In case the title confuses you, here's the explanation: if you have read my older posts or know me in person, you probably remember that I did an exchange semester in Arizona last fall/winter. As it always happens, people you make friends with promise you that they will visit you sometime - but it doesn't always come true. Well, it did in our case. My former roommate, Joanna, and our beloved Cecelia actually came here to visit me!
But now back to how it all started...
Although both girls were supposed to fly over together, due to a passport incident, C came by herself and J followed the day after. This incident, as stressful as it already was, was not the only one tho. Some miscommunication from both sides led to me believing that they would arrive on the first Friday in July, so I was pretty surprised to receive a call from C at 7 am on Thursday with her announcing that she has landed in Vienna. Well... although she had to wait for quite some time at the airport, at least I was able to make it up to her with a good breakfast at Café Siebenstern (my favorite brunch place in Vienna at the moment). After letting her take a long nap, I introduced her to some friends at Palmar Beach on the Danube Island, from where we continued to the 25Hours Hotel Rooftop Bar for a drink. To end the night well, I showed her how we celebrate at the weekly Retro event @ Passage.
After recovering all Friday, we finally picked up J at the airport in the afternoon and got to catch up for the first time after months! But we already had to re-pack our stuff for our trip to....
The beginning of our three-week-trip was very relaxing, as Pula is a more laid-back place in Croatia. It does have really nice beaches and a pretty old town tho! We rented an Airbnb apartment for 8 with a private pool and spent quite some time there. However, the best part was drinking Piña Colada pitchers at the beach and jumping on the bouncy castle on the water right after. Also, we had quite a good dinner at Kantina the one night - steaks, cheese & ham plates and champagne, of course.
On our way back to Vienna we stopped in Ljubljana to walk around this little-known city, have delicious coffee at the castle and get dinner in old town. The probably weirdest thing was the "rain circle" in the middle of a central spot in the city, where it always rains no matter what the weather actually is.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sooo... I finally made it to a city I've long wanted to visit. Luckily, C knows someone there and while us three girls spent the days exploring the city by ourselves, at night-time we were put on guestlists for parties and were able to see how locals go out. But, first things first. We spoiled ourselves by staying at a very central, modern hotel, The Amsterdam American, which was the best choice we could have made. We arrived on Friday evening and immediately got dressed to go to Jimmy Woo. Since we were in Amsterdam right during fashion week, everyone was dressed so well and I couldn't help but feel intimidated! I didn't mind tho, as I enjoyed being there and had a great night that ended with getting McDonald's in the morning and watching the sunrise from our hotel room!
view from our room during the day & at sunrise
The next day we had brunch at Café George, where locals eat. Besides ordering a great salmon omlette, we had the best mimosa of our lives (the most expensive one tho too, but so worth it!) and I couldn't choose what to drink first: that or the good coffee they also brought me. After getting our stomachs full, we decided to walk around the city and soon reached the famous flower market, where C got us wooden flowers as a souvenir ♥ Although we passed a lot of cheese shops, we didn't realize that Amsterdam is famous for those so we never went in, which I am still sad about - but this just means that I have to go there again soon! After all that, we wanted to see what all the fuss is about with the coffeeshops so we went to one that locals visit, Easy Times. During our trip we also went to see the first coffeeshop that opened in Amsterdam, one that is full of tourists nowadays, The Bulldog. Last but not least, we were taken to a fancier one with rosé plush chairs and chandeliers that gave a retro vibe and I really liked, Prix d'Ami. But back to our Saturday... after the coffeeshop we went to rest at the hotel and then started getting ready for a night at the Supperclub. The location itself was really nice and we had a lot of fun, but J and I soon were starving so much that we had to go get food. And once again, we ended our night at McDonald's!
The new day started with brunch at Metropolitain, where I got the most delicious summer salad ever and where we really felt the hipster vibe of the city. We then had a boat trip on the canals with Floating Amsterdam, where we had the best hour through the city with a glass of champagne. Since the tour ended at the Red-Light District, we walked through it too, which I think is a must when visiting Amsterdam as it is such an interesting part of their culture! As Chinatown is right next to that, we went and had sushi at a place we randomly found while strolling around, Eat Mode. Undexpectedly, we had really good sushi there! Back at the hotel we dressed up to have a fancy night out and had drinks at the SkyLounge of the Hilton Hotel after which we went into Abe, where we danced all night to Dutch rap music. Abe was, in comparison to the others, quite small but felt pretty exclusive and since everyone was singing along to the Dutch music, I figured it might be a less-touristy place.
The last morning we stood in line for the longest time to have breakfast at the famous Avocado Show. When we got the Nacho Box to share and I tasted the daily smoothie, I was so excited. But that excitement stopped when I got the main dish, the Cat sandwich that was basically just a thick slice of bread with ham and salad. Quite disappointing, sadly. However, we didn't let this ruin our mood but went on to spend our last day exploring some other parts of the city, like Museumplein, where the I Amsterdam Sign is. Right next to that is the famous Heineken Beer Brewery, which I have to visit next time, as well as the Anne Frank House, since we didn't get to do those. However, we did have time to spend our last hours in the sun at Vondelpark. To end the trip, we had a glass of wine and another cheese-and-ham platter (which was really bad tho) at the café there. Time to say good-bye to this wonderful city!
So the trip ended where it all started: in my hometown. I'm not gonna go into detail what we did every day since a lot of it was relaxing, brunching or going out at night - but I will mention my favorite things. Of course, we visited the famous Schönbrunn Palace and hat dinner at Plachutta Hietzing with my parents right after, which I can say is my favorite Austrian restaurant that makes the best Tafelspitz ever! Some of the other places I took them to where Erich and Motto am Fluss for brunch, Ebi Sushi for lunch and one time we went to the Vienna Film Festival and tried out food from the various booths offering dishes from all over the world! We had the best cocktails with the greatest view at Onyx Bar in front of the St. Stephen's Cathedral and at the Sofitel Rooftop Bar - Das Loft - at sunset. Our nights were spent either at lounges like Failys or clubs like VIEiPEE. We also went back to the Danube Island and spent a rainy afternoon in the insides of the floating SansiBar. Besides all that, we walked around the city a lot and went on rides at the well-known Prater.
And so another trip came to an end and my girls flew back to the other end of the world - now it's my time to visit them! Hopefully happening soon...