It is already March and the semester break is over. However, in between traveling, having guests and writing my BA thesis, my blog had to stay silent for a while. After I am officially tired of doing research and quoting linguists 24/7, I am back with a story about my trip to Upper Austria and Hallstatt.
If you already read the post from last week, you know what I think about buying tickets and finding a suitable accommodation. Well, today I present to you the follow-up article about packing, sightseeing and basically all the fun things you do on a trip.
If you are like me, you are someone who likes to see as much as possible when on a holiday. For me it is actually not a real holiday, but more or less a trip of running, hiking and doing everything suggested by any tour guide, forum or blog I have read. Needless to say, this is not always manageable due to weather conditions and my companions, but most of the time I go back home quite content and if there is something that I missed doing I tell myself: “Next time! You have to have a reason to come back here”.
First thing I do when I figure out where I am going is checking TripAdvisor. It has become an instinct of mine to go online and look the top destinations and sights to see. Of course since TripAdvisor has this huge audience of people submitting reviews and scores online daily, you are kept up to date with everything that is worth doing when you are somewhere.
I also have this old-fashioned side of mine that involves buying a tour guide. This is one of the most thrilling things to do when going on a holiday apart from the holiday itself. I particularly love the tour guides by DK Eyewitnes and I have used them for many destinations. As any other travel guide they include information about different districts and interesting places to visit within this area. However, some of the features that I love about these travel guides are unique. To start off, they offer a sliced view of the most famous buildings in the city/ country and in this way you can see how the building is arranged with all of its corridors, floors and entrances. I particularly love this detailed view, since most tour guides will give you a picture from the outside (so you orientate yourself better) and if you are lucky you will get a shot from the inside as well. Although, that is very nice, it can barely give you a realistic idea what to expect when you go in and although it is always nice to be surprised about things, I like to know what to look for when I go somewhere.
Another cool part that is included in these travel guides is the ‘Survival Guide’ section. Here you are being guided through the means of transport, you are provided with visuals of the tickets for the subway and tram, and also you get to see pictures of the local currency. And wait – that is not all of it! You get a few pages on local cuisine as well as the specific foods and drinks, typical for your destination. I always appreciate the country’s culture and I try to ‘dine like the locals’ as much as I can when I am somewhere new, so this information is extremely important to me.
Of course, there are so many more cool stuff inside these guides, but I will let it to you to find them out for yourself. I am sure you can find the brand in most of the bigger bookstores and they are offered in several languages but for sure English and German are available here in Austria.
Huh? How come Instagram has anything to do with planning my trip? Very simple – it helps you to get to know where you are going. I love small bakeries, cute streets off the beaten track and cozy cafés where the locals go and have a chit-chat on the weekends. Well, unfortunately this information is neither on TripAdvisor nor in my travel guide, but I have realized that some of the most successful instagrammers that post regularly pictures from their basis-location are actually giving away all the hints about the cool places that are definitely ‘in’. Therefore, whenever I see something that looks really cool (say a street, fountain or a corner) on my feed, I just added to my collection so I can revisit it and plan on going at that very same place, without having to look it up again.
If you have been with me for a while, you know I am the ultimate rambler. That’s more than obvious by my photo-walks in Vienna and I love exploring cities by walking around. There is one downfall to that – I am a bit of a sloth. I am definitely not a sporty type and after walking for three or four hours straight, I already feel the need to sit down and have a break. Another problem with walks is that you are depending on the mercy of the weather and if it is a rainy afternoon, public transport is definitely unavoidable. Yet, if I can give you one advise that would be: Walk as much as possible. Your feet will hurt, you will feel tired and you may even get wet if the weather is not on your side, but what you will remember from a trip like this, would be the spirit of the city, the streets and the atmosphere. You definitely cannot experience the same thing in the underground and hiking from one museum to another, give yourself time to explore the place you are and fully submerge yourself within it.
I hope you found this article helpful and I wish you safe travels wherever you are going, Enjoy!
The February holiday is coming up and I guess most of you will treat themselves to a little trip somewhere. I am sure that you already have planned and organized trips before but today I am going to share my experience and little tips how to make your travels stress-free. From tickets, accommodation and places to visit, there are just so many things to think about.
