Applying for Spanish Citizenship Due to Sephardic Origin: How to Get Started

In today’s post, I’m going to give you all of the important links for applying for Spanish citizenship, as well as tell you what you’ll need to do.Applying Untitled

Here is a graphic I pulled from the FCJE website, which essentially lists off the steps for applying.  Below the image, I will break it down and provide some links.

Steps for Applying for Spanish Citizenship

How to apply

1 // Begin your application by creating a profile.  This profile will include your personal information and will be where you load all of your documents so that the notary can later review them.

Begin your application and create a profile HERE.

2 // Fill out required information including: address, phone number, family history and origin, marital status, etc.

3 // Determine a way to prove Sephardic origin.  There are a few ways to do this.  One way is to receive a certificate from the Federación de Comunidades Judías de España (which is what I did).  First you enter name, passport information, and e-mail address, which will create an “account” on their site.  You will receive an e-mail with further information on how to proceed.  They will have you upload a number of documents to help “prove” your origins.  They may ask for more proof, reject the application, or accept it.  Once it has been determined that you will receive an official certificate, you will pay a fee for the certificate (must be done within 5 days).

HERE is a link on how to apply for an official certificate that certifies Sephardic origin.

3 // Take both exams.  One exam is the CCSE exam, which is an exam on the cultural, historical, and political aspects of Spain.  The other exam is the DELE A2 exam, which is the language exam.  Some people are exempt from this exam depending on country of origin.

HERE is information about the CCSE exam.  You will need to create a profile in order to register and pay for an exam, as well as access study materials.  Through this website, you can also register for the DELE exam, as they are both done through Cervantes.

HERE is information about the DELE A2 exam.

4 // Have all required documents apostilled (certified).  This may include passports, birth certificates, background checks, and more.

For a list of which documents should be certified, click HERE.

5 // Notary will contact you: with necessary documents that they are missing, or, if you have completed everything, they will contact you to set up a time and date for an official meeting and signature.  This will need to happen within one year and will take place in Spain.

6 // Pay a tasa (a tax).  Nothing in Spain (or in life) is free, and this is no exception.  Among other costs, there is a fee for application itself.  The fee is 100 Euros and can be paid in a bank (in Spain), online, etc.  The tasa form is Modelo 790- Codigo 026.

HERE is information for paying the tasa in person.


Important Links:

I know it seems a bit confusing right now, but if you follow the steps and do one thing at a time, it won’t be too bad!  Start by making your profile through the Ministry of Justice, then move on to making separate profiles with the Federacion and the Cervantes Institute.  Everything will need to be uploaded to your Ministry of Justice profile, but essentially, you will have 3 “profiles” floating around the web.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not an expert in applying for Spanish citizenship for any reason.  These posts are only to help anyone that may be interested, but all interested people and applicants should do their own research and confirm that what I have written is indeed correct. 

Applying for Spanish Citizen Due to Sephardic Origin

I haven’t really discussed it on here, but for the last 8 months or so, I have been slowly making my way through the various steps that are involved in applying for Spanish citizenship for Sephardic Jews.  Like I said, this process is quite slow, and is relatively straightforward, but I thought I would share my experience, which might help others who are interested in or are planning to apply as well.  Before I took one of the exams, I spent some time researching “what to expect” and nothing really came up, so hopefully this will help some wondering souls.  If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask!

Today I thought I would cover the general information about applying for the citizenship- who can apply, why this is available, etc.  Spanish Untitled

Frequently Asked Questions:

1 //  Why is citizenship being offering to people of Sephardic origin? In 1492, Spain’s Catholic rulers determined that Spain would be an entirely Catholic country and that anyone that was not Catholic would have the option to a) convert, or b) get out.  Some stayed behind as conversos, or converts, others went into exile across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

2  //  What is the Law?  The bill was first passed in June 2012 and went into effect in October of 2015.  It states that anyone that can prove his or her Sephardic descent (whether Jewish or not) and can prove a “special link” to Spain, is welcome to apply.

