Vienna – just wow!
Today I had my first experience exploring in a country whose primary language I am not very familiar with, and think it worked out ok – now, that being said – most people here I find do speak english, so there is a “crutch” available. I was quickly able to decipher the important words I needed to navigate the transit system, and with a map from Jackalie and Andy I was on my way!
I decided today that I was going to explore Vienna to get a better grip on what I wanted to do – so I headed to the Schwedenplatz area, which is off of the the Ringstrasse (Ring Road). This circle is the site of the old city walls, and the location of many of the most famous sites in Vienna. I enjoyed exploring a bit on foot, then decided that a bus tour was a great way to learn more about the city (I do love the facts they share) – So i found a kiosk and bought a ticket. The tour I purchased also gave me a River cruise, so I enjoyed many sites today.
The City Tour
I am a sucker for these tours – I think they are a great way to get an overview of a city and learn some cool facts, all while beginning to get a feeling for the layout and navigation of the city.
The Danube Island (and watching the police speed trap)
I decided to hop off the tour here and explore the park before heading to the pier for the boat ride. It was a very cool park, full of locals picnicking, playing games and just hanging out. It is a lovely manmade island between the Danube River and Old Danube (a meander that broke off).
This was such a lovely area, and they were in the process of setting up for a huge festival.
While I was here I grabbed a quick bite from a Greek kiosk – that may very well have been the best Gyro I have ever had!
When I left and headed back to the bus stop I witnessed a Viennese speed trap – they had it down to a science, and I must have seen 14 tickets handed out while I was waiting on my bus.
The boat ride
I headed to the pier for the boat ride. It was lovely – even though it started raining and they closed the top deck – the scenery was amazing – and I loved navigating the locks from the river to the canal – so cool!
Hanging out in Schwedenplatz
At this point I decided just to hand out in the Schwedenplatz and enjoy a nice coffee. It was neat watching the locals commuting home, shopping, and even just hanging out themselves, as well as the myriad of visitors trying to understand and navigate the transit system – which by the way is FABULOUS! I absolutely love the Tram system in Vienna – It is convenient and so easy to use!
Dinner and Vienna by Night
Jackalie, Andy and I went to dinner at a lovely place by the Belvedere Palace called Salm Bräu. It is a brewery restaurant located in old wine vaults – It was a lovely restaurant, with great food and good conversation.
After dinner, it was late, but we detoured a bit going home, and I am so glad we did, because I got to see some spectacular sites in Vienna all lit up – Vienna truly comes to life at night when the buildings are all lit up – they just shine!
More fun tomorrow – I am off to bed!