A peek into my life for my friends all over the world!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A long weekend in Austria

And again we had another long weekend in the Netherlands...quite some lately huh? Well actually this is the last national holiday there is until Christmas, so stop saying that we have too many holidays!

Anyway, I decided to make the most out of it and about a month ago I managed to find a good deal with one of the cheap airlines and I decided to visit my friend Martin who lives in Vienna. However the interesting thing is that my flight was not going to Vienna but to Bratislava (Slovakia) which is a 55km drive (about 45 mins) to Martin's place.

Martin is one of my best friends in Europe. I met him back in 2001 and he lived in London while I lived there and then in Amsterdam until last year. So we've always been rather good friends and somehow he's been now away over a year and I still hadn't managed to come and visit him. So I was rather happy. As I have already been in Vienna about 1.5 years ago I suggested doing a little travelling around and Martin was very happy to go along!

I landed in Bratislava on Friday at 22:30 and Martin picked me up and we went into town to park the car. We did a very quick tour around the city centre where I saw some really beautiful buildings...it was really nice and cozy. After that we went to have some cocktails and to catch up.
We drove back to Vienna at 1am and we made it back by 2am.

Next morning Martin took me up in the mountains to this really nice place to have brunch and to enjoy a really nice view of Vienna. The weather was REALLY nice. It was over 30 degrees...and as I was coming from shitty weather I was extremely happy. So we decided to go to the Viennese beach. What is that? The old bank of the Danube river has been separated from the main flowing river and it looks like a nice lake in a small island inside the city. People go to this huge park to enjoy the weather and the water. It was rather pleasing to be there enjoying the weather and swimming in the "Blue Danube" :-)

That evening we went into the centre of Vienna for a really nice dinner and a nice walk. It is always nice to see a city in different seasons. I had seen Vienna during Christmas time and I have to say it's one of most beautiful (or the most) cities I've ever seen. So elegant, cozy and Christmasy. And during the summer...it's just stunning. All those imposing empire like buildings,w ith that magnificent lighting. It was really beautiful.

The next morning we woke up at dawn (actually not really because the days are getting so long that dawn it's before 5am ;-s so it was more 7am) and we made our way to Salzburg. The plan was to eventually end there but make a couple of stops on the way. We drove all the way to the area of "Salzakammergut" which is about 50kms before from Salzburg. We had a really nice picnic by a nice lake. Everything was so beautiful...all those green mountains, all that nature, birds singing, ducks with their babies (also of course lots of annoying mosquitoes but I guess it's part of the package).

After our picnic we drove a little further and we went to this small cute little town called St Wolfgang where we found a tiny private piece of "beach" where for €4 we could get in and for €2.50 we got a parasol and some very comfortable lying chairs. We stayed there for about 4 hours and Martin and me hardly spoke to each other...we were both lost in our own thoughts, gazing the view, enjoying the sun, the fresh and transparent water of the lake and of course Martin his Newsweek and me a brand new book bought at the airport.

We liked it so much that after that we decided to look for a Bed and Breakfast in town. We found again a really cozy one ran by this sweet pensioner couple. That evening we walked into town and saw a little of the rest of the town, we had a really delicious meal by the lake and we watched a wonderful show of fireworks. We walked back when it was fully dark at about 11pm and it was such a nice feeling to walk with the sound of the crickets...I'm just not used to this me being a city girl.

The next morning after a nice breakfast we headed towards Salzburg. For me this was something VERY special. My all time most favourite movie is "The Sound of Music" I can't recall how many times I've seen it but if I say that over 300 I'm not exagerating...I know all the songs, the dances, the words in both Spanish and English...you get the point. That movie is based in Salzburg and since I was a little girl I always dreamt about going there. And I WAS there!!! Of course I was extremely disappointed that Martin had NO clue about what I was talking about (he must be one of the weird people who don't know about this movie)...I wanted a singing partner ;-) But it was still rather nice to see all those places that you can see in the movie, includding the house of the Von Trapp family (from far away) and the places where they sang the songs.

Salzburg was BEAUTIFUL It was really breathtaking. The city divided in 2 by the river Salzbach, the castle or rather fortress up on a hill, all those beautiful churches, squares, statues, the really cute streets, the picturesque alleys, the gardens, the fountains. I have to say that it is now on the top 5 of my favourite sities!!! You'll see this and more on the photos.

Right before heading back to Vienna we made a stop in the Sacher hotel so I could have the famous Sachertorte which was really yummy. And then righ after we got ourselves into the car a big storm started- so I REALLY have to thank mother nature for being so nice to me this past weekend.

This morning Martin was SO nice that he drove me ALL the way to Bratislava and then he had to drive all the way back to Vienna to catch a flight to Warsaw. Martin THANK you SO much!!! After a 3-hour flight delay, a rather "entertainining" flight with the whole Dutch Volleyball team sitting in front, behind and next to me (boy are those guys tall!) I managed to arrive safely to Amsterdam and managed to be behind my desk before 3pm.

Now you can click here for the photos. I warn you there are quite A LOT! But the places are just too beautiful not to photograph...and I tried to write some entertaining captions...

All in all a WONDERFUL weekend and one of the reasons why I love living in Europe...a flight a way, a 45 mins drive to another city to catch another flight....different culture, different language...I just love to get away for the weekend and be able to be part of that ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Salzburg is indeed a very cute city! Specially on a sunny day! The only thing I dislike about it is the fact that it's in Austria.. but well, nobody is perfect! ;)