3 // Why are they offering citizenship?  According to an online article, the government in Madrid claims that the law is atonement for the “historic mistake” of the Jew’s expulsion.  Spain has previously offered citizenship to some Sephardic Jews, but required that they give up their current nationality.  That is not the case with this law.

4 // Who can apply?  According to Federación de Comunidades Judías de España, “Any person who can prove his/her condition of Sephardi and a special link to Spain, even if they do not have a legal residence in our country.”

5  //  Do you have to be Jewish to apply?  No.  The Law is open to anyone of Sephardic origin that can prove it and has a “special link” to Spain.

6 // What is involved in applying?  You need to prove your Sephardic origin, take a government and culture exam, take a Spanish exam (A2 level), provide a “link” to Spain, have passports, documents, and birth certificates certified, pay a fee, meet with a notary…and more.

7 // How do you prove Sephardic origin?  There are a few ways- Rabbinical certification of Sephardic descent; or knowledge and use of Ladino, the old Spanish dialect spoken by Sephardim; or a surname indicating Sephardic or Spanish ancestry; and a few more.

8 //  What is a “special link” to Spain?  Examples include: past study of Spanish history and culture, doing business in Spain and involvement in conservation of Sephardic culture, etc.

9 // Do you have to move to Spain once you have citizenship?  Absolutely not, but you will need to make an appearance in front of a notario, or notary, in Spain.

10 //  How long does the applicant have to apply?  The application must be submitted within 3 years from October 1st, 2015.  The deadline can be extended for one year by agreement from the Council of Ministers.

For a more complete list of questions, click HERE.

The Best of the Beach.

Happy Monday, dear readers!DSC_0477-001

This weekend was a good one for me- spent some time at the pool…IMG_5229

Visiting my Tia Malca (aunt Malca) with my brother, mom, and cousin.tia1 tia3

After our visit, we stopped for some ice cream that was amazingtia4

Toasted coconut ice cream…I died.

And then we headed home.  I also saw friends from last year, made some watermelon popsiclesIMG_5230

and spent too much time with Ted.IMG_5202 - Copy IMG_5226 - Copy

One night we had Cuban food for dinnerIMG_5175 - Copy

And another night we had Spanish tortilla!  Delicious, but not the same as tortilla espanola.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.IMG_5248 IMG_5251

This morning I went to the gym with my dad and then to the dentist with my brother.  All very exciting stuff!!

My real intent for this post was to share some of last week’s beach photos!  I have them on my computer, so why not share?

Most of our time was spent walking on the boardwalk or sitting on the beach, but one day my dad and I ventured off to Longport.DSC_0413-001

We walked around a little bit and looked at the flowers and houses and beach.DSC_0431-001DSC_0429-001

Some of us stole flowers.DSC_0458-001

I’ll take this one, please.DSC_0460-001

We went to OCNJ and walked on the boardwalk.DSC_0472-001 DSC_0497-001

There was a sea of colorful umbrellas!DSC_0467-001 DSC_0469-001

My only goal for the day was food…Manco & Mancos and KOHR BROS. to be exact.DSC_0500-001 DSC_0474-001

Mission accomplished.

We considered going on the ferris wheel…DSC_0480-001

but our better judgement said not to in light of the recent tragic amusement park accidents.

After our day trip, we spent an hour on the beach and then went to the bay side for happy hour drinks and a beautiful sunset.DSC_0531-001 DSC_0544-001

Had dinner, then ice cream, and took lots of pictures.DSC_0552-001 DSC_0578-001 DSC_0587-001 DSC_0600-001

They’re the best.

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That’s it! Hope you had a nice weekend, too.

Around Town.

Happy Friday!IMG_5136

Time is just flyin’ on by here!  I am really trying to soak up my time in the U.S., with my family and everything.  It’s easy to keep thinking about “when I go back to Spain….”, etc., but I keep reminding myself to just be. here. now.  (Happy, Dad???)  Present or not, the time is flying thanks to all of the fun things I’ve been doing!  We spent last week at the beach (post coming soon…) and while I was there I got to see Andrew for coffee and then last night, I saw Christine and Bobby!!  (I went to West Chester with them and we were best friends…and still are).  Everytime I see them, it’s like no time has passed at all.  Lucky for me, Christine is going to come visit in Spain this year 😉  And I can’t wait!  To continue with the friends theme here, I spent the afternoon at the pool today and saw an old friend from high school and a couple old co-worker/ friends from last year.  I love seeing everyone, but I am also very glad I’m going back to Spain haha.

