As soon as I stepped outside, I knew I was going to go back up to the flat and change my clothes - it was WAY too warm! What a relief, though - finally Spring is here and I don't have to drag myself and my 17 layers of clothing around the city anymore. Unfortunately, this is the first sign that the snow will be melting and ski resorts everywhere (mostly just in the U.S. because over here we have GLACIERS, baby!!) are seeing the light at the end of the marvelous tunnel we call Winter.

As promised, here are a couple pictures from Thursday night's festivities at Prater Dome:

As you can see, it feels a bit like Disneyland inside. We had lots of fun exploring, though, and when the place got full it was impossible not to have a good time.

From left to right: Ashley, Amy, Me and Jeff (Burger King birthday boy!)

Back to today's events - I finally made it to the famous "Schönbrunn Castle" on the outskirts of Vienna. It's much like a miniature Versailles from France but still pretty remarkable to see in person. The gardens went for acres and acres and it was easy to imagine all the royalty wandering about on horseback or on foot back in the day. I'm sure the place looks a lot more elegant in the Summer with some actual greenery but it was impressive, non-the-less. (Click image for full-size.)

After wandering the Schönbrunn grounds for a couple hours, I made my way to the Naschmarkt, Vienna's most famous open-air market. It's the largest and most popular open-air market in Vienna and offers cheap goods like clothing, accessories, fresh fruits and veggies, tons of spices and all kinds of weird/creepy meats you can imagine. A great place to practice your bargaining skills. It was was truly bustling, thanks to the fantastic weather I would imagine, and reminded me of Pike's Place Market back in Seattle - except 10x bigger and way more busy! A cool place to do some serious people-watching, too, I'm sure I'll be back again before I leave Vienna.


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