First Day Out in Vienna

Finally arrived with Conehead Kitty in Vienna on Friday, after negotiating several airline issues. A long and boring story, but I will note that I think it’s pretty sleazy that airlines charge you an “extra baggage fee” for a cabin cat, then insist that the cat is one of two normally allowed carry-ons. Exactly what “extra” did I pay for?

For some reason, I am getting over jet lag pretty quickly this time. I think taking melatonin at bedtime really helps. Or maybe it’s just not having to deal with anyone else’s jet lag. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful.(And the temp apartment is darn nice, too. A soaking tub! Really!)

So, anyway, I was on the fence this morning about going out and doing anything touristy. It was awfully pleasant just sitting on the balcony with the kitty, and such a beautiful day, too. It seemed a shame to spend it inside a museum.

Finally, I decided to go in the other direction, out to the hills surrounding Vienna. I packed a sandwich, walked out to where I thought I could catch a bus to Kahlenberg, and then couldn’t understand the sign at the bus stop! Did the bus come on Sundays or not? So, I decided to just start walking in the right direction and see what developed.

Seriously?

In about twenty minutes, I found myself in Grinzing, the little heuriger village popular with tourists. I’d been there several years before, when we drove down from Prague. It’s gotten even more touristy since then, but it’s still a nice place. I considered stopping for lunch, but decided it would be a waste to do that alone, especially considering I never drink beer or wine at lunch (knocks me out for a nap.) So, I had a picnic on a park bench instead.

Grinzing.

Vienna looks so very much like Prague, that I have to keep reminding myself where I am. It’s cleaner, richer, and a bit more modern, but the architecture is identical. I have caught myself almost speaking Czech to people  on more than one occasion.

Could be any street in Mala Strana.

Then I saw a bus marked Kahlenberg and going uphill, so I ran to catch it. Unlike in Prague, the driver stopped and let me on even though I didn’t quite make it to the stop. Score one for the Viennese.

This bus might have ended up in Kahlenberg eventually, but at the top of the hill, it turned the other way, toward Cobenzl. That seemed high enough to me and I didn’t know how long it would take to get to Kahlenberg, so I hopped off to enjoy the view, then started downhill on a small road.

Walking down toward Vienna.
Vineyards as far as the eye can see.
Could be Loudon County.
Except the names are all kinda silly 🙂
Roadside shrine.
Is there anywhere in the world that Queen Anne’s Lace doesn’t grow by the roadsides?

In half an hour, I was back in Grinzing, and enjoying some green apple gelato. I could have caught a bus most of the way home, but I was enjoying walking so much that I continued on foot by a slightly different route in order to get to know my own neighborhood. It’s really very nice, and exactly the kind of housing I would have loved to have had in Prague instead of the Gringo Gulch.  I am very psyched about it, actually.

Making the most of a tiny space at an apartment building.

There are a lot of things about Vienna that I am supposed to be excited about, but I’m just not. I couldn’t care less about opera, waltzing, fancy clothes, or even most of the sweet stuff. But hikes among the vineyards?  Oh yeah, I’m there.

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5 comments

  1. Hi Kelly — I enjoyed reading about your day. Sounds like you have a good sense of direction.

    In answer to your first question — you must have been paying for O2 (that’s a subscript) for the kitty, but I still think you should be allowed another carry on bag.

    Just for comparison purposes — Today, I transplanted the rocks that I brought home from Vermont (one per hike); dropped off travel books for a friend who is planning a trip; and, shopped for groceries at Shopper’s and Trader Joe’s. Woo hoo … your day sounds better. 😉
    Phyllis

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  2. It looks really nice! Pretty cool to have that all right near you. I’m glad you made the trip okay without too much drama. How is your husband doing? He’s still in the US right?

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    • Yes, he’s still on medevac though he hasn’t even gotten to post yet! Should be here in 1-2 weeks. It all depends on medical clearances, of course. But my kids are both arriving this week, so the apartment will be filling up soon.

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      • Wow, medevac before post. That’s crazy! I hope everything is cleared up soon and that he’s feeling better. I hope your kids travel safely and that he does as well in a few weeks.

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