Continued from Vienna Day 1.
First, a few pictures from last night.
This Bentley, with the driver inside, was parked outside of my hotel when I left for dinner and then to the coffee shop. Some 5 hours or so later, I came back and it’s still there. The driver must be bored out of his mind waiting for his boss to return.
Hah. I realized that the sinus medicine that I got in Prague is the exact same one that they gave me here in Vienna. The only difference being that the one in Vienna is extra strength with twice the ingredients and more than twice the price. Now, what am I going to do with close to 100 herbal sinus remedy pills?
Now we’ll move onto Vienna Day 2. I woke up this morning and my allergies were much better. Whatever was killing me is apparently not as bad over here in Vienna. That’s another strike against Prague.
Well, 3rd time was a charm. I went to the platform for one subway line, realized that it was going the wrong direction. Crossed over the track to the same line for the other direction, then realized that I was at a completely wrong line. Ugh. I was forced to study a map more closely to finally figure it out. This is what I get for trying to act cool by not looking at a map closely like a tourist.
I looked on the bottom of the milk container and it looks to me like it’s one day overdue, today being 7/29/11(looking back on it a few months later, I think it actually meant oktober 4th). Yes, I know it won’t kill me, but….yeah….I am not going to lie, I didn’t drink it. I carried it around along with the bottle of OJ and it just got to be too heavy. I ended up throwing the entire thing of milk away without even opening it. If you want to write me hate mail, you can leave me a comment and see if I care.
Shameless. Even as he was getting ushered out by two very angry waitresses, he kept on hawking his papers. Seriously? Did he really think that a customer would buy a paper from him in front of the two waitresses and piss them off more?
That is one old school looking urinal. What was really crazy was that it’s been rigged up to flush on a sensor(look to the right). When it flushed, it scared the crap out of me since I wasn’t expecting it.
And, we are done with the market. That was fun. It worked out well because there are subway stations on either ends of the market. I didn’t have to trace my steps back, but instead could keep on moving through to my next destinations.
My next stop was about halfway across Vienna. Immediately, I notice that the scales are way off because I’ll see where I would like to go, and then I walk and walk and walk and I am only half way there.
No photos allowed inside, so no photos to show of the palace interior. It’s basically Versailles all over again. Just lots of ornate decorated rooms that lead from one to another. One fact I remembered from my audio guide. Mozart performed in the palace when he was just 16.
I pretty much blazed through the palace in about 20 minutes. It wasn’t too crowded. I didn’t really have to wait in any lines here. After the palace interior, it’s time to visit the gardens, which I am more excited about anyway.
Oh yeah, the garden was huge. It’s comparable to Versailles. You walk and walk and walk, and then you walk some more. Good thing the weather has been just absolutely beautiful in the low 70s. I hope I don’t get sunburned.
Again, how Austrian of them! When you go to London, you pay money to go inside Westminster Abbey because they are capitalists. When you go to Paris, you get into Notre Dame free because they are socialists. When you come to Austria, you find cafes in historically significant places because that’s what the free market dictates.
Schönbrunn Palace was crawling with high schoolers on field trips here. They took up the majority of the tourists here today. I didn’t see that many tourists from other countries here. In fact, relative to everywhere else I’ve been thus far, Vienna has very few tourists. The great majority of the people I see are locals, even at tourist spots.
So about the runners. The garden is actually open to the public and used as a massive public park. It serves that purpose perfectly. I saw many people just sitting, sunbathing, pushing strollers and exercising all over the garden. There is actually also a zoo in the garden, so I saw mothers take their kids there and then stroll around the palace garden grounds afterwards. In Austria, kids get imperial gardens as their playgrounds. In US, kids get master planned neighborhood playgrounds as their playground.
Taken in front of Hofburg Palace. If you get the reference, please do leave a comment to show off your knowledge. I hope someone gets this one so I wouldn’t have posted a photo of myself looking like an idiot for nothing.
Saw this in a bookstore. Is it about whores or is it about flashers? I don’t really want to look it up but would prefer to just keep on guessing. I do see that it’s a signed copy though. I think it may be a photo of the author herself since it’s a semi anonymous author withholding last name.
Found what I was looking for. The couple who I met on the train to Vienna had a Moleskine notebook. I’ve been wanting to get one for myself, and seeing one in action just gave me the impetus to buy one. They are not cheap. 11 Euros for a little pocket sized black notebook!!
It’s about 4pm and all I’ve had today was an sugary pastry and some OJ. Time for late lunch. I am definitely eating a lot less now that I am not traveling in a big group. How quickly my priorities have changed. I am now more concerned with sightseeing and photo blogging in more detail. Makes sense since eating alone sucks. Sightseeing alone is not too bad because you get to move at your own pace, with the major drawback being getting your own photos taken. Not too many pluses to eating alone other than the ease of figuring out that everything on the bill is on yourself. I bet they have dining meetups for single travelers somewhere. Wonder if I should look into that.
Time to contemplate. Or rather, time to start writing down what I’ve been contemplating these past two weeks while I’ve been traveling. Lots has happened in my life this year, and that’s what brought me on this soul searching trip to Europe in the first place. Well, that and Oktoberfest.
Ohhhhh, Ahhhhh. Cafe Central. This one had some serious clientele in the past. Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky. Thoughts shaped in this cafe(albeit, back then the cafe was in a different part of the same building) changed the world forever.
OK, I took this photo to the front desk concierge and he didn’t know what it meant. I believe Bonnie is right. The side without the line means it’s a pedestrian area only, and the side with the line means that it’s no longer a pedestrian only area.
A note about the Austrian people. I would describe them as 80% German and 20% Asian. Genetically, this probably holds water as well since Ghangis Khan had invaded into Eastern Europe, which later became part of the Austrian Hungarian Empire. Austrians have darker hair colors than the Germans, but still have fair colored skins. It’s not unusual to see an Austrian with dark hair and blue eyes. They are not as tall as the Germans and their features are also softer as well.
My hotel was getting their internet connection updated today, so when I got back from walking around all afternoon, I came back to no internet. No worries, I know where to have internet with an awesome atmosphere.
My home away from home, Cafe Hawelka. I stayed here photo blogging for about three hours. All these tourists kept on walking in here to take photos of the cafe. It’s kind of annoying. This must be what others feel like when I go somewhere and take photos of everything. Ain’t going to stop me though. What needs to be done, needs to be done, and that is to take a billion photos for my photo blog.
On another note, I am very quickly establishing myself as a regular here in Cafe Hawelka as I’ve already been here 3 times in a day and a half. The waiters already recognize me and know what I typically order. No Iced Toddy for me over here, that’s for my special place in Austin.
To be continued at Vienna Day 3.