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Monday, March 9, 2020

My Frugal Trip to Vienna, Days 4 and 5!



One of the things I've had to internalize on previous trips of mine, some taken when I was dealing with the depths of my depression, was that as much as I enjoy trips, as much as I love traveling, and as excited as travel makes me, I can't expect my trips to get rid of my problems, my problems come with me no matter where I go. And that's ok. It meant that my trips weren't free of depression and panic attacks, but they were still great trips and awesome memories.

Now, though, thanks to good therapy and good meds, my depression has lightened up. But an issue that I have been dealing with a lot has been my sleep schedule, and specifically my difficulty getting up in the morning, and my extra need for sleep. Of course, silly me thought that now that I'm on vacation, I can just, by force of willpower, need less sleep, and wake up early, and run throughout the day. But the one day I tried doing that, my third day in Vienna, I ended up falling asleep in a boat ride that I paid money for, which showed me that I can't ignore my sleep needs.


Which is a bummer, because that means that I can't spend as much time each day doing touristy things, because by the time I wake up in the morning (or sometimes afternoon) I've slept away much of the daylight hours, and much of the hours that tourist things are open. Fortunately my trip here is a long one, so I can spread out my touring throughout the days that I'm here and don't feel as pressured to pack my days with so many things.



Additionally, part of why I travel is to experience new things, and this is the first time I'm staying at a hostel, which is a great experience. The fun times in the hostel seem to be in the evening, after all the touristy things have died down, so even though I haven't gotten so much touristing done, I've had a lot of amazing and meaningful conversations with people from around the world, which, to be honest, has been one of my highlights so far of my trip.


So, day 4 started quite late, because of my sleep needs, but then I went and toured the Schoenbrunn Palace's gardens, also known as Schloss Schoenbrunn. There was this queen in Vienna named Sisi, and Schoenbrunn Palace apparently is the place where she spent her summers. To enter the palace costs money, but you can walk around the gardens free of charge, and the gardens are supposed to be spectacular.


However, this is probably the worst time of year to see the gardens, since the trees are all leafless and the flowers are pretty much all dead, so it's at a fraction of its usual glory, but even so, it was quite beautiful. There were so many statues, it should be called statue garden. To be honest, Vienna, is filled with more statues than I ever saw in one city, but this was like statue central. 


 When I heard that the parks in Vienna are some of the few free things, I thought that they'd be some boring parks, just grass and maybe a few flowers and trees. And while some might be that, the Schoenbrunn Palace gardens are huge, I spent over 2 hours just wandering around it and I didn't even see the whole thing. The gardens even have a zoo in it (for pay) and a maze (that was closed), but there's hills to hike up and down, forests to walk through. Pay it a visit, you won't regret it.


 After my visit to the gardens, I got an invite out to a dinner party by some Viennese locals, so I went there and had a great time meeting people from the city, and then afterwards had a walk through the heart of the city at night, seeing a whole different side, and was even more impressed with the beauty.


Then the next day I had another dinner invite with yet other locals, and in addition to doing that, I wandered around the city, seeing even more sights, from the Danube canal to the Burgarten park and revisiting the Heldenplatz. I also walked down this outdoor mall and enjoyed seeing which stores were familiar to me and which were really odd sounding.


On my wandering around the city, I heard shouting and screaming, so of course, being curious, I walked closer to see what was going on. And I saw people being guarded by police and screaming, holding signs. So I asked them what the protest was about and they told me that these Neo-Nazis were gathering with the intention of normalizing Neo-Nazi ideology and to spread their propoganda, and they were gathering to protest against the Neo-Nazis. There were at least 10 times as many protesters against the Neo-Nazis as there were Neo-Nazis, which heartened me. And speaking to some of the protesters, they said that especially given their country's history, its very important for them to speak out against this evil.



So that was some politics that I accidentally stumbled upon, but I'm glad to have seen this side of Viennese life that a tourist generally wouldn't see.



After that, I made my way back to the hostel, had some more awesome conversations with people, and took part in a Couch Surfing meet up, and played pool for the first time in years.

I had a blast.

Vienna, I'm loving my trip here!

And of course, I'm keeping my eye on the coronavirus situation, because as much as I'm enjoying it here, I still want to go home on Thursday. Praying that my flight isn't canceled.

Total cost for these 2 days? Zero. Other than groceries, which I am not including in my trip budget, but as part of my regular grocery budget. I used public transportation and paid for a weekly pass.

2 comments:

  1. So glad your having a wonderful trip. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think worrying that you are sleeping too much when you should be doing more is very common with depression and anxiety. I'm like that too.

    ReplyDelete

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