We successfully got to Vienna! The overnight train was kind of a drag, but definitely an experience. First of all, our train was delayed 35 minutes. So we didn’t end up leaving until around 11:00. The train was set up with small seating rooms of six seats. We got to our seats, and a bunch of Italian kids were sitting in there being obnoxious and we told them that they were sitting in our seats. They were really annoyed and a few of them moved out and then they all were definitely talking about me and Brooke. We couldn’t understand them though. After a little while we asked if they spoke English and they spoke a little so we started to be friendly with them. They were seniors in high school and they were in Florence for a school day trip from their town right outside of Venice. One of them spoke very good English. He was a foreign exchange student in a small town of Iowa last year. We told him how bad we felt that he was in the middle of nowhere in Iowa…
When we got to Bologna, the kids had to move out because those weren’t their seats and some new people came in. Four people joined our seating area, 2 couples (probably around 50 years old). They didn’t speak any English. I used some Italian skills and found out that they were from Rome and they were dancers and they were in Bologna for a dance competition and going to Vienna for another competition. One of the men sitting next to me showed me videos of them on his iPad. They were really good! It was like ballroom/Latin/samba dancing. We found out that one of the couples got first place and the other got third. So these people spread out big time in the train. The seats reclined and they basically made a giant bed for the four of them while me and Brooke were crammed up in our seats since we weren’t about to snuggle with them too. It was pretty hilarious. We didn’t even end up going to the bathroom once the entire journey since they were sleeping and blocking the door. It was also so annoying because every stop we had to wake up and show our tickets.
Finally, at 9:15ish in the morning, we arrived in Vienna. We were in the metro and asked this woman who didn’t speak any English to help us get to our hostel. It was hilarious. She was coincidentally going to the same stop so he was helpful. I asked her to teach us how to count to 10 in German so we learned that.
We are staying at Wombats City Hostel at the Naschmarkt which is this big out door flea market. The hostel is really nice. Wombats is a chain, and we are actually staying at another Wombats in Budapest. We happened to be overlapping with our friends Sklare and Giggles and all their roommates for a day, so we got to hang out with them all day which was really fun!
Yesterday was Quals (qualification) for the Little 500 race at IU. It’s one of the most fun days of the year, so we had to make sure we paid homage to the special day. Sklare wore his Phi Psi Cycling TShirt and we took some photos for Instagram to root our teams on. So Sklare, Giggles, Brooke and I started our day in Vienna walking through the Naschmarkt flea market. There were tons of crazy knick knacks. Sklare ended up buying a ridiculous purple Puma zip up sweatshirt for 5 euro. After the Naschmarkt, we went to the Schönbrunn Palace. We took the metro and had to walk through this park to get there. We played on the jungle gym of the park for a little before going to the palace. The palace was really beautiful and was apparently just a summer home for this royal family. It was huge. And the grounds were beautiful and enormous. We walked around the grounds for a couple hours and took lots of pictures.
We then walked around the Naschmarkt some more and around Vienna and then went back to the hostel. We all just hung out at the hostel last night, nothing exciting.
The boys all left this morning for Prague, and then they are going to Budapest too, but we are missing them. So it’s me and Brooke from here on out! We are doing some sight seeing in Vienna. It is freezing here and it’s snowing today, woohoo! Gotta layer up.