Monday, September 15, 2014

Wien / Vienna I

Yesterday I returned from four days in Vienna with my mother-in-law. The reason for our trip was that my parents, who live in Wisconsin, were on a "Great Rivers of Europe" cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna, and their 50th wedding anniversary was on the day they arrived in Vienna. MiL and I decided to fly there for a long weekend, do some sight-seeing together first, and then meet my parents for some of their activities, to which they treated us.

It was an amazing weekend, and we could not have seen or done more than we did in those four days (really two full days and half of two others). In case you're looking for travel notes on any of the following, let me tell you four major things we did not do: Schloß Schönbrunn, Spanische Hofreitschule, shopping, and nightlife. The two of us are very well matched regarding things we like to see and do. We went into almost every church within walking distance of the city center, looked down all side streets and when either of us saw something interesting said, "Oh, look! What's that?" and walked down to check it out. We had made some reservations for meals and museums online before our trip, and we don't have one single regret about the weekend. There are some things we wouldn't do twice, but we're glad we did and saw what we did.

Looks like a church or a palace, doesn't it?
But no, it's the Prunksaal of the Nationalbibliothek.
I will write more when I come down off my high from the weekend, but let me say now that I completely forgot how fabulous it can be to travel by air when the Land of the Free is not in any way part of my journey. No stupid questions when dropping my baggage ("Who packed your suitcase?"  "I'm 45 f-ing years old. Who the hell do you think packed my suitcase?!"  "Did you accept anything from a stranger since arriving at the airport?"  "Yes, but he looked really trustworthy and swore to me that it was only a box of chocolates."), no removal of the shoes, no freedom bag (the transparent plastic bag with my dangerous hand lotion tucked snuggly inside) needed... The guy at security even stopped me as I started to unbuckle my belt. "No, don't worry about that." I was once sent back in Atlanta because I'd forgotten to remove an unopened wet nap from my pocket. Yesterday I didn't even take the coins out of my pocket or remove my watch. No nudie scanner. Really, truly nice.

Stay tuned for more about beautiful Vienna...

inside Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral)


  1. Usually you do have to empty your pockets and put your liquids in a plastic bag even in Europe - international travel regulations!

    I loved the Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. Did you go to the Globe Museum (also part of the library)? It's possibly my favourite museum EVER! The globes are so beautiful.

    1. Maybe they were just feeling trusting on Sunday. I suppose the biggest difference - at least to Atlanta - is that in European airports no one shouts instructions and directions at us travelers. This time just a guy quietly asking me if I had a laptop or tablet and that I didn't need to remove my belt. I didn't even realize I still had stuff in my pockets until I was through the check point. That was a stupid mistake on my part (I usually have eveything stashed in my carry-on long before I get to the bins, but the line was really short this time), but it didn't end up mattering.

      We did go to the Globe Museum, as well as the Papyrus Museum! Very, very interesting! I don't actually know why, but I love globes. The Prunksaal might have been the highlight for me, though. The floor to nearly ceiling books, the paintings... like a chocolate shop for other people. :-)

    2. Yes, the Prunksaal was amazing. I put a photo of it on Facebook and my dad commented "can I have that library?"