Archive for December, 2012


Omaha Beach

We felt like it was important to go to the American Cemetery next to Omaha Beach. It’s only a two-hour train ride from Paris and a half-hour drive from the city Caen. When we reached Caen there was a car rental just across from the station so it was easy to go and pick up a car to drive to the coast.

Before reaching Omaha Beach we stopped for lunch in the small town of Bayeux, which is most known for the famous Bayeux Tapestry, however, we didn’t have enough time to visit the tapestry ourselves. We stopped for lunch in a cute little restaurant off the main road and walked around the little town for maybe five or ten minutes before moving on.

A House in Bayeux

The coolest part of the town was probably the church, which stood in the very center and was a massive structure of stone.

churchlarge

Church in Bayeux

To me Bayeux seemed like the typical French country town. The buildings were especially cute and small. The stone homes were plain and simple and the streets were quiet. Only the splashing of rain and cars disturbed the peace.

Muddy Water

A small river/creek that ran through the town.

Bayeux Creek

After driving through large swaths of country land, we arrived at the coast and a number of signs directed us towards the cemetery.

Omaha Beach was the code name given to the Normandy beach along the French coast during WW II. This particular beach was important because it was the only possible area where the Allies had any chance of liberating France from Hitler’s clutch. Omaha Beach was only one section of the Normandy Landings. There was also Utah Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach.  The day that the Americans, British and Canadians landed on Normandy is known as D-Day (June 6th, 1944). It was a battle with heavy casualties, but resulted in victory for the Allies.

When we arrived at the parking lot there were only two other cars parked in the area and it was drizzling outside. It rained while we walked over to the memorial and cemetery. As we rounded the corner of the memorial the wind picked up, making the flags whip and snap in the gale.

Flags

Looking out from the memorial doesn’t even let the visitors see the entire cemetery. It goes even further back and I couldn’t believe how many white crosses stood vigilant on the green grass.

The memorial from the front.

American War Memorial

We walked towards the middle of the cemetery; the rain pouring down on us when suddenly the clouds began to clear and over the ocean was a rainbow. It was one of those serendipitous moments and I couldn’t have asked for beautiful weather while I paid my respects to the soldiers.

Rainbow

A Soldier's Grave

After rounding the cemetery we headed down to the beach. Just looking down the hill into thickets of leaves and bushes, it was made apparent just how much of a challenge the soldiers faced climbing from the beach with German artillery and gunfire blaring down on them.

Looking down onto the beach

The Path to the Beach

Uphill Battle

Once we began walking down the hill, I was even more impressed and horrified at the prospect of capturing that hill. The bushes were thick and dense, sometimes disappearing into darkness. As we neared the beach, we were met by a large section of swamp, whose water probably would have gone over my knees. To top all that off, shoulder high grass grew out of the water before reaching the dunes of sand. All I can say is that it is incredible that ANYONE even made it past the first sand dune.

The Beach of Normandy

It was a humbling day to see the things someone would go through for their freedom and for the freedom of people they had never even met face to face.

Eiffel Tower

The following morning my father and I went to the Eiffel Tower early to try and reach the top before it got too crowded. Even though I had seen the Moulin Rouge the day before, I still wasn’t really convinced that I was in Paris. Walking along the streets felt different than any other city I’d been to so far, but it still hadn’t really hit me that I was in Paris.

We came from the northwest side of the city and rounded the Palais de Chaillot, which provided a dramatic lead-up to the tower’s unveiling. It was only after I was standing in front of the tower that I truly felt like I was in Paris. It was an impressive view and a site I had never really imagined seeing in person. I’ve seen Paris in movies, read about it in books and seen it in pictures, but there’s nothing like actually standing in front of the Eiffel Tower to put in perspective how lucky I am.

The Eiffel Tower from the Palais de Chaillot. The sun was just rising, but already the entire place was covered in tourists!

Eiffel Tower from the Palais de Chaillot

Tower in the Morning

As we walked towards the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t stop thinking, “I’m in Paris!”. It was really surreal and I almost couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Eiffel Tower Silhouet

The tower from below.

