Vienna, Austria: Dave and I are going to continue wandering around Europe for a while, with the number one goal for today only to get out of Budapest as soon as possible while avoiding the hordes of track fans at the Budapest airport. We were up early this morning. Dave worked out, I blogged, and then we went for breakfast in the most beautiful dining room in Europe. Again.
From where I sat this morning with my coffee, it was a joy to watch people as they turned to walk down the stairs into the breakfast buffet area. Most people stopped in their tracks, mouth agape. Then they reached for their phone and started snapping away. We are going to miss this beautiful room... but we headed out to the train station mid-morning and caught a 2.5 hour train to beautiful Vienna. Long-time readers may recall we visited Vienna prior to the 2017 World Championships in London. Shirley and Martin (our friends from London) joined us here and I dragged them all over town taste-tasting while searching for the best Weiner Schnitzel and the best apple strudel in Vienna. I found both!
After checking into our hotel, we went for walk to refamiliarize ourselves with this beautiful city. Budapest is also a beautiful city (with the Danube running through it as well), but Vienna's buildings are all brightly colored, white marble, or light-colored stone, or simply painted a pretty pastel, making the city so much more vivid. Everything is very neat and tidy as well, and Austrians must have (and use) pressure washers. Scenes from our walk today:
After our stroll, we went back to the hotel to spiff-up for a night on the town (that did not involve sports of any type). First stop was to the best Wiener Schnitzel (Wiener = Viennese) in Vienna - Plachuttas Gasthaus zur Oper. Nothing had changed, except this time a waiter did not spill tomato soup on my shoes.
As usual, we shared but could not finish everything. This restaurant makes the best veal schnitzel in Vienna. Period.
But the night wasn't over. I probably should have not planned so much for Day 1 - especially as we are really very tired after our 9-day grind in Budapest, but I bought tickets to an orchestra performance this evening at Palais Eschenbach. The building was constructed in 1872 by Kaiser Franz Joseph and it has a large ballroom that is currently used for symphony concerts.
We had fantastic seats in the second row, but I wasn't sure if we could record or take photos... however the guy in front of me was using his phone to make all-sorts of videos. I solved my problem by handing him my phone and he recorded for 40 seconds (and I didn't get in trouble for filming!).
We were treated to Mozart and Strauss (there was a lot of Die Fledermaus and the Blue Danube Waltz). (Just down the Danube River, in Budapest, we had heard the Blue Danube Waltz played at least once a day in the New York Café.) But this show wasn't only orchestra. They threw-in a little ballet and opera as well, and kept things lively to entertain tourists who could likely fall asleep listening to string music for 90 minutes.
As we left the concert hall to walk back to our hotel, it began to rain and grew a little chilly. Such a big difference to the heat/humidity we have "enjoyed" since arriving in Europe August 12th, but we arrived to our room only a bit drizzly - enjoying the smell of fresh rain.
Until my next update, when we will probably find something to do (no plans!) after sleeping in - I remain, your Viennese correspondent.
Pedometer: 16,000. Back to normal.