Day 5: Vienna

This morning was a bit rough, mostly due to the copious amounts of alcohol from the night before, but also because the squeaky beds had somehow lost their Hungarian charm and were at the edge of annoying.  But we were up and at ‘em, showering, eating breakfast, and lolling around the hotel room until about 10:45, when we decided to head towards the bus station to high-tail it to Vienna via our economical Orangeways Bus.

The service on Orangeways was first class, with comfortable seats, free headphones offered, and a stewardess who came around several times offering made-to-order coffee drinks from some sort of espresso machine.  We made it to Vienna in exactly 3 hours as advertised, and were dropped off at Südtiroler Platz, where the U-bahn quickly whisked us into Vienna’s core and dropped us at Karlsplatz station.

The grand Vienna Opera House

We got to our hotel, Le Meridien Vienna, and checked into our fancy-rated room (thanks, Priceline!) that was virtually across the street from the Opera House (although it had an odd bathroom, in that the shower was in the corner with no door and got everything wet).  After checking out all the bathroom supplies and reveling in the fact the bed didn’t squeak, we again hit the streets to suss out our new surroundings.

Vienna is a beautiful city with buildings of grandeur, statues, and a regal, important vibe.  We marveled at the incredible architecture and felt at home with the buzz of German being spoken around us.  We speak German, after all, as we can count to five and know the word for mustard.

Our afternoon energy potion

After walking around a bit, we stopped for a coffee at a café inside a mall before going into the Jack Wolfskin store, where Jim purchased a new backpack and I finally got the appropriate lining for my Jack Wolfskin coat.  Spending money wore us out, so we went back to the room to rest up before dinner.

A short time later, we started our Dinner Stroll, having no idea or inspiration for where to go.  After strolling for quite some time, we found an incredible restaurant called Zwölf Apoftelkeller and seated ourselves in the smoke-filled, impossibly old cellar for a wonderful meal of pickled pork (for Jim) and dumplings with cheese, salad, and garlic bread (for me).  There was even a man who looked like my great uncle Bill sitting behind us.  I kept trying to get a picture of him, using Jim as a ruse for my “subject” with the camera.

A couple of half liters of beer later and we were stuffed so we wandered around the streets of Vienna for a while  (it is truly the most beautiful city at night) before hitting the deck.

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