This Beautiful, Venerable City: Barcelona and Vienna

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The sun setting in Austria

Barcelona and Vienna: two completely different countries, each beautiful in its own way. 

Barcelona—all I have to say about Spain is Patatas Bravas. It’s going to be a serious problem when I get home and start finding recipes for this stuff. The architecture of Barcelona is completely different from what I’ve seen in throughout the rest of Europe. It’s quite distinguished and beautiful. I only had one full day in Barcelona, a big city that has many beaches, museums, and a lot of history. This seems to be the story of my Spring Break. One day, I hope to return to Spain to see more than one city and eat lots of paella and patatas bravas.

The Sagrada Familia (Construction started in 1882; forecasted to be finished in 2026…supposedly)

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Gothic Architecture

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More Mediterranean

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In the land of Gaudi Architecture (Sagrada Familia and Park Guell)

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Going up to Montjuïc, one place that I wish I had more time to explore

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It’s not Spain without Sangria!

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Vienna

My city. My Vienna. Home of Hapsburg Royalty and many a composer, center of Classical music. One day, a couple of years ago, Vienna was featured on The Amazing Race. After seeing these people frantically run around a beautiful city, I knew that I wanted to see it one day. And apart from The Amazing Race, I have often heard that Vienna is a city you have to see. And it is. I cannot believe that I actually was fortunate enough to set foot in Vienna! My only regret is that I only had one full day to spend in this classic city.

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The Donauturm Tower that overlooks the Danube River

(featured on The Amazing Race–bungee jumping challenge that I could never do)

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If you know me, you know that I grew up playing the piano from first grade up through my senior year of high school. My actual skills wouldn’t suggest that many years of study, but it meant so much to me to be in the room at the Schönbrunn Palace that heard the six year-old Mozart’s first concert and to be in a hall where he conducted a concert himself many years later. This city has so much musical history and so many museums dedicated to its importance—all of which I did not get to see.

Schönbrunn Palace: Summer home of the Hapsburgs. Luxurious.

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Vienna, as a city, is uniquely gorgeous. I would never tire of looking at her buildings. Her buildings speak history and music, languages that I will never fully understand but desire to hear as much as I can. History and Literature have been my loves since childhood and coming to a city like this that boasts involvement in history and the arts—it’s an inexplicable feeling! Since all it took was one day for me to fall in love, my dream now is to be able to return to Vienna one day and attend an opera in a magnificent concert hall and to be able to visit the museums and other palaces without having to rush.

In the Orangerie (hall where Mozart once played)

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Before this trip, I had never truly been in the presence of German speakers. I love this language as well. It’s so completely different from Spanish, Italian, and French. I understood not one word, but it was amazing for me because this was a completely new cultural encounter! So delightful! My friends, Vienna sings a beautiful song; you have to hear it.

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Easter Sunday—St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria

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