Under the Tower

We reached the tower and then frantically searched for the quickest way to the top. Maybe I’m spoiling the secret, although I feel like it’s really not that huge of a secret, but the Eiffel Tower can be climbed! That one or two-hour long line that you’re waiting in, well just go around the corner and it takes a minute to buy a ticket and start the climb. This is what we did and it was actually really nice. There was no line, the staircase has a number of informational posters and along the way you get to admire the incredible infrastructure of the tower. I can’t even imagine how Eiffel (the tower is named after its architect, he also built the Statue of Liberty) could conceive such a massive tower of steel.

Some fun facts about the Eiffel Tower. It was built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889. It was finished in only a little over 2 years and it reaches the height of 324 meters or 1,063 feet. There are 704 steps to the second floor.

Steel

Almost there!

Climbing Up

As far as I know no one is allowed to climb to the very top of the tower, but we were able to make it to the first and second levels. It really wasn’t that bad of a climb and once we reached the top we were able to snag some tickets to ride the final elevator to the summit.

The view from the summit looking out over Paris and the park, Champ de Mars.

Lookout

Paris from Above

The Sacred Heart Basilica, which we visited the other day.

Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre

The L’hôtel des Invalides really stands out on the Paris skyline. It sparkles among all the short grey buildings.

L'hôtel des Invalides

The metro station in the vicinity of our apartment. The entrances to the stations are done in the Art Nouveau style, painted green with swirling arches and curves. It’s really beautiful, but sometimes makes it difficult to find the station entrances among the busy streets and buildings.

Metro

After visiting the Eiffel Tower we picked up my mother and sister at the apartment and then headed to the Arc de Triomphe. This arch is surrounded by the world’s largest roundabout. We witnessed a few daring (or stupid) people running across the roundabout, but there is of course a safer way in an underground tunnel.

The Arc was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to celebrate his victories, but it was not finished until 1836. The Germans and Allies took turns marching through this arch at different periods in time. First the Germans marched through in 1871, then the Allies in 1919. During World War II the Germans marched through the arch again in 1940 and at the end of the war in 1944 the Allies marched through.

Arc de Triomphe

Looking out over the tomb of an unknown soldier from WW I. The flame burns for the lives lost during WW I and WW II.

Eternal Flame

The ceiling of the arch.

Under the Arc

After touring the arch we turned towards the Avenue Des Champs-Élysées, which lines up perfectly with the tomb of the unknown soldier and the arch. This avenue is full of big-name stores, Christmas stalls, people and cars.

Champ Elysee

At the opposite end of the Champs-Élysées is the Place de la Concorde, one of the larger squares in Paris. Situated in the center of it is the Grande Roue de Paris, the ferris wheel, and the Luxor Obelisk. The Obelisk used to be at the Luxor Temple in Egypt, but was offered to France as a gift.

Grande Roue de Paris and Luxor Obelisk

One of the fountains on the Place de la Concorde.

Place de la Concorde

From the Concorde we headed towards the river Seine so that we could walk back towards the Eiffel Tower along the river. We crossed the Seine on the famous Pont Alexandre III bridge, which is decorated with a number of statues, some completely gold and also intricate lamps. The view of the Eiffel Tower from the bridge is beautiful.

Pont Alexandre III

As we headed back to our apartment the sun was beginning to set and the Eiffel Tower was lit.

Eiffel Tower at Night

First Day In Paris

We left Vienna early in the morning, taking a two-hour flight across Europe to Paris. When we landed the sun hadn’t even brightened the sky, so we got to the see the twinkling lights of the city below. Once we had gotten all our luggage we jumped on a train to get to the Guard du Nord (one of the train stations). It was nice arriving early in the morning, but we were not allowed to check in to our apartment until four in the afternoon. Despite this setback we found a locker room after some searching and left our bags at the station for the day.

The Guard du Nord.

The Train Station

Our first view of the streets of Paris.

We ate at a little cafe just across from the train station. The food was amazing and the waiter served us our meal with a “voilà!”

Arriving in Paris

After eating we made our way to the Basilika Sacré-Cœur, which sits on a hill overlooking Paris. It’s actually a lot larger than it looks, because the dome blocks the rest of the church. While we made our way up to the top, we had to dodge these men who were trying to sell something. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it looked like a basic piece of string. I wouldn’t have thought that anyone would give them money, but their tactic was one of intimidation. They would surround one or two people and talk and even grab them to try to get their money. I’ve never seen so many scammers in one place before. In reality, I think it’s a shame that they choose to stand outside a church and hassle people, but what can you do?

