Vienna and its surroundings

Vienna Travel Blog

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Our friends' 100 year old house

We took a night train from Venice to Vienna and after a not too comfortable but not too bad night in a seated accommodation car arrived at Wien Westbahnhof to be met by Mom's wonderful friend with a bunch of fragrant hot bread in one hand and her little sweet daughter in another. She drove us to their recently bought house where I finally got the chance to enjoy my meal! I love German-Austrian breakfasts - all those yummy Brötchen, Wurst & Käse are really hard to resist. Partly due to my escalated hunger but mostly for the reason that we hadn't seen each other for two years and had a lot to talk about, the breakfast was a long and a very special one. 

My mother and Elizabeth met in Vladivostok 7 or 8 years ago when Elizabeth and her husband-to-be came over there to make a radio program about the city and my Mom (who is the head of German Language Chair at the university and an incredibly generous personality) helped them along.

The Michael Wing of the Hofburg
They have been staying in touch ever since and every two years Mom happens to visit them along her upgrade training in Germany. In 2007 I was lucky to come to Europe and get to know those wonderful people too so this time I was welcomed as a good friend and felt absolutely at home with them. The only problem was my German that had deteriorated a lot in two years (never used it since my last trip) but Elizabeth and Werner were very reassuring and after some adaptation I had come to express my thoughts more or less tolerably.

It is funny that I have never felt like a pure tourist in Vienna, more like a guest so I don't know what are the must-see sites there and if I have seen most of them or not. I never bothered to know as we were guided by a local and she chose where we should go. It was my second and Mom's third time in Vienna so we just took a walk in the center to refresh our memories and enjoy the majesty of this beautiful city, had a piece of cake and a coffee in the elegant Demel Café,  bought some gifts and came back to a hearty evening at home.

By the way, our friends offer the upper floor of their house for rent so if anyone needs a private accommodation in Vienna I will be glad to share their contact information! No need to say that they are absolutely decent and open-hearted people.

Our second day was devoted to Vienna surroundings - we drove to Baden and again I was amazed at how neat and lovely small German towns are (oh well I know that there is a hugggge difference between Germany and Austria but I can’t help myself when both lands melt into one beautiful image in my mind). A relaxed quiet walk around the town was rounded up with expedition to an ice-cream café where I enjoyed my favorite Yogurt Eisbecher - an incredibly big and delicious ice-cream topped with fresh berries, fruits and yogurt balancing the sweet taste with a bit of sourness. Masters of Ice-Cream they are :)

Then we took a long drive through the Vienna woods to the Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross) Abbey. Wienerwald is amazingly picturesque! I was totally captivated with the view outside the car window - thick lush forest embracing both sides of the road and green hills in the distant view.

Casino Baden
The Abbey is no big attraction but tourists visit it to witness the relic of the True Cross exhibited in its chapel. Anyway it was a lovely day and I enjoyed every moment of it…

On our way back it suddenly started to rain heavily so I couldn't enjoy the view anymore - nothing could be seen through thick curtains of rain. It was the plan to see Liechtenstein Castle before return but the weather allowed us to catch only a dim glimpse of it. So we were happy to arrive to Elizabeth's house and find only the first drops starting to fall, and set about getting dinner ready. We were joined by a Werner's good friend from Canada who was of American origin, spent a lot of his time lecturing in Vienna and was married to a French lady. An interesting mix, and our truly international company spent the evening chatting about cultural differences, visas and passports, foreign languages, and old German and Soviet movies (the last topic was caused by the new guest's area of expertise). It was a rare and wonderful opportunity for me to exchange opinions with intelligent and nice people from other countries and broaden my outlook through it - one of the reasons for my eternal interest towards foreign languages and cultures. Late in the evening we were driven to the station to catch another night train - to Leipzig this time, and after a warm good-bye we left, hopefully to get together again soon.
Dr_Seuss says:
Pity you didn't get to see Liechtenstein, but Baden looks nice
Posted on: Nov 10, 2009
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Our friends 100 year old house
Our friends' 100 year old house
The Michael Wing of the Hofburg
The Michael Wing of the Hofburg
Casino Baden
Casino Baden
Yummy!
Yummy!
One of numerous living statues
One of numerous living statues
Peterskirche
Peterskirche
We arrived right after the finish …
We arrived right after the finish…
Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History
Rathauspark
Rathauspark
Votivkirche
Votivkirche
Vienna streets
Vienna streets
Hofburg Neue Burg
Hofburg Neue Burg
A Church in Baden
A Church in Baden
Baden streets
Baden streets
A typical plague column
A typical plague column
Holy Cross Abbey
Holy Cross Abbey
Me in front of the house :)
Me in front of the house :)
Vienna
photo by: EmyG