Austria

Honeymoon Calling!!

2 weeks of insane celebrations, millions of pictures, innumerable rituals & after countless dress change we were officially husband & wife. I had so many mature heads telling me it is going to be crazy & I won’t realize much of the things happening around until I actually see the pictures later. Well even after going berserk in the family jamboree, I did manage to live few once in a lifetime moments but eventually we both ended up as fatigued souls. Docile selves with exemplary planning skills, we had decided much in advance that post all the fanfare we would go on an unconventional sojourn to Europe to just unwind in the lap of nature.

Tip 1: Post wedding it is advisable to just de-stress at one place, rather than hopping to several cities/countries, adding exhaustion to already tired bodies.

We zeroed down to Austria for it’s tranquility & flew down to Vienna, our pretty much awaited voyage. We were driven down in a luxury SUV to our hotel Tourotel Mariahilf & checked in late eve post an hour drive. That hotel bed was cozy enough to tempt the most jaded creatures to doze off till the next noon. I totally condemn the idea of any romance immediately post the wedding madness, with such exhausted bodies, the dire need for sleep takes over any erotic desires. With renewed vitality post the much required sleep, we went for an idle stroll to satisfy our starving tummies.

Vienna State Opera

Streets at Night

Tip 2:  There are innumerable eating options around, the best way for us was to enjoy good meal and not burn a hole in our pockets was to carefully divide our choices. We daily had buffet breakfast at nominal price from Wombats City Hostel (Youth Hostel nearby), explored various delectable street foods for lunch (since we were anyways touring) & made sure to go for fine dining for a perfect end to the day.

Starting our first day almost at eve, we majorly just navigated in the vicinity of our hotel, bought the Vienna City Card & while gorging on a mountain of ice-cream, dissected the city map marking the major attractions, routes, public transports etc. Infused with new zeal, we woke up next day to actually explore the artistic legacy of Mozart & Beethoven. We would either walk or take a tram to Westbahnhof Metro next to hotel to reach the city centre Staatsoper (State Opera), from where the Hop On-Hop Off tours started. Vienna is a small city & all major attractions can be accessed on foot from any of the metro stations in same proximity.

Rathaus City Hall

Museum of Art & Natural history

Tip 3: It is a must to buy a Vienna Travel card from any store, located near the metro stations. Also avoid buying it online to since you end up paying more.  The Hop on- Hop Off bus tours can be booked on the spot or in advance online.

The best way to experience the city’s imperial grandeur is ride on the Hop On – Hop Off bus which will give you the flavor of it’s rich legacy, taking you around the Imperial Palace, Heroes square, Vienna State Opera, the Parliament, Schönbrunn palace etc. We had taken the Green Line to wine growing village Grinzing giving us a panoramic view of the European city. The longest tours include the Schonbrunn Palace & Grinzing which is on the outskirts & will take ample time to indulge in breathtaking scenery. After a daylong tour we had a sumptuous dinner at Mozarts, tasting hearty portions of their popular food- Wiener Schnitzel.

Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace Gardens

Vienna City View from Kahlenberg

The following day we engulfed ourselves in the lap of nature on Danube River, (Tour started by Bus from Sudtiroler Platz Station which dropped us at the Shipstation) cruising between idyllic settings. Vibrant blue skies, crystal clear waters, series of colorful cottages, medieval palaces, pretty churches & patent European cows grazing on the lush green meadows, made for a perfect postcard picture. The cool breeze hitting us as we cruised along the river in the blissful setting took us away from the concrete jungle into a land of endearment that no camera could capture & would only remain etched in our memories forever. We reached Melk & toured around the popular Benedictine Abbey with rich architecture & history. The elaborate paintings adorning the walls & ceilings of the opulent church, had various sagas to narrate. We hired a two wheeler & went for a ride in the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town, which pretty much gave me nostalgia about Kaleici in Antalya. The quaint streets had lovely café setups, where we grabbed our lunch basking in the European summer sun.

Danube River Cruise

Danube River Cruise

Old Town & Danube River from Melk Abbey

Inside Melk Abbey

Paintings adorning ceilings of Melk Abbey

We had the best ever Pasta at Vapiano right on Westbahnhof station for dinner & snuggled back to our cosy beds. The next day we decided to just go around exploring the city on foot or trams without any specific plan. We ended up having an extremely delightful day shopping at Mariahilfer Strasse & strolling down the beautifully lit Museum Quartier at evening. Holding hands under a cold starry night we walked wherever our feet took us. That chilly night matching our gait in the charming city of Vienna, he went down on his knees, held my hand & proclaimed his undying love for me once again. The night of immense gratitude & appreciation to have each other till eternity, faded with sweet nothings.

Pasta at Vapiano

Museums Quartier

We had another day to ourselves in Vienna, thus we decided on a day tour to Bratislava. We boarded on a bus from Hauptbahnhof-südtiroler platz & reached the capital of Slovakia in about 2hrs. It is an extremely slow paced city, dwelling in an old world charm. We bought a travel day pass from the booth outside the bus stop & headed straight to Michael’s Gate at the baroque old town, wandering aimlessly in the maze of lanes. We had lunch in the charming streets with numerous cafes & restaurants offering traditional Slovak cuisines. Walking around the Old Town Hall with an amazing view on the Main Square, Castle and the St. Martin’s Cathedral, we hiked up to the Bratislava Castle. Sitting on the castle’s courtyard, overlooking the turgid Danube with a stunning panoramic view of the city, we witnessed a perfect sunset cuddling in each other’s arms.

Bird’s Eye View of Bratislava from Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle

Tip 4: Bratislava is good for a day tour from Vienna, the real charm of this Slovak Capital is wandering around the old town, enjoying the picturesque views and relaxing on the way with good food and drink. It is ideal to be explored on foot or else you also have an option of Little Red Retro Tourist Bus to take you around.

Our first trip together was bundled with memories making us smile, magical moments making us fall in love all over again, discovering a new trait of affection, the joy of companionship & moreover satisfaction of a having compatible travel partner for life.