Basilika Sacré-Cœur from A Distance

Basilika Sacré-Cœur

After walking through the church we headed back down the hill. Most of the streets were quiet except for one in particular, which was packed with tourists and cheesy shops.

Tourist Shops

The Moulin Rouge was also in the vicinity. It is not the original one, which burnt down, but it was still exciting to see.

The Moulin Rouge

Eventually, we made our way back to the train station and the next few hours were spent hauling our bags all over Paris. The company we booked with decided it was a good idea to switch our apartment and not tell us, so instead of being where we had planned, we were actually another two or three major streets away. Lucky for us there was a nice taxi driver who was willing to flag down a van, which was the only vehicle that could fit all our luggage. We all made it to the newly assigned apartment in one piece, although we were all a little frazzled.

It was a long, but exciting day. My first time in Paris will be an exciting experience. I can already tell that it has a different feel from the other cities that I’ve been to.

Until Next Time

Our second to last day in Vienna was spent at a number of exciting places. We started our day at the famous Schönbrunn, which was covered in snow and also holiday cheer. The Christmas market there is one of my favorite. I think the trinkets they sell are the best I’ve seen and the food is delicious. We all shared some potato soup as well as crepes, chocolate waffles and I had some delicious hot chocolate. Never mind that by the end of our time there my feet had frozen off, it was well worth the pain.

One of the fountains in front of Schönbrunn. It was completely frozen.

Frozen Fountain Schönbrunn

I loved returning to Schönbrunn in the snow. I’ve been there through three seasons and I really can’t say which one I like better. If only I could see it in the spring, but I suppose I need to give myself a reason to return!

tunnel

Snow

Schönbrunn Covered in Snow

Empty Road

After warming up a little on the U-Bahn, we headed to Karlskirche. Outside is another Christmas market and also a small petting-zoo, placed where the fountain is in the summer. All the children were having fun jumping around with the goats and ponies.

Karlskirche

Despite having walked past Karlskirche every day, I’ve never actually been inside. Today that changed.

Inside was very different from what I expected. The domed ceiling is mostly covered by a large brown platform and off to the right is an elevator that takes people to the top of the platform. I’m surprised that they would put that inside the church, because it detracted from the overall feeling of the dome and also the beautiful paintings on the ceiling, but on the other hand it was fun to take an elevator up into the roof.

The Altar of Karlskirche

After exiting the elevator there are a flight of metal and woods stairs that can be climbed even further up the dome. As we climbed them, the stairs creaked and wiggled beneath stomping feet. I felt a little nervous about the entire structure, but it was pretty cool at the top, looking down.

stiarcase

Looking down into the church.

Looking Down

I had to show my family St. Stephen’s, so we walked down Kärtnerstraße and wandered around inside the church for a good while.

stephens

That night we went to the Musikverein and saw the Rotterdam Philharmonic perform in the Golden Room. We were towards the back of the room, but seeing the entire stage and audience set out before us was pretty awesome.

The Golden Room: Musikverein

The following day we set out to find the Kirche am Steinhof, which is a church built by Otto Wagner. It’s a popular place to go for Art Nouveau lovers, but it’s not on the map of the city and the actual road to the church could be considered something of a trek.

The effort and time to travel there was well spent. In the white snow, the golden roof was amazing. We were the only people there, which was nice and we even explored the forest behind the church, which seemed to be a park.

Kirche Am Steinhof

Even though I must leave Vienna behind physically, I’ll always remember the amazing time I spent there. The city and the people I met really changed who I am and opened my eyes to new possibilities. I know that I’ll never truly leave Vienna and its culture behind. Even as I sat on a plane destined for the international airport in Paris, I never really felt sad about leaving and I think that’s because I know I’ll return someday. I haven’t seen Vienna for the last time. Someday, I’ll be walking down Kärtnerstraße again, peeking through shop windows, or strolling along the Danube admiring the new graffiti, or sitting outside the Opera and eating a warm meal from one of the food vendors. It’s hard to say goodbye, but it was easy to say, until next time, Vienna.

My parents arrived early in the morning, so we had the entire day to tour the city and I acted as their personal tour guide. Once we checked into our hotel, they helped me carry all my bags from my host mother’s house to the apartment. It was a little sad leaving the room that I had stayed in for about four months, but at the same time I was ready to leave and have some change in my routine.

