Week One

Munich. Prague. Vienna. Salzburg.
To be fair, our time in Munich can more accurately be summed up as a day experiencing Oktoberfest.

After blablacar ride-sharing to Munich, meeting Tom at the airport, and navigating the public transportation vomit that was not as Berlin-like as I was used to, Tuesday night in Munich was not a very touristy affair. We were greeted by perfectly-timed welcome beer from our awesome air b&b host Steffen, and enjoyed a round in the kitchen getting to know him and his roommate Moe. They both work in IT, are both from Berlin, and both enjoy beer and futbol. They pointed us in the direction of a nearby eatery, Rick’s, where we enjoyed our first meal abroad together.

Wednesday was spent almost solely on the fest grounds. We drank giant mugs of beer, met fun and friendly new German mates, and spent too much money. As much as we both would have enjoyed seeing more of Munich, it was definitely a memorable experience to be able to partake in the one and only official Oktoberfest!

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Thursday was a travel day. We lucked out with our blablacar. Artur was an excellent driver, our fellow riders were interesting and enjoyable to talk to, and our meeting spot happened to be at the S-bahn station where the alliance arena is accessed. Bonus site-seeing!

The Prague transportation system was much easier to figure out than Munich’s, and our accommodation with an old friend of mine from high school couldn’t have worked out better. Cody played tour guide all Thursday night before we all met up with his girlfriend Emily to finish the night right with local half-dark beer.

If I had to describe Prague in one word it would be enchanting. Friday was filled with castle-viewing, cobblestone street meandering, and endless amazement. It doesn’t seem like such a place should be able to exist in real life. We saw the monastery, lovers hill, the John Lennon wall, and spent time browsing Old Town square. We learned that Prague tree cake is the best tree cake, the view from the top of the Old Town clock tower may be the best in the city, and the T-Anker terrace provides the perfect place for an end-of-day craft beer. I recommend the Purkmistr.

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We spent our Saturday in Prague strolling food markets and admiring the theaters, the Dancing House, and the Mosaic House art. In the evening, we enjoyed drinks, cards, conversation, and dancing with our hosts and their eclectic group of local and expat friends.

Sunday we said goodbye to Prague. We made it to Vienna after a blablacar experience that is not worth retelling, arrived at our beautiful little air b&b in the afternoon, then, not ones to waste a minute, we ventured out to do some initial exploring. Vienna knows how to make a first impression. Within minutes of entering Stephanplatz Square, I was enticed.

With direction from our lovely hosts Emanuel and Melanie, who just so happen to work in the hotel and tourism industry, we covered a lot of ground on Monday. From A hop-on hop-off bus tour through the major museum areas, to lunch along the Danube River, to visiting the Prater district, Hundertwasser and Kunst haus, and Belvedere – we saw many sides of this indecisive city with so much to offer. Including, according to Tom, the best ice cream (gelato) ever tasted.

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Today is Tuesday. This morning we caught another blablacar to Salzburg and this afternoon we fell in love with sweet Salzburg. Salzburg is (relatively) tiny and homey. It doesn’t take one long to figure out this adorable city’s biggest claims to fame for those who haven’t heard: Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart and the film location of the Sound of Music. Today we most enjoyed the narrow streets, many stairs, and mountain views and tonight we stay in our first hostel of the trip thus far – Meininger Hotel.

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