Anyway, here is some of what I have been doing here:

Ventnor BeachIMG_5032

Longport day trip with PopsIMG_5053 IMG_5045

Here he is stealing (dead) flowers from the big, fancy lawnsIMG_5055

Bike cops may or may not have shown up.

Then we went to the Ocean City boardwalk!IMG_5059 IMG_5061

We saw a pizza-eating contest where you have an hour (or less) to finish this entire pizza.  We calculated that this pizza was the size of about 20 slices of “normal” pizza, give or take (probably give).IMG_5085How many could you eat?  This guy is blog famous!!!  I think I could eat 10-12 slices before it would come back up.

We had our own pizza and then stopped for ice cream from KOHR BROS.  I just wanted the pretty ice cream with colorful sprinkles.ice cream PicMonkey CollageIt’s prettier than it tastes.

I ran 6+ miles and probably was close to a heat stroke.IMG_5119

One night we had drinks on the bay. Bay PicMonkey Collage

And another night we had hoagies and steak sandwiches from Whitehouse Hoagies.  Seriously the BEST sandwiches in the United States.whitehouse PicMonkey Collage

I went to the farmers market with mom for fruits and vegetables.IMG_5148

And then to Halo Farms for fresh ice cream and milk.IMG_5154

Today I went to the pool to maintain my tan and do some reading, but it started pouring rain.  Womppppp.IMG_5172

And this breakfast is just too pretty NOT to share.  IMG_5042

My mom was eating a similar breakfast and I asked her: “don’t you just want to take a picture of it?  it looks so nice!”.  She said: “no”.

Have a happy weekend!

Reverse Culture Shock.

culture shock PicMonkey Collage

When I went to Spain, I wouldn’t say that I experienced any real culture shock.  I was expecting it to be different.  I was expecting the people to speak differently than I do, look different, eat different foods, follow a different schedule, the buildings and roads and cars and shops would look different.  I was expecting it, so when I finally got there, I wasn’t shocked to find that things were….normal.  Very much like the U.S.  Maybe I was prepared for it mentally, maybe it’s just that Spain (and Europe in general) are very similar to what I am already used to here.  Like I expected, the food was different (but I could find the foods I know and am accustomed to, as well as try new things), the people looked no different than I do or you do, the buildings looked different, which is to be expected in a new city, but life was pretty much the same.  The only real difference was the language.  While I have been around Spanish my entire life, I haven’t been around Spanish all day, every day.  It took some getting used to the fact that if I needed something, had a question, or wanted to say anything at all, it had to be in another language.  Also the schedule was a little different than what I’m used to, from meal times, to the closing of business in the middle of the day, but this is something I heard about going into this and knew it would be different from what I know. But other than that, it was a pretty easy “transition” into another culture.

So imagine my surprise when, after coming back to the United States for the first time in 10.5 months, I experienced more of a culture shock in my own country, own city, and own home, than I did in another country.  Maybe since the United States has always been home, I didn’t do the same “mental preparation” on how things may be different like I did before going to Spain.  I knew that meal times would be something to get used to, as I have become very accustomed to eating lunch around 3 and dinner at 9 or later.  (The night I came home, my mom had dinner ready and on the table by 7:00….pure madness).  I thought I would find it strange that bars and clubs close at 2 am, restaurant kitchens wouldn’t serve me dinner past 10 (at the absolute latest) or that my friends would want to make dinner reservations for 7:00 (or on a late night, maybe at 8:00).  I expected those things, but I didn’t expect to rubber neck every time a couple of people walk by and I hear them speaking English.  A week into being back, when I hear English, I still think “maybe they’re Americans?” like I always do in Spain.  I didn’t realize it would take time to realize that I can go into a store and ask an employee for help- easily and quickly.  I can make small talk with people!  I didn’t know it would take me time to stop converting things from Euros to dollars…because everything is in dollars.  My second day back, I went to a supermarket and the cashier handed me quarters as my change.  I just stared at them in my hand like what is this foreign currency? 

