About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.


New Year's Adventure in Magical Vienna: Day 1 - Arrival

Kiev International airport
One of the good sides of living in Armenia, compared to Canada is being so close to European countries and many other places and have the possibility to travel with a big family on small budget. So this year, we decided to discover Vienna with the kids and spend the new year there!

For the travel part, I have heard so many bad comments about the service on Ukrainian Airlines for the past year, that i was pleasantly surprised when our flights through Kiev, including the transit went completely smoothly with no major delays or unpleasant surprises. The Kids slept almost during the whole flights and we arrived to Vienna early morning with all our luggage and well rested.

CAT Vienna train
The best part of Vienna for budget travelers with a big family, is that most of the services and entrances to Museums are free for kids under 14 (transport) and under 19 (for museums and exhibitions). So we took the CAT city train from the airport to city center and had to pay only for 3, instead of 6 people. The train experience was specially great for my 5 year old. He enjoyed the scenery and was walking all around sitting in different places and asking millions of questions. My 11 year old was impressed with the cleanliness of the public transportation and the comfortable seating areas and my teens were happy with the wifi free access. Almost after a 16-20 minutes train ride, we arrived to the city center and walked towards the apartment that we have rented online, which was much more cheaper than going to any budget hotel or hostel. Everyone was carrying his/her own backpack and we had 2 small luggages for the heavy stuff, which was a great achievement for a large family packing. After a short walk in the city, we finally found the address but we were a little early to get the keys and the owner was not answering our calls. So we took the time to get some food at a nearby restaurant  and try to resolve the issue. Booking.com was very efficient to put us in contact with the owner and very shortly we were escorted to a nice 1 bedroom large apartment with lots of sleeping spaces and a great view from the balcony. A good day for the beginning of our 1-week family vacation!

The first day was spent on getting acquainted with our surroundings, walking to the old city and trying our first Viennese deserts and hot chocolate. The long walk was tiring for my 5 year old (note to self: next time to bring my baby stroller, so he can have a rest while the older ones walk around!) but we were able to keep him going, inventing stories about castles, witches, kings and queens. Vienna's old city surroundings is a perfect set for fairy tales and mystery with the old castles, cobblestone streets and lights that it was easy for us to keep him interested and awake.

With the 3 hours difference with Yerevan, we were already exhausted around 5pm and decided to end the day.

It is much better to rent a house when traveling with kids; it is cheaper, you have more space for the kids to relax, play, read, sleep and play without bothering others. You can fill your kitchen with local snacks and delicious new things to try without going bankrupt.  So on our way back to our apartment, we did some shopping at a nearby supermarket and finally arrived to the place where everyone chose his/her corner to have some quiet time and sleep.

For this trip, we decided to try different places and districts, so the first two days, we will be in the city center, district 1 of Vienna, experiencing the museums, the old town and open air concerts and markets in preparation of the new year!

view from our balcony

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