Our day began early, with a long ride to the Cairo airport. There we found out the bad news of our flight being delayed by 1 hour, but it did not affect our connection in Athens.Two flights, one layover, a train ride from the airport and 5 metro stops later, we finally arrived at our Hostel “Do Step Inn” with hungry stomachs and ready for sleep.
We discovered an incredible little Italian restaurant around the corner, and I cannot stop raving about it! While we were initially looking for Austrian food, we did not regret stepping into this little local gem. I think anyone and everyone should try this authentic italian pizzeria! The menu is a little on the small side, but the taste and quality of the food is superb! Honestly, this place is officially my favourite place for italian pizza! I’ll let you know if someone else bumps it off the podium.
After that surprisingly amazing dinner, we went to sleep in our super comfy beds, knowing we wanted an early start the next day.
We woke up at 7 and were on our way to the metro stop before 8 in the morning. I highly recommend getting an early start, especially on weekends. The city was so quiet, peaceful and easy to get around.
Our first stop was Stephensplatz to see St. Stephen’s Church. Before going inside, we looked around for breakfast, and found Der Mann some blocks down. We had a lovely cafe latte there! Then, back to the church. It is rather dark inside, but still lovely gothic architecture. You can go up a couple of the towers, but the one that is most recommended (and popular) is the South Tower. It costs about 8 euros or so, and (this is a first for me!) they have an old elevator that takes you up! No winding stairs, which is the typical way to go up a tower.
On our way out of the church, there were plenty of men dressed up in costume, selling tickets to a concert that would be playing that evening. It was collection of German and Austrian composers, and had opera and dance as well. We decided to buy a pair of tickets (though they were quite pricey at 52 euros) because we liked the idea of being somewhere warm and entertained in a classy way!
Our next stop: the Sisi Museum, located in the Hofburg Palace.
If you were one of those girls that watched the cartoon show Princess Sisi, or maybe have seen one of the oldie movies about her, then you probably understand just how excited I was to go to this exhibit!
You begin with the Silver and Gold collection. Rooms filled with cutlery, plates, dishes, table decor and more, all once belonging to the Bavarian royal family. It is definitely interesting, and even if you are only slightly a history buff, you will enjoy this little tour. It does get a bit dull by the end, but one can only enjoy ceramic plates so much.
At first we thought we bought the wrong tickets because you end up in a souvenir shop, but the tour continues to the Sisi Museum, which also features the Palace apartments. Finally!
While it is a sad story, I was glad to learn about who the Empress Elisabeth was, as a person. It was also fascinating to learn about her husband, the Emperor Franz, and how much he really loved her, and how seriously he took his job as ruler.
You’re not allowed to take any pictures inside the Sisi museum, and they keep the lighting relatively low, but that did not stop me from taking a quick snap on my phone of a beautiful portrait, her most famous one, in her Star Dress. My favourite one, however, is probably the one with her hair undone in the Emperor’s office.
Living in Cairo made the cold feel VERY cold for us, so it took a lot of our energy to stay warm! Along with all the walking, we decided to return to our hostel and take a much needed nap. As a traveller who does not do the luxury-style of travelling, I still urge all wanderers to take a break when they need it. It is never wasted time! You will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next part of your journey!
Having lived in Europe before, there was one thing I knew I was greatly looking forward to around the holidays…Christmas Markets! They are practically unavoidable. We decided to go to Rathause, both for its Christmas Market and close proximity to our concert later that night.
It was very misty, so it was difficult to get good photos, but it is lovely! I loved the variety of stalls there were, and the unique little gifts you could get. I bought a borch for my mom, and we got Charlie a customized collar tag! We also found incredible food stalls (more to be said on Day 2 when we went again). However, with all that being said, the market at Rathause is also a bit of a nightmare.
The market was absolutely PACKED with people. Even though it is one of the larger Christmas markets, it was not easy to just go at your own pace and enjoy all the difference kinds of stalls. I still highly recommend visiting it, but try to go before 5 pm to avoid the craze. Wayne and I actually got separated and if it weren’t for the wifi, we would have taken forever to find each other!
By 6: 45, it was time to head for our concert! A few blocks down to the Palais Auersperg; a pretty little building. The reason I don’t have any decent pictures, is because the camera was in Wayne’s bag, which we checked in at the coat room without thinking! Also, they wanted no recordings or pictures during the actual concert, but I wish I was able to snap some shots of the concert room it took place in! It was a lovely evening of orchestral music, my favourite minuet, opera and ballet. The Tenor was particularly amazing! It was a great way to end the day.
Follow along to see what we did on day two!