There are other things that completely shock me- the outrageous prices in supermarkets, especially for fresh products.  A small bag of salad greens is almost $5.00?  I got a bag 2x this size for under 1.50 Euro!  A tub of Greek yogurt is over $7.00?  And a small container is over $1.50??  I just paid 1 Euro or .20 Euro, respectively.  The income is considerably lower in Spain than it is here, but those prices seem much more manageable, if you will, than $7.00 for a measly tub of yogurt.

Right now I am typing this from Ventnor beach and my dad and I took a little stroll into Atlantic City last night and my gosh!- The lights! and the sounds! and crazy foods! and rides! and people! and shops!  It’s like when you leave the United States and then you come back, you can see where our stereotypes come from, from an outsider view.  Those lights and craziness never phased me before, but last night I just looked at everything and thought “wow….we really do DO everything big”.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the United States is the greatest place in the world, but you can’t really wonder why people say we are a loud, fat, greedy bunch.  We are…and that’s okay.  Not everywhere, but certainly in AC.

The cars look big to me, the houses are beautiful, but over the top in many cases.  Why can’t I get my produce in a fruteria?!  Everything is big business.  Very little is personal.  Not all of this is bad, but it’s all taking some getting used to.  One week in, and it’s feeling more comfortable than it did, but it definitely is strange that a place that was always “home” can feel very foreign after some time.

but this is still home, sweet, home.

Checking In II.

Checking InPicMonkey Collage
Checking In 2PicMonkey Collage
Making: memories.  Does that count?  We are at the beach for a week!
Cooking: nothing atm.  I have plans to make jam- lots of it!- with dad.  He made some peach jam and blueberry jam and cherry jam and they are so good. 
Drinking: pomegranate seltzer!  I have yet to find any milk here that tastes like Spain milk, so seltzer is my thing right now.  All of the milk tastes like the milk I remember…disgusting.  Can I order milk on the internet?

Reading: The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern.  So far it’s just okay, but I think I can finish it.
Wanting: I’m not sure, but as I type this, I have an antsy feeling.
Looking: out the window to see if there is a land breeze or an ocean breeze.  I think it’s a mix of them both.
Eating: dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s, and now that I’m home- we are eating lots and lots of BBQ good.  I actually had my first BBQ burger of the summer just last night.  Crazy!
Wishing: the best of luck to all of my friends from last year as they begin new medical journeys.
Enjoying: this summer…so so much.  My time in Spain before coming home was incredible, and now I am trying to enjoy each day here, but of course I am excited to head back to Spain.
Loving: being with my parents and being with TEDDY.
Hoping: the sun comes back out so I can go to the beach after posting this.
Listening: Cam- Burning House.  On repeat.
Feeling: hungry and ready for lunch.  But also feeling antsy to start doing something productive.
Wearing: a red-flowered romper from H&M.  I live in it…almost.
Watching: nothing atm.  I meant to watch the Kardashians last night, but I forgot until it was too late.  I watched Miracles from Heaven with Jennifer Garner on the flight from Madrid to Philly and it was so good- based on a true story and a real tear-jerker.
Bookmarking: watermelon popsicle recipe.  Perfect for summer…

Malaga Viaje Largo 2016

HI!

Wow, it has been entirely too long since I have been on here!  I’m actually typing this up from the back deck of my parent’s beach-share house in Ventnor!IMG_4996

But today I’m not going to share anything about being home or at the beach (yet…coming soon!), but I’m going to share pictures from my final trip before heading back to the U.S. for 6 weeks.DSC_0207

This trip was to Malaga- a beach community on the southern shore of Spain.  You may have read awhile back, but we were in Malaga just a few short weeks ago.  This time we were there for a longer time, with a few more beaches thrown into the mix.  With a few bumps in the road that changed our plans, it ended up being an amazing trip- just like they all are!

