We planned this 6-day East-European adventure pretty early in the semester, so by the time it arrived, I was so excited I could barely contain myself! We flew to Vienna, Austria on Friday afternoon and then took a bus over to Budapest, Hungary early Monday morning, and finally left the beautiful city on Wednesday. This is so far my favorite trip I've been on, and I'm dying to go back to both countries!
Day 1: Schonbrunn Palace
We spent pretty much all day Saturday exploring the Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn. The Palace was the summer residence of the Hapsburg Monarchy (my favorite monarchy! my history-nerd really came out during this trip....) Plus, the entire palace is decorated in Baroque - Rococo style and I never wanted to leave! (I obviously should have been born a Hapsburg)
And even better, I got to explore the Palace with some pretty amazing gals!
(left to right: Jennyfer, Daphna, Me, Kiana)
The second day, Jennyfer and I woke up super early and headed to The Belvedere to see the famous Klimt paintings housed there. While I'm usually more of a French Impressionism gal, there's something to be said about the unusual arrangement of colors and textures that Klimt uses.
After that, we toured the Hofburg Palace (the winter residence of the monarchy) followed by a special exhibit on Empress Elizabeth 'Sisi' and the Imperial Collections of royal Austrian crowns, clothing, jewelry, and furniture!
We ended the day by going to dinner with my parents, who were also visiting Vienna, and it was a great last night with them until Christmas!
After journeying from Austria to Hungary, we immediately headed off to one of my favorite things we did, the Szechenyi Thermal Baths! Right near the famous Hero's Square, the baths have 4 outdoor pools one of which reaches 100 degrees! (that's the one we stayed in, considering it was about 40 degrees outside!) If you ever visit Budapest, this is one thing you absolutly HAVE to do!
the next day, we did two walking tours (one of Buda and one of Pest) and got to see the beautiful city and hear it's history from someone who has lived there all her life! It was so interesting to see the Austrian influence on the city (It was ruled by the Hapsburgs for many years) as well as influence from when they were a part of the Ottoman Empire.
We ended our trip with a boat cruise down the Danube river, and got to see all the bridges and palaces lit-up from the water! Plus, getting to sip champagne and chat with some great girls wasn't too bad either!