Vienna Travel Blog› entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
What a beautiful clean city. Very tidy indeed. If Salt Lake were 2000 years old, it might look like Vienna. And then if I had hooves and white wool, I might look like a sheep.
I arrived on Friday afternoon and had some difficulty finding a room. There was no tourist office at the train station, however the train info office did have a hotel guide pamphlet with a map.
I finally got my cell
phone to work, by adding a 00+43+01 in front of the local number, and
started calling around. Finally, one I encountered one hotel that had
a room and at only 44 Euros, a bargain. The man at the desk spoke
good English, and told me which trolley to get on, and which stop to
get off at, and I found it in no time.
Using my newly mastered skill of international cell phone dialing I then called Torsten. Torsten is the husband of a friend of Joan, who is the sister of my step-mother Eloise. He was at work, but was free that evening to meet me in the center of Vienna, show me around a bit and then have dinner. We made arrangements to meet at St. Stephen's Cathedral at 7:00 PM.
I asked directions to the city center, and got on Vienna's very efficient subway, and found my way to Stefensplatz (the subway stop.) I quickly found the Cathedral. Wow, what a structure. Makes the Mormon Temple look like the homeless shelter. Well, maybe that's taking it a bit too far, but this place was ornate!
Just down the street,
was another fabulous church, St.
Next I wandered the
area, killing time until I had to meet Torsten. At 7:00. I made my
way back to St. Stephen's and looked for the fellow in the NY Yankees
ball cap, and found him straight away. Torsten was a very nice
fellow. He is my age and his wife is a Philosophy professor. His 19
year old daughter, was away at a runner's training camp in
Switzerland, and his 14 year old daughter was away at an athletic
youth camp in Austria. Torsten showed me around for about an hour,
and I'm sure glad he did, because I didn't realize there was another
beautiful area of the city, just a few minutes outside of St.
Stephen's square area.
We saw the President's house, and the parliament building. We saw several museums (we didn't go inside, mind you) and the University.
I found out he and Herlinde, (his wife) and their daughters had lived in Boston for two years, so his English was great. We went to a restaurant, which was quite busy. They had outside tables in a courtyard, under a huge vine covered trellis. I had the pumpkin lasagna, and Torsten had the Goulash. Of course we had to have some of the fine Austrian beer, although I have no idea what brand it was. If you ask for a beer, they just bring you what's on tap, unless you specify something different.
After dinner, we made our way back to the subway, and he went on one train, and I went back to my hotel on another. It was good to have company for the evening, especially one as nice and friendly as Torsten.
The next day, my flight back to England didn't leave until 3:PM. I checked out of my room and they looked after my luggage while I spent the morning riding around the subway and bus system sight seeing. I finally got the subway-train connection figured out to take to the airport, and went back to collect my bags.
I met Steph and Michael at the Vienna airport. They were flying standby on the same flight I had booked back to Manchester. Coincidence? I think not.