A&E abroad: A vivid Vienna visit

Ashley Hyland stands in front of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria (Photo Courtesy of Ashley Hyland) Ashley Hyland stands in front of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. (Photo Courtesy of Ashley Hyland)

St. Augustine once said, "The world is a book, and those who don't travel read only one page."

For marketing sophomore Ashley Hyland, a spontaneous weekend trip to Austria from her base in Prague allowed her to flip through more of Augustine's metaphorical pages in one day than most people do in a year.

Hyland studied abroad in Prague in the summer of 2014. As with many European cities, Prague's location made it easy for Hyland and her fellow travelers to venture away to different countries and cities.

During their last full weekend abroad, Hyland and a group of other students wanted to explore Austria but knew there was so much they wanted to do in so little time.

Desperate to hike the ice caves, the group traveled to the small town of Werfen, Austria, which is several hours away from the capital of Vienna. After spending a full day near the caves, they stayed in a hostel near Vienna and arose early the next morning to make the most of their day.

Hyland and a friend pose in front of Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. (Photo Courtesy of Ashley Hyland) Hyland and a friend pose in front of Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. (Photo Courtesy of Ashley Hyland)

Their first stop was Hofburg Palace, a giant museum full of musical instruments, suits of armor and art. After spending nearly two hours exploring Hofburg, the group rushed over to a nearby art museum and admired the intricate architectural design as well as the exhibits.

Their next stop was Belvedere Palace, which Hyland recognizes as arguably one of the most popular palaces in the world. She fondly remembers strolling through the gardens and sitting by a reflecting pool, finally taking the time to relax on the edge of a "marvelously huge fountain."

Shockingly, their journey didn't stop there. The group arrived at Schonbrunn Palace around 6 p.m., which was too late to enter the museum but still early enough to explore the grounds. Hyland recalls wandering through the rose gardens and climbing to a lookout hill at the top.

"At the top of the hill, we could see the entire thing," Hyland said. "It went on for miles and miles. We probably spent about 45 minutes just gazing out in the distance."

Of course, no exhaustingly culture-packed day is complete without authentic local grub. After finally saying goodbye to Schonbrunn, the group indulged in an authentic Viennese dinner of vienna top beef, roasted potatoes and schnitzel.

But at 10 p.m., they still weren't fully satisfied. Desperate to experience the magic of apfel strudel, Vienna's "claim to fame," the group rushed frantically around the city in search of an open restaurant that served the flaky, powdery dessert.

In "a perfect end to a culture-packed day," they finally sat on the patio of a dimly lit street at 11 p.m. with their strudels and vivid Vienna memories.

Send your strudel recipes to the reporter at celina.jimenez@asu.edu or tweet her @lina_lauren.

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