Sunday, March 18, 2012

Morning, Noon And Night In Vienna

No, not Franz von Suppe's overture of that name, but our day in Vienna. Unlike the overture, it was low-key, but still terrific.

After a leisurely buffet breakfast at the Hilton, we complained to the powers-that-be about our overheated room and then decided to go out and enjoy the city. We basically wandered around, on foot, by Strassenbahn, and by U-Bahn for several hours.

Most of Vienna had the same idea today. Vienna is one of the great strolling cities in the world.


Some tourist at some point (a stereotypical American, no doubt) must have confused Austria with Australia, since these shirts are available for sale...

We had to take a few photos of the huge equestrian statue of Archduke Charles by Anton Dominik Fernkorn, one of the few in the world in which the horse is balanced on two legs.

Eventually we returned to the Hilton, where our room was still too hot. We spoke to a charming young lounge manager, Julia, who readily admitted that the air conditioning hadn't been turned on in the hotel. There's no question that it's as unseasonably warm here as it is unseasonably cold back home in Birch Bay.

Julia took us on a tour of several different rooms. The first two, including a rather magnificent corner suite, were just as warm as our original room. She finally found us a pleasant room up on the 15th floor, facing the opposite way and away from the afternoon sun, that is definitely cooler than our own.

As an apology, she sent us a lovely little tray of desserts - no hard feelings on our part. We didn't bother eating in any restaurant today - we've been eating too much as is.

Tonight we enjoyed appetizers in the lounge along with some Austrian wine. We also chatted with a young American couple accompanied by their three-month-old daughter. Dad has business in Europe and Mom flew over with the baby to meet him for a week, leaving their five-year-old twin daughters at home with grandparents.

Seeing that cute little baby, and sharing stories about twin sisters, made us look forward to returning home.

As night falls here, we think we'll be able to sleep better tonight. Tomorrow we plan to check out around noon, and take the Schnellbahn to the airport from the U-Bahn station next door to the hotel. From there we fly to Zurich for an overnight stop before flying home the following day.

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