Afterwards we headed down to the first district and I showed them the Rathaus with its amazing Christmas Market, it was extremely cold and snowing, so we didn’t want to hang out too long. Just a few days before my family arrived the temperature dropped to freezing and it has been that way ever since, sometimes even getting below freezing, which is pretty with the snow in the streets, but makes for a cold tour of the city.

I also showed them Parliament, Hofburg, and the National Library. We took a tour of the famous Spanish Riding School, which is host to the Lipizzan stallions. They are all white, because the emperor wanted them all to look the same, so they are bred that way. However, the school likes to have one Bay horse, because it is considered good luck.

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The next day was museum day. To get to the first museum we headed out towards the south train station. The Belvedere is on the way, so we stopped to see the palace grounds covered in snow. There is also a Christmas Market outside the Belvedere.

*as an early Christmas present my parents bought me a fisheye lens, which is why the following photos are used with that lens =)

The ponds and fountains surrounding the Belvedere were frozen and the gardens were covered in snow.

Belvedere

Just a few blocks from Belvedere is the HGM (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum), which is a museum about the major wars fought in and around Austria. This includes the Turkish Sieges of Vienna, WW I, and WW II. It is probably one of my favorite museums here in Vienna. The amount of historic artifacts they have is impressive. Inside are a number of different weapons, armor, and other items of significance from influential people in history.

The stairway leading up to the second floor of the museum. The museum itself is a work of art.

The Staircase of the HGM

Weapons of WW II

Hot Air Balloon

The car below belonged to Franz Ferdinand, who was a Habsburg, the next in line under Franz Josef. However, he was assassinated in Sarajevo and because of this Franz Josef declared war. It was to be the beginning of the Great War. On the car are the bullet holes that missed Franz Ferdinand. In the room is also the couch where he died and the suit he died in. His suit had a small hole where the bullet hit.

Franz Ferdinand's Car

Next we headed to the Natural History Museum, which is right across from the Art History Museum. It hosts a number of different animals, minerals, meteors, and dinosaur bones.

The entrance.

Natural History Entrance

The ceiling of the museum.

Natural History Ceiling

Vulture

Giant Bird

Pre-Historic Dinosaur

Pre-Historic Dino

The Christmas market on Maria-Theresien-Platz, between the Art History and Natural History.

MQ

Winter Lights

Christmas is just around the corner, which means that the lights go up (as well as the electricity bill) in all the homes and around the city. Over the past few weeks the busy streets of Vienna have started to sparkle. The Christmas markets, called Weihnachtsmarktes in German have also popped up everywhere.

The lights on Kärtnerstraße heading away from the center of the city.

Kärtnerstraße2

Kärtnerstraße

Lights on Kärtnerstraße heading towards the Opera House. This is one of the popular shopping streets.

Shopping

A random street.

I like these the most. It looks like it is raining light.

Snowing Lights

Schönbrunn has a Christmas market out front. Every night the building is lit as well as the Christmas tree in front. This is probably my favorite market so far. It’s touristy, but there aren’t too many people, plus the giant palace in the back just adds to the beauty.

Schönbrunn

Schönbrunn Christmas Tree

Chandeliers hang from the buildings along the Graben. Both Kärtnerstraße and the Graben were flocking with tourists and Christmas shoppers. It’s worth seeing the lights, but be prepared to do some ducking and dodging.

Graben

The Rathaus. Probably the most crowded place in Vienna at night. This is one of the bigger Christmas markets and it is always packed with people, to the point where it’s almost impossible to move between the Christmas stalls.

Rathaus

An ornament stall at the Rathaus. There are toys, candy, chocolate, ornaments, classic Austrian foods, and of course the famous Glühwein (mulled wine) and punsch (flavored schnapps)!

Ornament Stall

Lights

St. Stephen’s

St. Stephen's

A giant Christmas tree of lights by Schottenring.

X-mas Tree

Even the grocery stores are covered with lights!

Billa

Day 115-120: Final week of the Semester

Our last week of classes in Vienna.

The best part was probably our presentation in German class. Annika, Addison and I gave a presentation on the Oregon Trail in our class. It was a great experience, not only because the other students had a fun time with it, but also because I could really tell how much my German had improved. Speaking in front of any group of people isn’t a strong point of mine, but when I stood up to present my part, somehow everything just went smoothly. I was able to just talk and everyone understood me. I made a lot of mistakes, but it doesn’t matter. I gave an entire presentation in German and it felt really good!

