Vienna, Austria

The third and final stop on my wintry Eastern European tour was Vienna.  Two days and nights was simply not enough time to explore all the sights that Vienna had to offer.  On our first day, after a short train ride from Bratislava, my companions and I checked into the hostel and sought out a popular restaurant recommended by the hostel staff.  Our dishes consisted of five creative combinations of meat and potatoes, the most grotesque of which was a heaping pile of roasted potato mash, bacon bits, and at least three species of bratwurst, all smothered in melted cheese and served in a shovel.  Needless to say, the evening was shot after this experience.  We spent the next day on a lengthy walking tour of the city center; sights included government buildings, shopping districts, museums, a free organ concert in a small church, and the Stephansdom–perhaps the most impressive cathedral I have ever seen.  Our tour concluded in front of the grandiose Weiner Rathaus (Vienna City Hall) which had been outfitted with an ice skating rink (Weiner Eistraum–Vienna Ice Dream) and fair grounds selling, among other things, hot coco with Baileys–a cold weather necessity.  Overall, the trip was a huge success, and for my fellow travelers, I must recommend the Wombat hostel chain.

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