Visiting Vienna: First Thoughts and Photos

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Pro-tip for anyone traveling: if your eight-hour flight is littered with crying babies, going to the opera can be simultaneously the best and worst decision you make for things to do on day one.

Leann and I are in Vienna, Austria; the city that seems to have invented classical music and fried meat cutlets. The weather was dreary today, but far warmer than Chicago. As has become our tradition, we spent our first day wandering the city to get oriented on landmarks and get a sense of the city’s pulse. My first thoughts are Vienna loves Christmas and commerce. There are tons of stores, many clothing brands from the US, and huge Christmas decorations on most streets.

Thanks to a disco nap post-babies on a plane, we were able to wander around and see some of the attractions. The city’s layout is reminiscent of Rome, with cobblestone streets, winding roads and huge churches. The upside is there are great discoveries as you wander. The downside is it’s difficult to stay on target with your destination since the streets often are rings and angle away from where you want to go.

We did a large amount today, especially considering we got less than an hour of sleep during the flight. We checked out an impressive baroque church, got schnit-faced with a huge pork cutlet, took in “Macbeth” in Verdi’s operatic account at the Shakespearean thriller, ate sachertorte and goulash. 

Fun fact: don’t order water in restaurants. We tried unsuccessfully to request tap water and received bottles of water that cost more than our food. I told myself I’d let it go. But I can’t.

In happy news, the city is pretty and has a lot more discoveries in store for us tomorrow.