For this blog, we have a guest blogger: Emma!
On our way to Austria, we stopped in the small town of Český Krumlov where we enjoyed the amazing view of the quaint riverside city. Many of us were amazed at the abundance of Classicism-Baroque style buildings in the distance as we looked out from the top of the Český Krumlov Castle. While exploring the town, we also had a delicious lunch, some gelato, and crepes! Europe really does have the best food!
When we arrived in Vienna, many of us enjoyed a delicious dinner that included the traditional Austrian Schnitzel. After this, we walked around Kartner Strasse, which reminded some of our New York trip members of home because the style of the stores and restaurants looked similar to the architecture that New York City is known for. We took the Vienna “U-Bahn” system, which is their subway, it was an exciting way to get around town that we haven’t yet experienced on this trip!
After a good night’s sleep, we went to Nashmarket where we checked out some amazing local foods, fruits, and art. We then went on a tour of the beautiful and historic Schonbrunn Palace. The palace’s beautiful gardens amazed all of us. Some of us decided to take the long walk to the Gloriette in the Palace’s gardens, while others basked in the mist from the garden’s fountains.
Later in the afternoon, we took a bike tour of Vienna where we were able to see several famous historical sights. Max and Spencer expressed that during the bike tour they were able to experience first hand how the city of Vienna mixes classical architectural styles with modernized aspects. Kayla even rode a bike for the first time and rode like a pro! With all of this excitement, we didn’t think our day could get any better but it did! We arrived at Prater Amusement Park where we were able to take a ride on the world’s tallest swing ride, a lay down roller coaster and the Wiener Riesenrad, one of the world’s oldest Ferris wheels!
It was then time for our next stop, Slovenia! We spent time on the bus playing fun games and got to know each other better through “fact sheets” that everyone made about themselves.
When we arrived in Bled, we enjoyed spending some time at our hotel’s pool and working out in the gym. Our hotel had the most beautiful views of the turquoise lake that we all admired. Next, we made our way to the Lido Beach Club where we swam in the lake, enjoyed soaking up the sun and jumping off the diving board. Skye was doing the most impressive spins off of the diving board!
In the evening, we split into groups and went on a scavenger hunt to find objects that started with every letter of the alphabet.
Day two in Bled started off by taking a rowboat to the small Center Island. When we arrived, we had time to explore the island and even witnessed a marriage proposal! The best part was the delicious cookie flavored gelato (which some have even said was the best gelato they have ever had!). We then made our way over to the famous alpine slide that many of us were looking forward to riding since the beginning of our trip. It didn’t disappoint!
We broke into two groups and had an adventure filled day. Many of us found our inner strength and went rock climbing for the first time on an actual mountainside cliff as we cheered each other on from the side. We also enjoyed a scenic kayak ride along Bohinj Lake which was surrounded by gorgeous mountains peaks.
After, we went cliff jumping and went canyoning which was an experience that none of us will ever forget. Our canyoning adventure comprised of us sliding down natural water slides, climbing down waterfalls, and jumping into natural pools. Many of us faced our fears and had an incredible day laughing and bonding.
We explored the Skocjanske Caves. We were all in awe by the beautiful formations inside the cave that was unlike anything any of us have ever seen before. There were small parts of the cave that had many formations coming from the ceiling and the ground. Our trip leader Joel kept us laughing as he sang movie theme songs.
After our tour of the caves, we visited the Ljubljana Castle where we were able to walk around the castle grounds. The capital of Slovenia was beautiful, with its riverside restaurants, cobblestone streets, street vendors and performers, and lush greenery surrounding. We had a group dinner together at a traditional Slovenian restaurant. To end the night off we listened to live music in the town and watched a live show. Our trip definitely brings the party wherever we go as we started to dance in the middle of the street!