in Vienna…! The museum was really interactive which, being a big kid, suited me well. (I always look at the family friendly page in guidebooks when I visit places!!) I learned a lot, not just about music but a lot of new music-specific German words, since we decided not to be lazy and took the tour in German.
Vienna is famous for its patisseries, so it would have been rude not to have indulged! A hot chocolate and half a slice of cake was pretty much a meal! Sachertorte is the very famous Viennese cake but I don’t like marzipan so we had Mozarttorte, which is chocolate sponged sandwiched with pistachio-cream. Apparently it was Mozart’s favourite cake; I think he’s a man of good taste.
Friday was a truly musical day because although it’s normally sold out months in advance, we managed to get half-price student tickets for the opera. We were sat in the Gods and couldn’t see a lot but we could hear! The Vienna Opera is one of the most famous in the world and is in the “1000 places to see before you die” book. Neither of us are really in to opera and weren’t sure that we could stand a full four hours of it, so were glad to go to a medley concert, with lots of different styles of music (and only a few operatic pieces.) The concert was great but all of the rooms were opened up for us to look at in the interval and they were equally, if not more, impressive than the music!
The weekend got even more cultural on Saturday evening, when we went to the Vienna film festival. We didn’t spot any celebs but we did see a live screening of Romeo and Juliet (the ballet version) from Russia. Saturday was a beautiful day; sitting outside in shorts at gone 11pm and watching ballet while drinking cocktails, I felt a thousand miles away from Stuttgart and the world of work and attic life, and a million miles away from England!
Sadly on Sunday the weather broke again halfway round our walk through the palace gardens! The palace was beautiful rain or shine; I know, I experienced both! On our way home, the heavens truly opened! This seemed hilarious until I had to pack these wet clothes into my suitcase with my dry ones:
I could happily have spent a week in Vienna but sadly I had to leave! My flight back to Stuttgart was indirect, via Zurich. The first leg of the journey was uninteresting but we spent three hours on the plane in Zurich without moving anywhere. At one point, the pilot started repeating the football commentary down the radio. Apparently the weather radar on the plane had broken, and at gone midnight it was eventually decided that it wasn’t fixable and there were no other planes available. We were all bussed to and put up in a 5 star hotel for free for all of 4 hours and only 200km from our destination… the situation was laughable, but the Germans were all so elated from their world cup win that the Stimmung was still pretty good! I arrived back here with only 3 hours sleep, so I’m stil a bit spaced out and trying to catch up!
It was really lovely to spend time with a friend and speak freely and comfortably in English for a few days – although we both noticed that our English is suffering through lack of use! Examples of good Denglisch are: “Shall we catch the Bahn, or?” and “It’s so cool, the Ballet!” I’m really enjoying my German life but I’m getting really excited to getting back to Nottingham and normality and living with my friends in September. A big thank you to Elle for having me!
Next stop, Munich this weekend! I’m going to visit the family I satyed with an an au pair last summer.