One thing that travel teaches you is flexibility, especially when dealing with budget airlines like RyanAir. I have been learning French since sixth grade; it fostered my love of learning languages. Communicating with French people in their native language is something that I find very rewarding, and so I was very excited to jet off to Marseille for the weekend with my roommate. I had been brainstorming all week of fun things to do in the area, soaking up the sunshine and sand of the south of France.
Sadly, this vision of the weekend came to a crashing halt as we were on the train from the center of Vienna to the airport. Both my roommate and I got a text saying that our flight had been canceled. At first, we thought it was a joke since it was sent two hours before the flight was supposed to take off, but sadly it was not a joke. We started freaking out on the train to the airport and decided to go talk to the Ground Handling RyanAir desk and advocate for ourselves. Both of us were pretty set on traveling, so we immediately began to look for alternatives.
After standing in the long line to talk to Ground Transportation, we asked what our options were. We wouldn’t get to Marseille because the next flight out was on Saturday evening, and our flight back was supposed to be for the next day anyways, it just didn’t seem worth it. The woman we were explaining the situation to said we would get a refund in full from Ryan Air, and $250 per person due to the EU-261 regulation on canceled flights. So we decided to book a similarly-priced flight to Mallorca, a beautiful Mediterranean Island off of the coast of Spain, in order to still soak up some sun!
We flew out later that night after the plane was delayed for an hour, and were exhausted from spending six stressed-out hours at the airport. We were absolutely stoked to finally be getting on a plane. While I’ve done a lot of weekend travel during my time in Vienna so far—to fun locations like Zagreb, Salzburg, and Munich—this was my first time on a plane in a month, so it was very exciting.
We landed in Palma, the main city on the island of Mallorca, at 12:30 am, and took a quick taxi to our hostel in the city. We went to bed, slept in the following morning, and proceeded to take some delicious pastries down to the beach. While the weather wasn’t as sunny as we’d envisioned that morning, it was still warm enough to relax under a beach umbrella for about an hour before the rain started. We ran back towards the center of the city to grab a quick lunch and then wandered around the historic center for the rest of the afternoon.
One of my biggest goals for this trip was to find a pretty sundress to take home as a souvenir. I found this beautiful teal one to commemorate the trip. The temperature was a lovely 75 degrees Fahrenheit that afternoon, and we walked back towards the beach and enjoyed some delicious tapas for dinner before heading back to the hostel for an early night.
Because we had been traveling so often over the past few weeks, this trip was a nice change of pace to truly allow ourselves to relax. Before our flight back to Vienna on Sunday, we went and laid by the beach, enjoying as much time soaking up that sun as possible. Returning to grey and rainy Vienna was going to be tough!
While Mallorca wasn’t originally at the top of our destinations list, and that rewarding weekend in France is still in the back of my mind, being flexible forced us to relax and make the most of our weekend! So, if you’re ever in the same boat, go to Mallorca! You won’t regret it.
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Hi! My name is Grace Heaton and I am thrilled to be studying abroad in Vienna during the Fall 2022 semester. I am an incoming Sophomore at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA studying Marketing, French, and German. In my free time I enjoy traveling, learning languages, listening to music, going to coffee shops, and adventuring with friends! I am excited to immerse myself in Austrian culture this fall, and can't wait to see where this journey takes me!