To sum up the entire week, we had four tests, two ten-page essays and two presentations, but everyone made it and came out alive.

Our last final passed quickly and as we celebrated inside the Institute, snow began falling from the clouds. We all went outside with a skip in our step and took pictures in the snow. It was a really surreal moment, standing in front of the Opera House, covered in snow. I’m really glad that we were able to see snow before we left Europe.

Snow and Me

After getting everyone’s bags to the airport for early check-in, we headed to Vapiano’s (one of our favorite restaurants here) and had one last dinner together. Then we went to Flanagan’s (an Irish pub) to meet Eugene (if you remember he was with us in Dorfgastein). We talked about our time in Vienna with him and he shared some of the highs of his own study abroad experience.

Even though I’m staying in Europe a little longer, the end of my classes is still sad. It means that my semester abroad is over and soon I will have to return to reality. However, I’m ready more than ever to face what is to come. I feel like it can only get better from here on out. Before coming to Vienna, I could never really imagined myself in Europe. I couldn’t even picture myself there when I tried, but now I know that it’s more than possible. I know that one day I will return to Vienna. It’s become a part of me that I don’t want to forget and the friends I’ve made here and the places I’ve been, will always have a special spot in my heart.

** I actually wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but never actually had time to post it.**

Wow, it seems really strange to be typing 101 up in the title. I can’t believe it’s been over 100 days since I arrived in Vienna. I feel like 100 days is not really long, but I’ve done so much in 100 days, that I don’t think I would remember it all if it weren’t for this blog.

Everyone is starting to get restless now. We have less than two weeks left before the end of the term. Our last week will be filled with finals and then everyone is off to the airport. However, I will be going to the airport not to leave, but to pick up my family! I can’t wait to see them and show them everything I’ve come to love about Vienna.

For class we headed to the Upper Belvedere, which is host to a large number of Gustav Klimt pieces. Klimt is one of the more famous artists from Vienna. In the Belvedere is one of his most loved pieces “The Kiss”. It was a really great exhibit over Klimt, because it went through his style change, from more realistic paintings to painting in gold and 2D, to painting garden scenes.

We were also given the opportunity to visit the U.S. Embassy. The security, as you can probably imagine, was really strict, but the meeting we had with one of the ambassadors was really informal. It was a nice insight into the tasks and jobs an ambassador has in other countries.

That week was also my 21st birthday, but it was on a Wednesday so we didn’t really do anything. My host mom was really sweet though, and when I got home from class she made me dinner, we had cake and then she gave me presents. I didn’t have enough room to pack a lot of things when I came here, so I left out gloves and a hat. My host mom would always complain and say I was going to freeze to death, so she got me a hat, scarf and gloves for my birthday.

That weekend, I was thrown a surprise birthday party! We went to a weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market), between two of the larger museums in Vienna, and wandered around, then they took me to a Austrian restaurant and we all had traditional Austrian dishes. Lastly, we went to the movie theater and watched Perks of Being A Wallflower. We didn’t want to go home after the movie so we found this cocktail bar called New Yorker and had drinks. It played all the old movie soundtracks like the James Bond and at one point the Mission Impossible theme. We all felt like secret agents sitting in a smoky (people are allowed to smoke inside in Austria) and dark cocktail bar. It was a really great night and I couldn’t have asked for more!

Thursday was also Thanksgiving, for which the Institute hosted a traditional American dinner for us at the restaurant 1516. Some of our professors came, friends from the Institute, and also our speaking assistants. The food was actually pretty good, although there was a strange grey-looking mushroom dish that no one touched.

Annika, Ari and I also traveled to the United Nations. It was the third one built after the New York and Geneva buildings. The UN in Vienna has many jobs, but one of the most important is probably its regulation of Atomic Energy. The tour was really amazing. Our tour guide told us a lot of the reasons that a UN is good, but she also talked about why it doesn’t always work and the problems that it faces. It was a good two-sided tour.

This week has been really hectic, but we are all starting to feel the pressure of time. There’s still so much to do, but just not enough time to do it. However, we have all agreed that our time here hasn’t gone to waste!

The weekend before finals Annika and I walked down the Danube Canal, which is right by my house. It’s a really nice path that basically follows the river through the city. The sides are always covered in graffiti, but I think it adds character.

