Finallyyyy I am writing about my best trip of 2018! I know that the year is not over yet, and I still have 2 or 3 upcoming trips until the end of the year, but I am sure nothing can beat this experience. So hello guys and nice to have you back here again with me! Ok, what can I say? This trip was absolutely amazing. Husband, Dad and I were on the road for 11 days across Europe and got to see so many iconic places and visited so many beautiful cities. We actually slept in a different city every night during our trip, so it was quite exhausting but I would repeat the experience anytime without any doubt. Being 11 days, I will divide this blog post in 3 parts because there are too many pictures and too much information for one single post and I don’t want to torture you hahaha. So here it is: PART 1.
DAY 1. On the road to Timisoara! This is where we spent our 1st night. Stayed at our relatives because hey, Timisoara is actually the city where Dad was born. It was quite a long ride from Bucharest… but it was fun. Stopped several times on the road, took pictures… visited also the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara and then visited the city center of Timisoara. Went to bed thinking about the whole adventure that was awaiting for us!
DAY 2. Budaaaaapest! It was actually my 3rd time visiting Budapest but I have to say that I will always gladly return. I simply love this city.
We stayed at Zen House (rated as “Very good 8.0″ on Booking) and we paid only 33 euros for a triple room. Whaaaat? Yup! So cheap! That’s why I love Budapest. It is such a charming city and at the same time, not expensive at all.
Traveling abroad by car brought a new “matter” in our attention. Parking lots! You have to be super careful where to park to not pay any parking fines. In Budapest, during the weekends you don’t need to pay for your parking at all and it was actually Sunday that day, so no worries for that particular day. Phew!
After the check-in, we went outside, had something to eat and then showed my Dad around. At the end of the day he was extremely tired but got to see so many beautiful places. Went at Gellert Hill, then at the Parliament and then at Fisherman’s Bastion.
When the night had come, Dad went to the accommodation and me and husband decided to go to the Szechenyi Baths because Budapest is famous for its thermal baths and it was already our third time in the city but never visited any of them.
So said, so done. Had my swimsuit on, short pants and off we went. Once we arrived at the entry, we actually saw a lot of people inside the baths, but no one at the ticket office. Looked online and guess what? The last entry had been 30 minutes before we arrived there. Lucky us! NOT. We could have got inside at that hour, only if we would have bought tickets online earlier that day, which we didn’t. Tried to buy tickets online at that point, coz I am very stubborn you know, but there weren’t any tickets available for that current day, only for the following one. So, I ended my night watching through the window at the people having fun in the pools. Yaaay :)))
At least we got the chance to see the Vajdahunyad Castle by night. At least that! We then went to bed thinking that maybe the forth time we’ll be lucky enough to visit the baths too haha. So bye bye Budapest, but we’ll definitely meet again!
DAY 3. Heading to Vienna! Hurray! Had never been to Vienna until then so I was quite excited. Didn’t know exactly what to expect but everybody used to tell me that Vienna is super beautiful and that their baroque architecture is stunning. Well, what can I say? The city is indeed perfect. Yeah, perfect. Perfect buildings, perfect boulevards, perfect everything. The thing is that I like cities with more personality, to me Vienna was a little bit… hmmm… dull. I am always looking for those pretty imperfections, in people and in cities too. Don’t get me wrong, Vienna is indeed an amazing city, but maybe not my kind of a city though.
Anyway, we stayed at Debo Apartments Schönbrunner Strasse (rated as “Excellent 8.7″ on Booking) and the accommodation was super nice. We paid 77 euros for a 2 room apartment. Not bad at all!
Ohhh and we were super lucky coz that Monday it was a holiday in Austria and we didn’t have to pay for the parking. Previous day in Budapest – no parking fees because it was weekend, current day in Vienna – no parking fees because it was a holiday. So cool, right? Stay tuned coz it wasn’t that cool in the end :)))
Ok, so our first stop was at the amusement park named “Prater”. Why? Because I wanted to take a ride on that famous giant ferris wheel and see the city from above. Hmm, the ferris wheel was nice but what was indeed super nice was the fact that we also went on THE HIGHEST CHAIN CAROUSEL IN THE WORLD. Whaaattt???? I still can’t believe I did it, because I am not a big fan of roller coasters and all. However, I had the guts to go on this chain carousel at more than 100 meters above ground. And it was awesome!
Afterwards, stopped a bit, had a beer and a lángos (this is actually a Hungarian specialty but you may also find it in Austria) and then went outside the amusement park reaching for our car in order to go and wander through Vienna.
We parked our car in front of a hotel, behind a big bus. Everything looked fine back then, but when we looked for our car, we couldn’t find it. WTF??? Excuse my language but our car got impounded. On a holiday!!! So our lucky day, turned out to be not a lucky one after all. That’s the thing with traveling, you never know what to expect! And god how I like this :)) Ok, I didn’t like that our car was towed away, but anyway, you get my point… don’t you? I like the adrenaline of not knowing what’s going to happen.
So what to do in this situation? Think fast Andreea. Also, in Austria they rarely speak English. German, German and again German. That’s why our car got impounded, because their street signs are written only in German. So maybe there was a sign out there saying that we are not allowed to park in that specific area, but because it was in German, who knew? We didn’t, for sure.