We started in Malaga for 2 nights, where we spent the days on the beach, one of the evenings working out, and one of the evenings at the port, which was upbeat, full of people, and really nice.

DSC_0221 DSC_0224 On Monday morning, we headed to our first stop- Conil de la Frontera.  Conil is 2 hrs and 30 min (give or take) from Malaga, but we had some car issues, which put us back a few hours.  We eventually made it and were able to enjoy the (very windy) beach!DSC_0232

It was too windy to comfortably sit, so we walked for awhile and played in the water.  Afterwards, we had dinner in the town.  Conil is one of the traditional white towns!DSC_0243

We read approx. 234 menus before deciding on a restaurant with a traditional menu and packed terrace.  I was starving.

 

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After finishing all of the food and all of the wine (plus some), we got up relatively early to catch the bus to Tarifa (no car = bus).  It wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and it’s fun to have an adventure every once in awhile.  (RIGHT??)DSC_0251

The bus route takes a bit longer than driving, but it was nice to look out the windows and marvel at just how open and rolling Spain really is once you leave the city.DSC_0253 DSC_0260 DSC_0262

Once we found our little apartment, we had lunch.DSC_0265 DSC_0266 DSC_0268

In case you are wondering, the Spanish tortilla you see above is, in fact, NOT tortilla de mama espanola.

Eventually we headed to la playa.  I loved all of the winding streets of Tarifa, the white buildings, and how quaint it felt

.DSC_0269 DSC_0275

Of course, the beach itself was absolutely beautiful as well.DSC_0282 DSC_0288 DSC_0299

Unfortunately, like Conil, it was WINDY WINDY, so we walked and talked and took in the views.DSC_0322 DSC_0295IMG_4906

😉

Eventually stopping for a beer in one of their chiringuitos!!DSC_0335 DSC_0336

I really liked the decor of this place – open, beachy, lots of plants, but there were also pops of bright color in some of the furniture.  Ventnor, take note.  We walked back to our apartment with the sunset.DSC_0341 DSC_0343 DSC_0346

^^he will kill me for this photo…..it was a joke!!

And then took a boat to Tangier, Morocco.DSC_0353

We didn’t really do that, but it’s possible!  And very easy!

Dinner that night was at this amaaaazzzziiiing little place that we found near our apartment.  We were so hungry and it was so late by the time we showered and dressed, but the food was worth it.  We couldn’t get a table, but eating at the bar was a decent second option.DSC_0365Tapa of some sort of zucchini lasagna

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Tapa of homemade tortellini

DSC_0369Tapa of tagine

DSC_0370Rabo de Toro

With wine

And then the next day, we took the bus BACK to Conil for a car that wasn’t ready when the mechanic said it would be.  Irritating in the moment but it all worked out, just like it always does.DSC_0372

Finally, we were able to get the car and make the loooooooong drive (at night) back to Malaga with just enough time to shower off the sweat, sunblock, and grease from the day and then head to bed.

The next day, we relaxed on the beach and then at night, we drove about 20 minutes to Torremolinos, which is a nearby Port town and popular with the tourists.  It was popular with me for the ICE CREAM!

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And then finally, on our last day, we relaxed on the beach and then went into the “downtown” part of Malaga for one last hurrah…basically some food and some beer and an early night because we were exhausted.DSC_0393 DSC_0406 DSC_0411

Our trip to Malaga marked the end of my “first year in Spain”, but it was the perfect ending to what has been an incredibly amazing year.  I am so happy with everything and can’t wait to see what next year will bring!!DSC_0210

Five Reasons Why the Updated Nike Training Club App is Awesome

Nike recently updated their Nike Training Club (which I will refer to as NTC) and now it´s even better than before.  It has a new design, new abilities, and just works so much better.  I loved it before, but now it has so many more options and functions that it didn´t have.  Here are five things that I love about it.IMG_4815

1 // When you open the app, you can choose between strength, endurance, and mobility workouts.IMG_4817

With the older version, you were first asked your level and then what type of workout you wanted to do, which limited the workouts that were presented.

