We meet up with our tour guide and renowned writer Gloria Kaiser, we try to flag down some taxis for our group but we find out it is Mother's Day so not many taxi's are running
. The ones that are must not have mothers since they seem very unhappy and upset to even be working. I was lucky and got a very cheery man who spoke amazing English, when asked how he learned he told us comically that he collects American movies. He also was very supportive of America and told us ladies to vote for Hillary Clinton since it may be the last chance we get. Then I made a remark that that wasn't true, I was going to be president and upon exit of the taxi he opens the door and says "Mrs. President". I knew I liked Vienna already! I liked it even more when I entered my hotel room to find marble floors, a huge, deep bathtub and a window that didn't look as if it was going to fall off. I took a walk later to dinner with the group, and we found this amazing place with dim lighting and posters all over the wall. The menu was however in German and I was the only one with a phrasebook, I have never picked apart a menu so much. I hope some were thankful for they almost could have ordered the blood sausage. After dinner was the Café Museum where honestly, the coffee tasted like coffee. But after the day I had it was well needed, just with ice cubes and a shot of liquor. Vienna at night is beautiful; it is quiet yet still bustling in cafés and bars. The street is dimly lit, along tree-lined streets and there is a feeling of safety and comfort that returned after having watch my back every night in Prague.
The next day we had a large day of sightseeing to do, we first arrive at the Liechtenstein Museum where they had coffee that tasted like coffee too, amongst all the amazing collection that they have
. After this we visit Sigmund Freud's old hangout and residence, it was small but I bet back in that time it was quite a bachelor pad. We also visited the Albertina which housing many famous sketches and drawings. However I was disappointed that the Durers and the Michelangelo's were mostly reproductions since there is nothing like seeing the real thing. After this we still managed to make it over to St. Stephens Dom, which is a huge cathedral and is known for it's intricately tiled rooftop. Themes of death are everywhere in this church, especially for the tomb which you pretty much have to die to get into it since it seemed like only special tour groups could visit it on the day we were there.
My days in Vienna were too short, I loved the feel of the city and there was much to be seen, I wanted to do everything but I only had a short amount of time. If there is one thing to be done here it would be to go to the Prater Amusement Park... at night. It has that eerie carnival feel; yet it is quite the place to go and people watch. Our group went one night and it was one of the best times on our trip, we even had a bumper car match between the students and the professors...yes, Dr. Piper and Dr. Toro... I have video. The area surrounding the park is quite questionable, there is a subway station a walk from the park and it reminded me of being back in New York City. Very dirty and sketchy people abound... one followed our group into the tram and was being confrontational. There were a few very large men standing next to me in leather jackets, boots and shaved heads... they could sense that I was being threatened and gave me a reassuring nod and told the bum to scatter off. I don't know where the connection came from but most seemed more afraid of the leather bound guys than the bum. As it has been said before I think people have an inborn fear of things they don't understand, if it looks dangerous it must be dangerous. This incident was a good proof to me that this statement is more dangerous than anything else.
Upon arrival at the train station in Prague we find our train to Wien (Vienna), our group steps upon the train awaiting a nice, relaxing four-hour train ride only to find that the train is very stuffy and hot. We think nothing of it since the air sometimes kicks on after leaving the station. Nope, not in this case.... It remained a good 80 plus degrees on the train for the whole trip... actually come to find out it was just our car. Some seeked shelter in the dining cars, I however stuck it out as many of us did. Deliriousness did kick in after the second hour; we started trying to keep our minds off the searing heat in many different ways. We finally arrived victoriously sweaty in Vienna stumbling out of the train like a bunch of drunkards.