It is summer and as everyone else, I am on holiday as well. If I have to be honest I haven’t stopped traveling for the past two months. First it was France and now I am in beautiful Bulgaria. It is true what they say that it is heaven on earth here in the Balkans – the beauty and the interesting things to see and do are endless.
I have been to Paris more than a few times, but although now I may say I know the city well enough, France is a mystery to me. I am in favor of the opinion that the city does not reveal the soul of the country and this is the case with Paris as well. This time, however, I had the chance to get a glance at a little more different part of this amazing country – Normandy.
The spring is now on full blast and everyone is out either sunbathing, eating ice cream or just taking a walk enjoying the warm, sunny weather. Well, since I don’t want to differ too much from the common crowd I decided to use my Saturday to walk around the city. This is one of my favorite hobbies and in this sense I sometimes feel like Charles Dickens – the ultimate rambler. But you know what – you have to know your city in order to love it. Now it has been almost three years since I live in Vienna and there are so many magical places to discover.
Let me tell you Easter is a big deal in Vienna – get used to it. There are the Osternmarktets, chocolate bunnies everywhere and all around you will be sure to find lots and lots of Easter decorations. It is as much loved and celebrated here as Christmas. The preparations start maybe half a month before the holiday and everyone is anticipating it.
Normally many European countries celebrate Easter and people prepare themselves for this Sunday of the year but in Austria it is brought to another level. They basically have it all here – from chocolate sheep, chicks and bunnies to colored eggs and Easter bread. I think I even saw some sort of Adventkalender but for Easter (that I think is a bit too much). Read more
Finally I am back home for the holidays. There is nothing better if you ask me, than being with your loved ones and celebrating with them. I had my flight around one week before Christmas so I had a lot of time to spend with my close ones and to do some baking around the house. There is nothing better than the coziness of your own bed and the smell of freshly baked cookies.
There were a lot things changed around my hometown. I haven’t been home since September and I must say the change was for the good. There were a lot new things – like a huge roundabout, ice sculpture festival and a great Christmas decoration. Well in comparison to Vienna it is pretty much nothing but it was still nice since it is a lot more than last year.
I got the chance to see lots of friends and relatives over the past week and catch up with what’s been happening. The thing when you live abroad is that as much as you want to stay posted with everything happening in your friends’ lives – it is just not possible. Of course you know about the major things and you chat every now and then but still it is covering a lot less than you would want to.
As a matter of fact I am still waiting for some friends to return from abroad and catch up with them as well. I cannot believe it has been another three months away – it seems each time longer and longer. The funny thing is that once you get back home there is this funny feeling about being in your home again. The first two days it is always strange and a little bit weird till you get used to it again.
For example the place in Vienna where I am living is way smaller than the apartment where we live back home. That is why every time I go back it looks a lot bigger than I remember it. Don’t get me wrong – I love the feeling of living in a “huge” house but when you are in the situation of living in a tiny box for most of the year it is a bit strange at first when you are back home 😀
So for now that will be all – I wish you a very happy new year.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year… ” or something like that. Yeat it is definetly the most wonderful time – there are Christimas lights everywhere, sparkles and glitter surround you, the smell of gingerbread cookies in the air – it is to die for.
Some people say they hate Christimas – I don’t get it. Yes maybe there is a bit more hustle around and the stores get crowded and you hear over and over again the same songs but let me tell you – that is just no reason to hate. Think of all that is around you – how beautiful it is and what a magical time is upon us.
Ever since I was a child we went to the church on the first advent Sunday and watched how they light up the first advent candle. I always loved this moment of the year because that meant that there was now less than a month before Christmas and we would decorate the house and start with the preparations. Ever since I don’t live at home I try to make my own traditions but there is one I have kept till this day – having an advent calender.
When I was a kid I would go with my parents shopping, I would pick an advent calendar and then each day before Christmas I would have a small piece of chocolate. That was quite recent after the soviet regime and such European traditions were not very popular. However, my grandmother was part Austrian so I grew up with the habit of having an advent calender, singing “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht”and baking Lebkuchen.
So till this day, one week before the 1st of December I go around on a hunt for the perfect advent calender. The variety of calenders is enormous and you can choose from a range between 3 euros as much as 25 euros for calender with chocolates inside it. I say that because you may know that there are different varieties – ones with beer, with fragrances and makeup inside and whatever you can think of. I stick with the traditional chocolate one and this year I chose the Kinder edition.