Along the Danube

We visited Christine’s (one of our speaking partner) horse, he was really cute and she let us sit on him for a photo op.

Horse

After meeting Christine’s horse we took a long walk in the woods. We were in one of the towns just outside Vienna and the woods were really beautiful. Christine had her dog Jack there. He loved to run ahead of us and jump in the creek that ran alongside the trail.

Jack

Fall Leaves

Day 98: Budapest

One weekend we decided it was time to make a final trip together before the end of the semester. Budapest was our destination, only about three hours away by train. Therefore, we made day plans to leave Vienna early in the morning and return the same day. Although one day in Budapest was not enough to get to know the city very well it was a great break from all the work and stress that had been building up.

Like many of the cities we’ve been to, the train station was nowhere near the main attractions of the city, so once we oriented ourselves we set out towards the Buda Castle, which was on the other side of the Danube.

Heading away from the station, towards the Danube.

It might have just been the time that we visited, but the city was quiet. I know Budapest is a really popular city to travel to, but most of the city seemed empty and even the main tourist attractions weren’t very crowded.

 There are a lot of bridges crossing the Danube, the one below is the only white bridge and it looks somewhat out of place and too modern in such an old city.

Making our way across the bridge.

The Hungarian Flag

Directly across from the bridge was a cliff face that had stairs and paths built into it. At the top was a large statue and a nice view of the city.

Up on the hill is the castle and just on the right side of the river is another domed building which is the Parliament building. Budapest used to be the second most important city behind the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The empire was split into two parts with different governing bodies, but Franz Joseph was still technically King of Hungary as well as Emperor of Austria. In terms of defense and international affairs Franz Joseph’s law ruled supreme.

Budapest

We made our way slowly to the castle, which was just open to the public. I’m not really sure what the castle is used for, but it was a nice place to wander around.

A small side entrance to the castle that we took.

Buda Castle

Just a bird friend that we made. They were everywhere and not at all afraid of people.

Bird

We headed out the back side of the castle and came to a small street with carts selling trinkets. This area had some more tourist activities, including archery. I had never tried archery before so of course I had to do it! I completely failed to launch the arrow on my first try. I let go of the string and the arrow just fell to the ground, but then Ari gave me a few pointers and I hit the target twice! It was fun and I definitely want to try it again.

After that we headed down a cute road full of restaurants and shops. This street reminded me a lot of the Golden Lane in Prague, although the houses were a lot larger. Eventually we came to Matthias Church, which had one of the more colorful roofs I’ve seen on a church. This church is up on the hill and looks out along the river.

Matthias Church

Just behind the church is Fisherman’s Bastion. It stands right on the top of the hill overlooking the river and was probably the only place that we went in Budapest that was a little crowded. I really like this place, because it was similar to a maze. Each tower has multiple twirling staircase and underneath each section are small hallways that people can walk through and look out towards Parliament.

Fisherman's Bastion2

Parlament from Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman's Bastion

After taking a copious amount of photos, we got hungry and went to one of the restaurants along the road. It was really cheap and like a buffet style. Since we had been on the train for a good while and then exploring the city, it was around three when we actually had lunch and by that time it was already getting a little dark out. Therefore, we decided to head towards the riverfront to make sure that we could get pictures of Parliament at night.

Fisherman’s Bastion from below with the church rising behind it.

Fisherman's Bastion 3

The view of Parliament from Fisherman’s Bastion.

Parlament Day

The church with the sun setting.

Sunset

The lights decorating Parliament didn’t turn on for some time, so while the sun set we sat next to the water and watched the cars rush by. Finally, the lights slowly came on. It is a really beautiful building at night.

Parlament

It was getting late and we still needed to catch our train, so we headed back to the first bridge we could find.

The sidewalk, heading back to the train station.

The Dark Walk Back

Chain Bridge. This is the one that’s famous and has the lion statues on either end.

Chain Bridge at Night

We had a little extra time and wanted to see St. Stephan’s Basilica at night. It was very impressive to walk up to. It was the only building that was lit up and the square in front of it was mostly empty.

St. Stephans Basilika Budapest

I think that Budapest is one of the more beautiful cities I’ve seen at night. The way they light up the bridges it just amazing. I’m glad we got to see it in contrast to Vienna. Both were influenced by the Habsburg monarchy, but in very different ways.