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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.