Second (and last) half of the trip is over and done with, so I decided I’d share some photos of Austria and Germany with you guys.
The best part of Vienna was (naturally) dessert. From left to right, these slices of cake are raspberry, Sachertorte (which I’ll explain) and Mozart-Torte. The Sachertorte was created at the Sacher Hotel in Vienna ages ago, and now it’s become a traditional food of the city. It comprises rich chocolate cake, a layer of jam and a smooth chocolate glaze. The Mozart cake was chocolate with pistachio and hazelnut, which is what the world has decided is “Mozart Flavored” apparently. The raspberry cake is self explanatory, but included cake, a raspberry mousse and a sliver of white chocolate on top. I’m really glad we got a sampler plate, because I could not have eaten three normal sized pieces of cake.
This picture is slightly blurry but super important to me, because of its contents. On our full day in Vienna, we stopped by the Kunsthistorichemuseum (art history museum) for about an hour and a half. There, we saw many paintings that I’d seen in my AP European History textbook, including The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel. The lighting was pretty bad, but it was absolutely necessary to have the proof that I saw it.
I was in Munich two years ago, so I had lots of fun revisiting old sites (none of them changed) and trying to learn more about the same places. This is Nymphenburg Palace, which I saw back in 2014, but I got better pictures at this year. The palace is very symmetrical, very ornate and has huge gardens that back in the day were watered by people, not a sprinkler system.
We also visited the Viktualienmarkt, a market filled mostly with food. Here, we see some fruit I’ve literally never seen in a grocery store at home in Iowa. They’re really, really tiny tangerines, and were displayed alongside things like durian, dragonfruit and jackfruit.
Overall, it was so nice to come back to a city I’d been in before. In all the other cities I was overwhelmed not knowing what was the best way to use my time, but coming here I knew exactly what I wanted to see and do. Our last night in Munich, we went out to a university music festival featuring Big Band Dachau. They were actually really great, and experiencing the collegiate culture of Munich was a great way to end our stay there.
The last stop on our journey was in Heidelberg, a city in the German federal state of Baden-Wurtemburg. After a boat cruise down the Neckar river and a terrifyingly tight bus ride up a hill, we got to see the remnants of this castle and the surrounding area, complete with a tour of of the well system and yet another set of spiral stairs. I climbed more stairs in the past two weeks than I have in the rest of my life, I swear.
This photo was taken by my friend Fenna, as I was telling her, “Fenna, you’re the artist.” While it was intended as a response to convince her she didn’t need my instruction, it also reminded me why I love taking photos; I can’t create art, so I like to capture it instead.
I had such a good time on this trip! I know that travel isn’t always easy, but if any of you have a chance I would highly recommend Central Europe as a destination. It’s not as expensive as many places in Western Europe, is very easily accessible and makes for a great adventure (especially if you end up at a music festival on a Monday night).