Anyway, went to a taxi driver and explained the situation. He was an elderly man but his English was very very good. Phew! He then told us that there are 2 places where the cars are being taken and that we need to find out where exactly ours was. He asked another taxi driver for advice, called a phone number and found it. Took the taxi until there, it was somewhere almost outside Vienna, paid 25 euros for the ride and went to see what happened and how much we had to pay to get our car back.
Nothing more and nothing less than 300 euros. AWESOMEEEE!! Now I hated Vienna for sure :))) but no worries, coz hate is still love, only in its negative form. Our budget was quite limited, I mean it was already calculated how much we would need for the accommodations, for the gasoline, for the parkings, for the highways, for food and drinks, for almost everything. And 300 euros less in our budget would have meant quite something! Fortunately, I had a savings account and paid with that specific credit card, so that our budget for the trip would not be affected in any way. It was only our 3rd day, 8 more to come. I remember I just paid and let it go! Didn’t want this incident to ruin our vacation. That’s what I like about myself, being positive in the most unfortunate situations haha.
After that, we went in the city center to actually see how Vienna looked like. Had our dinner in a very nice restaurant, Italian restaurant as I recall. Had some pasta, a glass of wine and at the end of our meal, the waiter served me a free drink: Limoncello. At that moment, I almost forgot about our car incident and Vienna seemed much more friendly :))) even though it was an Italian restaurant… ehhh details.
After this stroll, we drove Dad at the accommodation. However, husband and I went outside again for one last walk in Vienna before moving on the very next morning. We walked quite a lot, until the Karlskirche building. Yeah, Karlhskfafkajfla something something. I don’t know how to spell it either. Anyway, the building is the one below and I have to admit that it is quite lovely. Had a glass of wine there and then headed back to the apartment.
DAY 4. Our destination: Hallstatt! Yes, that beautiful and charming Austrian village by the lake you all have seen in those perfect famous pictures. I was soooo excited to actually have the chance to be there. But before that, realized there was one place I still wanted to see in Vienna before leaving. And that place was Hundertwasser House. When I am pronouncing these names I sound so silly :)) you should hear me hahaha.
So we went at that specific address, Dad waited for us in the car (we didn’t want our car to be towed away again) and took some pictures in front of this quite weird but very colorful building. Totally my kind of a building!
Nope, not England! Still Austria! Haha. FUN FACT: at some point, Dad called us saying that we somehow blocked the tram tracks and a tram couldn’t drive further because of us. The thing is that the tram didn’t use the horn not even once and people were patiently waiting for us to get back in the car and move it. The tram driver didn’t even know that Dad actually called us, but still, people were all so calm and patient. Perfect city, perfect people :)) remember? In Romania, if this would have happened, the whole street would have literally “heard” about the situation and the whole tram would have cursed us. Yeahhh…
And now, let’s go to Hallstatt! Yaaayyyyy. We didn’t actually stayed there, because it’s really expensive to literally book a room in Hallstatt, therefore our accommodation was a little bit farther, in Salzburg. As a matter of fact, whole Austria is quite expensive, but also very beautiful so it compensates. Like just look at the pictures below, I mean this is just an ordinary landscape in Austria.
Ok, now I definitely need to shut up and finally show you pictures from Hallstatt. TAAA DAAAA!!!!
Couldn’t leave this beautiful place without trying their Hallstatt local beer. Cheers! Oh, and another important aspect I want to outline is with regards to the parking lots, again. There is a big private parking space right outside Hallstatt (it is a very small village) and you’ll have to pay depending on how long you stay.
Our next stop was Obertraun. This is another village very close to Hallstatt, I mean 5 minutes by car. What to do in Obertraun? Take the cable car until 2100 meters and hike until the 5 Fingers platform. The view up there is absolutely spectacular! So we went to the ticket office and wanted to buy our tickets when… guess what? There wasn’t enough time to actually go up, visit the 5 Fingers platform and then get back down. It was afternoon already and it seemed we weren’t on schedule. Ouch! Remember what I’ve told you before? While you’re traveling always expect the unexpected.
The thing is that we needed to get to Salzburg because there was our accommodation for that night, so we decided to come back the very next morning in Obertraun again, for the 5 Fingers.
DAY 5. Woke up in the morning, said goodbye to Salzburg (I’m going to tell you about our stay in Salzburg in my next blog post – Eurotrip part 2) and headed back to Obertraun. Paid 30 euros each for the ride up, switched 2 cable cars and then walked for another half an hour until the 5 Fingers platform. But it was totally worth it! Let me show you!
What exactly is this 5 Fingers platform? Well, I guess you already figured it out from the pictures but I am going to explain anyway: the 5 Fingers platform is this particular platform above the mountains that it’s hand shaped and has… 5 fingers hahahha. Any other needed information you may find here: https://dachstein-salzkammergut.com/en/summer/above-ground/5fingers/.
Before ending PART 1 of this beautiful Eurotrip, I am going to show you one more picture from Hallstatt. This time on a sunny weather!
Soooo, that’s it for today! Hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures and I’ll write about PART 2 in the next couple of weeks. The second part will be about: Salzburg, Innsbruck, Val di Funes, Venezia, Murano, Burano. Wait for it! Love love love.
Until next time,
PS: If you are using booking.com to find the best accommodations like I do, then you should use the following link to receive 10% of your money back on your next travel! It’s a win-win situation… so why not?