Europe, phase 2

Trip Start Oct 17, 2007
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Trip End Feb 04, 2008


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Flag of Austria  ,
Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dreadfully ill, yet again, Scott and I took our longest and what was to be our 15th flight so far to Vienna, Austria, our arrival point in Europe from which we would bus it to Prague.  Many moons ago, and one year before we met, Scott and I both visited Vienna, so we spent one brief day in the historically rich, architecturally beautiful, money-sucking city.  I'm confident to say that one day in Vienna probably equals two weeks in SE Asia.  Maybe a slight exaggeration.  But only slight.

We mastered the transit system quite easily and zipped around the city taking in the sites, experiencing déjà vu every five minutes.  "Oh!  I've been there!"; "Eee!  I saw that!"; "Whoa! I remember this!"; "Hey!  I took a picture here!".  Without knowing it, we were all-knowing.  You know what I mean?

It's important to mention, because it was such a defining factor in Vienna, that we were freezing our asses off.  My kidneys hurt from trembling and Scott, who NEVER gets cold, was shaking quite liberally.  Both sets of teeth were chattering and we could barely talk when outside the first evening as it felt like opening our mouths was only conducive to allowing more cold air in faster.  Everyone reading this that's from Canada, the temperature was -4.  ONLY -4.  Pathetic.  In our defense, after four years of the Gold Coast and the sweltering humidity of SE Asia, being plunged into that weather was painful.  Plus we were sick.  I think if you have time to adjust over seasons it's not as difficult to deal with freezing temperatures.  At least we hope so.  In the meantime, we're really glad we have our NZ thermals.

Our whirlwind déjà vu tour of vast, beautiful Vienna included the two palaces, the Hofburg in the centre of the city, and the Schloss Schonbrunn, both residences of the formerly glorious and now fallen Habsburg Empire.  Both magnificent places, their grounds do them better justice in the spring when in full bloom, as was the case when we originally saw them.  The grandiose parliament building was stunning by day and night when lit, and the towers of city hall were surrounded by the traditional Christkindlmarkt,  selling crafts, warm wines, food, warm woolly hats (sucked in, we bought some ASAP), and many other things that are cozy and appealing during the winter season.  Down the road was the Museumquartier.  We also visited Mozart's statue and the moving Holocaust Memorial.

Really, Vienna is a historical, architectural and museum buff's paradise.  Any type of museum that interests you, you will find it in Vienna.  If museums don't interest you, you will still find one that does in Vienna. 

Although we remembered much about the city, it was good to see Vienna once again, if only for a day and to appreciate how ancient and yet how modern one city can manage to be.

Canaussie rating:

Seriously, don't expect a rating; we were too frozen and jetlagged.  That we managed to walk around with eyes open and without splitting into two like an icicle is a gold star achievement in itself.
 
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