Today’s feature: Vienna

Best of Times:

* The opera, baby! I tease that I was all cultured and stuff, but really, it was fun to see an opera in Vienna. This is the opera we saw and we paid 4 euro, or about $6 to stand the whole time and watch it. But it was so worth it.

* The Schonbrunn Palace. This was the Hapsburgs summer home. I laugh at the word “home”. HA! This place is huge. Ginormous, even. You could spend a day just in the gardens….and we did. We actually ran out of time to see the inside, but the gardens were totally worth a whole day.

* Cafes. The whole culture here is the cafe thing. You can just sit there and sip coffee for hours, maybe even days. There is a cafe where Trotsky used to hang out and plot his overtaking of the world here.

* Pastries. Helllllooooooo—this is one of the homes of the apple strudel, and I was not one to deny their specialty. Yummmmmmmm!

* Western Europe. This was our first crossover into Western Europe, and it is strange, but you can immediately feel the difference. Having been raised in the western world, I relate well to the Western Europe scene. Places are clearly signed and marked, restaurants and shops have fairly good customer service skills, and there are social programs to keep the streets clean and free of all graffiti (although,in all fairness, Croatia also had many of these attributes).

Worst of Times

* Rain. I did NOT want the rain here, so we ended up spending more time indoors than we had planned. We had planned to walk to a museum, but in the end, we just didn’t feel like it in the rain.

* Being accosted by a strange Nigerian man. He was selling magazines and when he realized we were Americans, he actually asked us to sponsor him for a visa to the U.S. I was torn: Should I feel sorry for the guy, being so desperate as to believe this will happen? Or should I be leery of his true intentions? I chose somewhere in the middle, explaining his plan just wouldn’t work and there is no way to help him…sorry, but time to move on.

I was glad I had the time to make it to Vienna since I had already been to Innsbruck and Salzburg. This rounded out my touring of Austria nicely. The next time I get there, though, I fully intend on finding Trotsky’s cafe and planning my own world takeover. Mwahahahahahaha!

**Vienna pictures now showing in the gallery.

**Tomorrow is our last stop on the European tour.  Look for men in shiny black hair helmets and funny royal stories…..