Vienna Our European trip began in Vienna, Austria. The plane ride was comfortable and fairly quick. We ate dinner, slept, and I edited wedding photos on my laptop. I also watched the second and third Matrix movies (which were not as bad as I remembered.)
After arriving in Vienna, we jammed our days with walking, biking, and training around the city. It was an amazing place! The history, detail of the buildings and sculptures were incredible. Seeing a building that has been standing long before Chicago existed didn’t even make sense to me. Lindsay did an amazing job planning our lodging and transportation. She also did an amazing job making sure we didn't get lost. I did an amazing job documenting and annoying her.
The bike share program in Vienna is very similar to Chicago's DIVVY, only better. The bikes are free for a longer period of time and bike lanes are plentiful throughout the entire city. During one of our treks we noticed a bunch of movie trailers surrounding the State Opera House. It turned out Tom Cruise was in town shooting MI5. Unfortunately, we did not see them filming, but it will be fun to see that scene in the film.
It rained quite a bit while we were there, but we worked around it pretty well and in some cases it has actually made it better. For example, walking the streets late at night while the cobblestone roads glistened in the street light was unlike anything I have experienced in our country. We even both got splashed by a passing car. I thought that only happened in the movies.
Lindsay made reservations for us to tour Schönbrunn – the summer “residence” of the imperial family. This place boggles the mind. It's the most extravagant “house” I have ever seen – it’s really a massive castle. I said hopefully in like 200 years we will be touring Kanye West's house. It rained, but I thought it made it better. Lindsay may disagree. We put in an offer and if we get it we will have space for all of you in the servants quarters.
While in Vienna, we met some of Lindsay's family (Robert and Susi). They drove into the city to meet us and took us to an authentic Viennese restaurant for dinner. They were super nice and insisted on treating us. After dinner, they took us to "The Signature Room" of Vienna overlooking the square and St. Stephan's Cathedral. Don't get me started on St. Stephan's – it’s the most beautiful building we have ever been in. I told Robert and Susie we'd be happy to treat them to a polish sausage and a beer if they came to Chicago.
Overall, Vienna is amazing! Most people understand English so the language barrier was not an issue. Our only gripes are that everyone smokes and the service is slow as hell. However the history, ease of public transit, and scenery far surpass those little faults.
On to Hallstatt.