The hills were very, very alive with the sounds of my friend Erica and I belting over Julie Andrew’s angelic voice. I left for Austria on Thursday night excited to reunite with my friend who I haven't really had a chance to spend time with since August. She goes to Skidmore College and she’s studying in Amsterdam this semester. She and I decided to do a weekend away in Vienna and Salzburg together so that we could catch up and have some one and one time.
Our hostel in Vienna was called the Wombat. It was very well situated and the hostel itself was clean, included inexpensive buffet breakfast, and had a great nightlife. We stayed in an eight-person room, which is actually one of the smaller room sizes I’ve had in hostels this semester. Vienna is a very easy city to navigate and with an inexpensive 24-hour Vienna pass, we were able to use the metro and tram systems an unlimited number of times. We did a fantastic (if not a bit long) walking tour provided by the Wombat, and then on our own saw the beautiful Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, The Sigmund Freud Museum, and much more.
Saturday was the day I was really looking forward to, though. We got up and caught an early train to Salzburg where we walked around the city for a little while before our Sound of Music Tour began. Erica and I were the youngest on the tour by many years, but the other people on our bus didn’t seem to mind the two young girls – singing along to every lyric – at all. We saw so many people sights from the film, including the backyard of the house where they filmed, the mountains that Julie Andrews would have run down as Maria, the gazebo where Sixteen Going On Seventeen was filmed, and the church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp got married. The tour had visitors from all over the world. It’s incredible how that movie has stayed with so many people.
Our tour (tragically) came to an end, and we headed back to Vienna for our last night together. Vienna has street food down in a way that no other city I’ve been to seems to – but I’m also biased because I loved their food. Their street sausages were absolutely delectable, especially encased in crunchy rolls smeared in ketchup and mustard. We met some very friendly travelers in our hostel on Saturday night – two from France, two from Mexico – and the six of us hung out and walked the city together. That’s the fun of hostels and why I recommend them over Airbnbs. Although I had a much-less-than-great hostel experience in London, the vast majority have been so positive. Staying in hostels is an easy way to meet many interesting people.
Sunday, as the sun set, I got ready to leave. Erica and I won’t be able to see each other again until much later this summer and I’ll miss her. I’m glad that we had this time together to run around Austria and laugh our heads off on a bus blasting Rogers and Hammerstein. To anyone going to Vienna – it is definitely worth it to go on the tour in Salzburg if you are even marginally a fan of the movie. You’ll love the town of Salzburg too!
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I’m a Jersey girl raised on lasagna and The Godfather. I’ve always liked learning about Old Italy and I’m excited to experience it this spring. I study Political Science and History at George Washington University, and I’m still on the hunt for the best cannoli in D.C. Talk to me about reading, running, and The West Wing!