So it has been a while since my last post, I just haven’t found the courage to sit down and commit to writing something (because there has been so much to write about, it seemed like quite the task). And now here I am, November 23rd (Happy birthday to my oldest sister Carly!!!!!) with about a month to recap… annnnnnnnnd I’m probably not going to speak to most of the events.
At the end of October/ beginning of November the kids got TWO FULL WEEKS off school. Absurd if you ask me. Anyway, I was a full day baby sitter for the first week and then got the second week off for a paid vacation (or just compensation for doing double the work i usually have to the week before… potatoe, potato.) On November 2 i headed out to an airport hotel as I had an EARLY morning flight to Austria and the trains are not running at that time. I settled in to my typical euro hotel room (bed basically touching all the walls) for a short nap of sorts because I was anxious about making my flgiht on time, and honestly… TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP. Come on, a week off without kids… who wouldn’t be. I got to the airport on time, carefree, and to my surprise, onto my flight without showing a SINGLE piece of ID. Not once, I’m not even sure anyone actually READ my plane ticket (and at my layover, no one checked it, i scanned it myself on a computer). My first flight was from Paris to Frankfurt on which our in flight snack (yes, free snacks for once) was a nice fluffy croissant. I wish I would get stuck longer in the Frankfurt airport because it is AMAZING— the restaurants the shopping… but I had another plane to catch! My second flight brought me from Frankfurt to Vienna (also another beautiful airport… simple and clean lines, modern, areas to take naps…). On this flight we had probably one of the best yogurts and muslei I have ever had— I almost just wanted to ride the planes my whole vacation and try out all their meals.
After catching a bus at the airport to the Vienna train station I boarded the train to make my way to Linz— sans ticket. The train was clean, fast, and had free (fast) wifi and all I had to do was buy my ticket on board… tres simple! I finally made it to Linz to be greeted by a GORGEOUS, sunny, warm day and a kid in a bright red McGill hat!
It was such a relief to see a familiar face after a few months of trying to integrate into a family and meet an over whleming amount of people. We went and dropped my bags off and headed to check out Linz— Highlights of the first day included an unbelievable sushi lunch, walking around downtown, eating lots of chocolate (not a surprise if you know either of us), and an AMAZING meal with an AMAZING view of Linz.
The river running through Linz
The view from the restaurant…
The next day was a game day for Marc so it was pretty similar to a lazy-game day back at McGill. Breakfast, walk into town to get me coffee (obviously), wander the city again, pre-game nap (obviously I indulged in a nap too… a girl needs sleep on her week off!) and a pre-game meal. Marc headed off to the rink, and i headed later with a wife of one of the players (Who are both incredibly sweet AND from the aurora/newmarket area… yes I spent part of my vacation halfway around the world hanging out with people from home! haha). The only way to describe the crowd at the game is to say it was comparable to a small scale european soccer crowd— but in a rink. Chants, drums, scarves, and banners were all in full force. We were seated next to the visiting team’s fans who were pretty rowdy. It was actually so nice to be in a rink again watching a game, and I instantly found myself getting way to into it (in my own world, no time for chatting… i was watching).
The starting lineup… hey, i know you!
The next few days Marc was gone for a trip so I hung around Linz for a day to explore the downtown, run, shop, and have some ‘me’ time and the second day I ventured off by myself for a day in Salzburg (yes, home of the sound of music).
View from Salzburg Castle
What a beautiful city (despite the crappy weather). a ton of walking, some Pho Soup, and mozart chocolates all led me to an early bed time. The next day I ventured to Vienna with the same family that I had attended the game with (see, I told you they were sweet!) and got a super speed tour of the town. The boys were flying into Vienna that afternoon so we met them for dinner instead of waiting for them back in Linz. A traditional eastern european meal, followed by an amazing apple strudel was a fantastic way to end the day— and get me excited for the next two days of adventure—- Prague.
Dinner at the famous “Cafe Central” in Vienna
Apple Strudel with Vanilla cream
Lights in St. Stephens Cathedral at night in Vienna
A three hour drive was all it took to get to Prague. We checked into our hotel and ventured off into the city. We walked all day— stopping for lunch (classy falafel and kebobs!) and snacks- marc basically ate a whole pig (old prague ham), and i had the prague version of a beavertail in the old town square.
just roastin’ on the street
Pastry dough cooked over hot coals with toffee, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. (aka my heaven… crunchy on the outside and barely cooked soft dough on the inside)
Old Town square (i spy with my little eye a ginger.)
We saw basically all the sights we wanted to see during the day and stopped for an amazing dinner in the old town square that night. We sat on a heated out door patio, and AMAZING food, had great wine and desserts, and to top it all off had this as a view…
We made it back to the hotel for the night and as Marc planned the next day i dozed off (a girl gets tired, okay! This WAS my vacation time). We woke up at dawn to walk over to the Charles bridge in time to see the sunrise (okay, it was cloudy… we didn’t see anything) but Prague was amazing at this hour. 7am on a Saturday— no one in the streets, fresh air— VERY different from what we experienced the day before.
A quick nap back at the hotel and an unbelievable free buffet breakfast (im talking gourmet breads, pastries, eggs, coffee, cereals, yogurt juices— probably the closest thing i’ve had to a decent brunch in europe) Then a quick half day and back to Linz. (Not without trying the famous caramel ice cream/ nut dessert from Cukrana Mysak which was a favourite of many famous individuals in history— including the Czech President who was said to have ordered it to his house on many occasions).
starting of the Movember ‘stache.
we split it and i HONESTLY think I couldnt have had one to myself… pure bliss.
My final day was spent at the Haribo factory
(more importantly the Haribo factory STORE), that Marc was unaware was in his town let alone down the street from the rink (Linz is becoming my heaven…), some good asian soups, and some wandering. It was a struggle to put myself back on that train/plane combination to come back to Paris (I know, I sound a bit like a spoiled brat).
It is crazy how you can live in one place for 3 months and have it feel kind of like your new dwelling, only to go somewhere COMPLETELY new for just a week and have it feel like home within the first few hours of being there. It was so nice to get away, and even nicer to be in amazing and comforting company. I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation.
And now here we are… November 23rd and… GASP nearing the end of my time in France. My mum and dad will be coming on the 25th (YAAAAYYYYY) and we will be spending some time in Paris, heading over to London, a brief <24hr stint in Munich, and a few days in Linz. I will mosey on back to Paris with them on the 7th of January but only until the 12th when I will leave the city for good (… or just until I get enough money to travel back here one day). A little change of plans here. I won’t be making my way back to the good old Canada on the 12th of January but rather head back to Austria for just under a month! I’m going to live the life of an unemployed 22 year old for just short of a month before I make my way back to Montreal to start ‘real girl life’ with a ‘real girl job’.
I’m counting down the days until I get to start my NEW adventure but in the mean time get the most out of Paris that I can… aka. eat as many of the sweets that I havent gotten around to yet before I leave the land of butter and carbs.
well.. I hope this was enough of an update for all of you! I miss everyone from home a lot, especially as we get closer to the Christmas season.
lots and lots of love,