So here’s a real quick recap of the past couple days: My train to Cinque Terre from Sorrento took most of the day and I didn’t get to Vernazza until 4:00 pm. I checked into my room, and then spent the rest of the night […]
Month: July 2010
The colors of Italy run strong in Venice:
I did find the hospital with the ambulance boats which was pretty neat:
Venice is full of narrow streets that no one seems to walk in:
When I got back to my hostel, first thing I did was switch rooms to a smaller six bed dorm. It’s one floor below my old room, so hopefully I won’t be able to hear him through the ceiling. I spent the afternoon doing laundry (which costs $10 per load) and catching up on some sleep. I had dinner at a nice Swiss restaurant (at my mother’s recommendation). I ordered cheese fondue and chocolate fondue – it was okay, but not sure it was worth the $50 I paid for it. When I’m traveling, food isn’t something I like spending a lot of money on. Give me a Kebab, and I’m perfectly content.
Tomorrow I think I am going to the St. Beatus caves in the afternoon. The weather isn’t expected to be that good, with rain in the morning, so I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing the rest of the day.
The train slowly started going into the mountains. Acting like a little kid again, I took a good amount of pictures through the window of my train, but I must have sat on the wrong side of the train because most of the mountains were on the other side. The train finally arrived in Innsbruck at 1:27 pm. I remembered to save a screenshot of a map of Innsbruck onto my phone, so I didn’t have too much trouble finding my hotel after a 15 minute walk.
I checked into my hotel, the Hotel Weisses Kreuz, which was founded in 1465, which is pretty weird – staying in a hotel that is older than the country I’m from. It’s pretty famous because Mozart spent a couple nights here, and you can hear the classical music playing in the reception. It wasn’t too terribly expensive even though it is located right in the middle of the main plaza, near the Goldenes Dachl, or Golden Roof; I got a small single room for 37 Euros a night. It really is refreshing to have my own room – I don’t think I’ve slept in a room by myself since May 15th.
After checking in, I wandered around the city but didn’t go very far because it was raining. I saw the Golden Roof, as mentioned earlier, which was built in the 1490s to ‘cover an oriel window from which the court of Emperor Maximilian could observe the square below’. I took a few pictures of the alpine scenery and a river flowing through town, but didn’t see too many mountains. Most of the good views are northwest of the city, just over the closest mountain. You can take a cable car to the highest point in the region for around 15 Euros, and then there are plenty of trails to hike from there.
I plan on waking up around 7:00 am tomorrow morning, getting some breakfast at the hotel, and then doing my laundry down the street. The weather tomorrow calls for a 30% chance of rain, so looks like I probably won’t go hiking – not too sure what I will do yet. The weather on Wednesday is supposed to be better, with ‘mostly sunny’ skies, so I will probably spend the whole day on the mountains.
I wasn’t originally too excited about seeing Munich (I actually thought about skipping it, and spending more time in Switzerland), but I think Munich turned out to be one of my favorite cites so far. The English Garden was really good, and the people seemed friendlier than in a lot of the cities I’ve been to. I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted (They have the largest science and technology museum in the world. So big that if you spent 10 seconds at every exhibit, you would be there for 12 days), but it gives me things to do next time. When I come back, I definitely won’t stay in a hostel, and hopefully I’ll be able to stay longer than just a couple days.
Yesterday I slept in and then walked around the city. I went back to Stephensdom and they still didn’t have any guided tours, so I had to get an audio guide instead. It was alright, I guess. When you spend over two months in Europe, all the churches and cathedrals start blending together. I took some more pictures of the city, and then spent part of the evening planning what I am going to do in Munich. I also applied to some engineering positions for after I graduate in December 2010.
Overall, Vienna was good, but nothing really stood out for me. I’d like to go back eventually, but it certainly isn’t at the top of my list. I’m really looking forward to Switzerland and Italy, especially the landscapes, something Vienna didn’t really have.
I woke up this morning around 7:30 am, in order to get ready in plenty of time and catch my train to Munich at 10:20 am. The other people in my room woke up around the same time, and asked me if I was talking on my phone last night. Apparently I was talking and laughing in my sleep. They said that I said, “Uh huh….yeah?…Oh that’s….” and then started laughing. Haha – it’s always an interesting experience sleeping in a hostel.
I hurried to the metro and had to transfer lines before I got to Vienna’s main station, Westbahnof. After rushing through the station, I managed to find the train platform around 10:15 am. Luckily, my train was a little bit late, and wasn’t arriving until 10:30am.
I got on the train as soon as it arrived, and found an empty seat that didn’t have a reservation marked on the LCD screen above it. It was good that I got on early, because the train filled up fast. I have a Eurail pass, so I was able to just sit in a seat that didn’t have a reservation, but I’m not sure what would happen if there were more people on the train than open seats. Maybe people have to stand, I don’t know.
The train ride went pretty well. After we passed Salzburg, we started passing some mountains. I felt like a little kid because I probably took around 100 pictures out the window of the train.
I got to Munich around 2:30 pm and checked into my hostel which was right across the street from the station. I found out there was a bike tour starting a 4:00 pm, so I hurried and took the S-Bahn to the meeting point. The tour lasted four hours and took us through the main sites of Munich. We stopped at a beer garden inside the English Garden for dinner, had a couple more stops, and then ended the tour around 8:30 pm. It was one of the better tours I’ve been on, even though it was pretty expensive, around 20 euros.
So far, Munich is probably one of my favorite cities, right next to Berlin. I haven’t been to a city in Germany that I haven’t liked yet. Tomorrow, I think I’m going to rent a bike and watch the Germany-Argentina game. I’ll probably go to a beer garden to watch it along with everyone else in Munich.