Two countries, three cities, three days

This past weekend, a group of us, six girls all together, left Thursday night and traveled to Budapest (Hungary), Vienna as well as Salzburg (Austria). It was amazing. Upon arrival, we did a walking tour of the city and stopped at their city market, where we bought Langosok. It was similar to a fried dough pizza, but we added any toppings we wanted like sauce, cheese, arugula, vegetables, etc… Despite the cold weather, we went via tram to the infamous baths in Budapest. After sprinting from the changing rooms to the warm water of the baths, we swam around for hours, jumping from bath to bath, experiencing all the different water temperatures. There were all different lights in the baths and the whirlpool pulled us around in circles, despite our resistance, which was really funny. After a fun night out at a once abandoned building turned bar, we left our hotel and we headed for Vienna.

In Vienna, we took a walking tour of the city and saw the Stephansdom Basilica. They had a model basilica, called “Der Wiener Stephansdom”, which was created solely for the blind individuals visiting, so they could feel the intricate details of the church. We also learned about the struggles WWII placed on the city, and how even to this day, there is a police officer sitting outside one of the city synagogues, one of the only ones to survive the war, out of fear of terrorist attacks. Also, we visited Mozart’s house, where we learned about his life and influence in Vienna. In our free time, we visited the famous coffee Demel, where some of us bought cappuccinos, which were delicious. At night, we dined at a traditional Austrian restaurant where we all had either vegetables with rice and fried egg or noodles and beef pieces in a dark cream sauce… both were amazing. At night of course, we opted to try the street food wiener schnitzel, which was so good we wish we could’ve taken some home.

At 7am, we boarded our bus and left for Salzburg. Here, we went on a Sound of Music bus tour, which was unreal. The scenic mountains and lakes we visited prompted the perfection photo backgrounds and we saw all the landmarks from the movie, like the Van Trapp House, the pavilion, and the Schloss Leopoldskron.
It was an extremely busy weekend, filled with amazing food and experiences. It was so much fun and we all learned massive amounts about the Hungarian and Austrian cultures. However, by the end of the weekend we all agreed that we were ready to go back in Florence, which has become a place of comfort to us and what we now consider to be our “home.”

Written by (in alphabetical order): Catherine Bialobrzeski, Nicole Lorenti, Tricia Sass, and Emily Sears (University of Connecticut).