Listening to: "Vienna" by The Fray
(Yes, I listened to this song, along with "Dear Vienna" by Owl City, multiple times while actually in Vienna. I've always wanted to do that. I'm lame, I know.)
Now that I'm actually free for a few weeks, I figured it was time to update you guys on my amazing trip to Europe! Hard to believe that it was a month ago. Dang. Anyway, just a heads up, this is going to be a long post!
The adventure started with a 9-hour flight from Atlanta to Frankfurt, Germany. This wouldn't have been so bad if 1) I hadn't been in the middle section (at least I was on the aisle...), causing me to miss a gorgeous sunrise, 2) I could have actually slept, and 3) there hadn't been a restless, screaming child directly behind me who cried and kicked my seat for at least a third of the trip. I was sooo ready to get off the plane! When we finally got to Frankfurt, we were all pretty exhausted, but we were only there for about an hour and a half before catching a quick 30-minute flight to Zürich, Switzerland.
After arriving in Zürich, we got on a bus that took us to our hotel. As soon as we pulled out of the airport, I happened to catch a glimpse of the Alps waaaay in the distance. I kinda freaked out in my head a little bit. (I probably would have been a little more open about it, but no one else was anywhere near as pumped about the Alps as I was. Things would have been so much better if I'd had someone to share my excitement with!) We got to our hotel and after Lauren & I had an adventure in the super slow, super small lift (wish I would've gotten a picture!), we walked into our room and swung open the windows (literally) to see this (click to make them bigger):
Second largest clock face in the world (this was apparently extremely significant) and a street in the old part of the city.
View of Zürich from the top of the hill where it has been prohibited to build anything ever since the days of the Roman Empire. Pretty cool.
After the tour, we just explored for the rest of the day. For lunch, we wanted to find something authentic instead of going to one of the more touristy places. After searching for awhile, we stumbled across Rheinfelder Bierhalle.
We decided to go for it, and walked inside to find that we were the only English-speaking people in the entire place. Most Swiss speak a decent amount of English, but not here--we were on our own! Since none of us were familiar with any of the local foods, we basically just picked something random off the menu and hoped for the best. Fortunately, this turned out okay! I ordered Rahm Schnitzel. I'm still not sure what that is, exactly, but it was pretty good!
Overall, Zürich was my least favorite city. It was nice, and I'm glad I got to go, but there was just something about it that I didn't care for. It's one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and it's kind of obvious, so I felt a little out of place. Plus, the whole place has this very worldly, materialistic vibe, and...I don't know. It was just weird. Not to mention the ridiculous prices! (Ever pay $13 for a Big Mac? You can if you visit Zürich!) I would love to visit Switzerland again, but I don't care to ever go back to Zürich.
After spending another night in Zürich, we got on the bus and started heading towards Germany to go to the Dachau concentration camp. Well, shortly after getting into Germany, we discover that Dachau is closed on Mondays, which our tour guide's assistant failed to mention. Change of plans. We decided to continue heading towards our next stop: Salzburg, Austria, to have a couple of extra hours to explore there. That whole drive was absolutely beautiful. I love the Alps!
On our last day in Vienna, we got to ride the Prater Wheel! To be honest, it wasn't a very exciting ride in and of itself, but the fact that I got to ride the Prater Wheel in Vienna was awesome!
So, there's my trip to Europe in a nutshell. As long as this was, I left out a ton! I would love to be able to go back someday. It was awesome. Anyway, I'll leave you all with that for a few days, and then maybe I'll get around to updating you about Camp JOY and my 20th birthday! (Yes, I'm 20, and yes, that's still super weird to me...)