2 // You can filter your workouts based on preference.  This is HUGE!IMG_4818

I LOVE that I can now specifically filter out workouts that use no equipment (just body weight) so that I can do those workouts outside.  Or I can pick workouts that are high level, but medium/ high intensity.  Or you can choose various durations.  There are so many ways to customize your workout, based on what you´re looking for.  When I do a workout outside, I always choose 30 minutes / intermediate and advanced level /  medium and high intensity / no equipment.  It brings up a handful of workouts and then I choose one.

3 // You can preview the workout before downloading it.IMG_4819

It tells you what it´s good for, what muscle groups it will focus on and you can see the exercises and their durations.

4 // You can download and do these workouts anywhere!  No internet required.  IMG_4545

I downloaded one of their workouts in a park in Vienna.  No internet, no wifi, no problem.

5  // There are two options for the display-  Either have videos of each exercise playing in the background of the app at all times, or have a time meter running to show you how much time is left of each exercise.IMG_4816

I think the video one uses my battery faster, but I´m not sure about that.  Also….Have you ever wanted to work out with Serena Williams or Kevin hart?!?!?!?!  Now you can!

Bonus // Now, some of the workouts feature exercises that are based on number of repititions (ex: 25 step lunges) as opposed to time (step lunges for one minute), which allow you to focus on form.  I haven´t done any workouts with this feature, but it seems like a good idea.  The only thing is that you need to tap the screen once you have completed the required number.

Bonus 2 // They have NTC “meet-ups” where you can search in your city for NTC workouts.  When I checked, there weren´t any upcoming workouts in Philly or Madrid, but there WAS one in Prague when I was there.  I didn´t go though!  Haha

Let me know if you use the app!

Checking In.

I know many of you are fans of my Lately postsespecially my mom, who often complains when she hasn´t seen my latest breakfasts even though I tell her it´s always the same thing, she still asks to see photos.

Fine.IMG_4813

Here is a little survey of sorts that I took from another blog.  Not to replace my Lately posts (don´t worry mama), but just as something a little different.

Making: nothing, at the moment.  But I want to make plum jam with an abundance of plums straight from the tree.  Other than that, I am just trying to eat everything I have before leaving for the beach.
Drinking: water.  AND!  MILK!!!  If you know me, you know that for the last 23.95 years, I have not been a milk fan.  I like my cereal soggy so I always let the milk drain from the spoon.  But then last week, I was re-introduced to (ice-cold, lactose free [just in case haha], fat-free) milk and I LOVED it!IMG_4751
Reading: nothing at the moment.  I have cleaned the library of all of their quality English books so I´m waiting to go home to get some new ones.  Planning to start Girl on the Train next week, which I have been saving for the beach.
Wanting: ice cream!  Since it was National Ice Cream Day two days ago, everyone has been posting.  I, sadly, did not participate.
Listening: Hymn for the Weekend– Coldplay.  So good.
Looking: forward to going to the beach for a week!  And then seeing my parents the week after!
Playing: with Teddy!  (IN TWO WEEEKS!!!!)
Eating: all the summer foods!  Big salads, peaches, nectarines, berries, popsicles!IMG_4794
Wishing: It wasn´t almost August.  Where has this summer gone?  Didn´t it just start?  ALSO wishing I didn´t stub my toe?  or foot?  into a table last week that has made it painful to walk or do just about anything.

Missing: them
IMG_4811

Loving: Serial!  The podcast!  I am so behind. but I just started listening last week and now I am obsessed.  Have you listened?
Smelling: body odor from the people in the library where I´m sitting that don´t find showers necessary.
Feeling: hot.  Going to the pool as soon as I finish this up.IMG_4805
Wearing:  this dress from Springfield.  So comfy and I have worn it almost every day since I bought it.  (And that is all of Annie´s stuff on my floor in front…right before she went back home)IMG_4790Following: The Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian feud.  So juicy.

Traveling Through Europe: Vienna

Hello again!!

