Coffee, opera, schnitzel, Australians. Many, many Australians.
I arrived in Vienna after a brief (one hour) stopover in Riga, Latvia. They have good coffee and chocolate there. In the airport.
Vienna was the start of my organised group tour around Europe. Well, part of Europe, anyway.
I had two hopes for this bus tour:
1) that it wouldn't be full of old people (you know the kind), and
2) that it wouldn't be full of Australians (you know the kind).
It was full of Australians.
Nevertheless, the tour group itself wasn't so bad - and the tour operators (Kevin and Susan) were awesome. I hired a bicycle with one of my tour buddies and cycled around Vienna. Lost patience with my tour group on day two when we argued for an hour about where to go for dinner, I waited five minutes, then went and discovered a free classical music concert.
Sacher Torte, Habsburg Castle, biking around Vienna (and getting a little lost), a giant of a man for a room mate who snored, sneaking lunch from the hotel breakfast buffet, opera, chamber music group, schnitzel, outdrinking the Aussies, buskers that would make our symphony orchestra weep, updating my blog in an internet cafe while sitting next to an old guy looking at porn, and massive slices of pizza for only one euro.
Budapest (Hungary) - two days
Goulash, Goulash, Goulash
Starting to get the hang of this bus tour thing by then; well actually it was my first stop on the tour since I started in Vienna. At this point I'm in a bit of a funk. Not quite homesick, but wondering if I'm a little crazy for leaving for so long, and if I'm cut out for all this travel nonsense (spoiler alert: I am). Fell in love with the goulash, and spent most of my time there chasing the dragon. Also bought an Obama russian doll.
Goulash, Obama doll, giant paprika market, homeless elephants, the House of Terror, goulash, beautiful weather, getting stood up in a shopping mall by my snoring roommate, Hungarian Florints, resisting the urge to make "I'm hungry in Hungary" jokes (and failing), not being able to find anybody to read my fortune.
Prague (Czech Republic) - two days
Communism, art purchase, cavemen
Prague was fun. Though our hotel was well out of town, it was close to public transport and so we were able to make it into the city well enough to enjoy the sights. The Charles Bridge was awesome, and I took many a blurry photo from it's periphery. Went to a caveman themed (not entirely Prague-ian, but fun) restaurant for dinner where we could only eat with our hands and almost got charged for drinks we didn't order but I drank anyway. Paid instead with a hangover (karma?), and became obsessed with a painting in the hotel lobby.
Making (read: stealing) the riskiest lunch from the hotel breakfast buffet (50 euro fine if caught), the Charles Bridge, buying new sneakers to walk in, cavemen, not getting drunk but getting hungover and throwing up incredibly discretely at 3am, buildings that looked like they were designed by me in a third form graphic design class, and buying a spectacular painting (only to find out that it is a spectacular print). Lovely.