From the time the plane touched down to our first step into the taxi was a mere 20 to 25 minutes. Everything in the airport was easy and seamless. We hadn’t slept a wink and were properly and totally sleep deprived so decided to take a taxi instead of trying to navigate public transportation. That was easy and seamless but very expensive. €60!
When Vladimir the apartment owner told us that Schonbrunn Palace had a café and that the apartment still needed to be cleaned, we decided to walk there and have an early lunch. We started right into Austrian cuisine and ordered pork, sauerkraut and Wienerschnitzel. It tasted great but we both came to regret it a while later when that porky just laid in our stomachs for a long time!
By this time we were truly thoroughly exhausted, so we headed back to our sweet little apartment for an afternoon nap.
At some point we decided we had to pull ourselves out of our fuzzy haze and cozy cocoon to venture into the old town.
Now Vladimir had told us that the underground station was easy to find and all we had to do was turn left out of the apartment make another left and we could find it on the right. We have decided there’s a difference in describing distances and ease of finding locations between Europeans and Americans. We thought we’d walk two or three minutes and find it. After 10 minutes of walking, Consulting a map numerous times, and trying to ask a sweet elderly Austrian couple for help, we finally found the underground station, a good 15 minute walk from the apartment.
We thought we should experiment tonight in finding our way to the old town because tomorrow morning at 9:30 we will meet and reconnect with a dear friend and we’ve not seen for 25 years. More on that tomorrow.
So we found ourselves in the middle of the old city and right at Saint Stephen’s Church. There’s an amazing display of antique lace and doilies which have been crafted into three large clouds that hang from the ceiling.
Mass was in progress so we cut our visit short and strolled down the pedestrian area. To our right we saw a smaller church called Saint Peter’s .The door was open so we decided to find out what was in there. Well, we hit the jackpot when Don discovered that in 10 minutes there would be a free concert sung by an American choir from Atlanta, Georgia! So we stayed and enjoyed a variety of music from both secular and contemporary songs, and some gospel thrown in for good measure. And of course, the church itself was magnificent, with statuary covered in gold.
The concert ended about 9 PM and we couldn’t help but stroll further along because there was such a wonderful vibe and the weather was cool and balmy. We noticed one store open and right inside the door stood two lovely young ladies with trays of filled wine glasses. Don went to ask what the event was and we found out that it was the closing night of fashion week in Vienna. We went right in, each had a glass of wine, and pretended like we belong there!
We clapped for the winners just like we knew what was going on!
So it’s the end of day one, and I think we didn’t do half bad. Lunch in the palace grounds, a free concert, a trip to the local supermarket, a party crash fashion event, and the successful navigation of the Vienna subway system.