Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 8 and 9 in Vienna

Guten tag! We´ve had the quickest whirlwind time in Vienna! We got in yesterday afternoon via a shuttle to Linz from Ceskz Krumlov, then high speed train into Vienna. The rain has seemed to follow us along on this least it´s been intermittent and the weather has been warm for the most part. We´ve pretty much been on the go since we arrived here. Our hotel is in more of a business district area, but it´s close to the Prater (an amusement park) and the Praterstern bus/train/metro stop. We´ve found that all the places we´ve been to on this Eastern European trip have EXCELLENT transportation in place so it makes it super easy to get around from point A to point B. Our hotel is 3 stops from the Stephanplatz (which is the center of town) and it´s an awesome walkstreet that´s got some great shopping and restaurants. When I say great shopping, I mean like they have all the high end fancy stores like Versace, Louis Vitton, Gucci, etc...and they also have some great cafe´s and restaurants. Chocolate and desserts and cakes seem to be really big here. Did I mention that the food in Eastern Europe is heavy on the meat and potatoes? I mean, you all know that I´m a true carnivore, but I have to say that even for me, I think I´m ready for some fish and veggies and salads! I´ve had my share of pork, sausage, and all kinds of meats to last me for a while. Last night, we had some Greek food, which was a welcome changeup to our food repertoire. Luckily, we´ve been doing lots of walking, but I think I need to do some serious running/working out when I get back!

So let me tell you about what we´ve seen so far. Vienna is really a beautiful and metropolitan city. Little did we know that when we booked the dates to come here they would be hosting the Euro2008 Soccer tornament. It´s made for some crazy people watching and seeing how basically everyone in Europe is fanatical about their soccer. There are a lot of Croatians here in there checkered red-and-white outfits, painted faces, and all kinds of fan paraphernalia. They won their game tonight, so they were pretty happy. It´s funny though, because most of the teams are red and white here. You have to watch out for the design to figure out what country they´re from. Poland is also currently playing against Germany...their fans seem a little bit mellower. As I type, Michael is sitting in our hotel room watching the game and rooting for Poland. They´re currently down a goal though...

Let me get back to the sights - so we learned a lot about the Hapsburgs as we toured the Hofsburg Palace in town, saw all their crown treasures, and also got to check out their summer palace, Shoenbrunn, which is about 4 miles away (you have to think back to olden times when 4 miles was FAR AWAY via horse and carriage-lucky for us, it was 5 minutes on the U-bahn.) We also learned about their Empress Elisabeth, who is fondly known here as "Sisi." She´s basically their Princess Di or Princess Grace of the 18th century. We did a lot of walking around the city center and really had a great time in Vienna. It just went by so fast that we didn´t get a chance to catch the Opera or that side of town. Oh well - maybe next time. Tomorrow, we´re off to Croatia and have to leave the hotel early, so I better get going. We´ll probably have a lot of soccer fans on our flight, I´m guessing. I´ll keep you posted. Bye for now!


Erin M said...

It sounds like you guys are having a great time! Go Poland!