While Vienna was the city we visited between Prague and Budapest, it will be on my blog as the last city.  I wrote it in the order that we went, but for whatever reason, Google Photos was not allowing me to edit the photos and I didn´t want to put them on here unedited.  Welp, I don´t care anymore and it is what it is.  Hope you enjoy!


 

DSC_0852We arrived in Vienna around noon, headed to our (nice!  super clean!) AirBnB and then immediately went to the supermarket and bought some groceries.  At this point in the trip, all I wanted were some vegetables.  We bought a bunch of things, then went home and made lunch and then fought the urge to sleep and decided to go out and explore.

First impressions of Vienna

  • another “free” tram 😉
  • Not many people “out and about”
  • Older population
  • Conservative
  • Classic buildings

We spent the next few ours walking around Vienna, from the outside of St. Stephen´s Cathedral

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…to The Austrian Parliament Building

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…to the seeing the outsides of some incredible looking museums, including the Vienna Museum of Natural History

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And other buildings…

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We also found a beer/ food complex of sorts that appeared to be set up for the summer months.  It looked like a great place to stop and watch the EuroCup games or watch a movie.  We stopped for a beer.DSC_0785

And then continued on our journey.DSC_0778

We walked and walked, eventually coming across, what I assume was, the commerical area, full of every typical store you can imagine.  The only thing was, while it was still light out and the streets were full of people, all of the stores were closed!  Everything closes quite early in Vienna, including stores, restaurants and supermarkets.  Conservative, I told you.  No fun after dark!!

We headed home and that was it for day one in Vienna.


The following day, we started the day off a little differently- with a workout!IMG_4545

We lugged our gym clothes and running shoes, so I was set on making sure we used them at least once (and once is all we did, haha). We went to a local park where we started off with running for about 15 minutes (one of us has an injured knee) and then we did a NTC 30 minute workout.  They have completely re-designed their app and now it´s AWESOME, which I plan to write about soon, but anyway… I chose a workout we could do with no equipment.  He commented that these workouts are “girl workouts”….but let´s just say I´m not the one that complained the entire time…or was sore for days afterwards….  😉

After our workouts and showers and FOODIMG_4549

…we headed out for a full 9 hours of walking.  That was our highest day of steos- almost 30,000!DSC_0821

Our first stop was the Schonbrunn Palace (Schonbrunn means beautiful spring, according to good ole Wikipedia), an impressive Baroque palace with 1,441 rooms!DSC_0836

We didn´t go inside the palace, but we walked around the vast gardens (literally miles of beautifully manicured gardens, fountains, sculptures, and even a labrynth!).DSC_0840 DSC_0848 DSC_0824 DSC_0829

There is also a ZOO on the palace grounds, which was founded in the 18th century, making it the oldest zoo in the world!!

We were enjoying our time there, but since it was our only day in Vienna, we decided to continue on and headed to Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment block full of various colors and mosaics and gardens growing out of the buildings.DSC_0851

I really wanted to see this block because the pictures looked so nice online, but when we got there…it was completely underwhelming.  Everything just seemed faded and drab.DSC_0861  Anyway, onward!

We headed back towards the center and went over to the Musikverein, which is a famous concert hall.  We talked about getting tickets for that night´s show because, well, when in Vienna…   But ultimately, I thought the tickets were too expensive for what we were looking for and since I have never previously had any interest in classical music or opera, I didn´t need to start with an expensive show in Vienna.  #refinedtaste

We headed back over to the commercial area and stopped along the way.

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And then eventually headed home for dinner (but not before stopping for ICE CREAM (where I declared that the day I turn 70, ice cream will be a significant part of my diet).DSC_0871

For dinner, we had salads.  Balance!

And just like that, our time in Vienna was done!  I didn´t love the city (I thought it was a little bit boring), but the buildings were beautiful and another city that I would recommend seeing once in your life.  Maybe my tastes will change as I get older and it will be a place that I want to see again in the future.  For now, it acted as a good break in what would have been a very long trip from Prague to Budapest.  With that, we were off to Budapest, which very quickly became my favorite!DSC_0858