I made it to the Austrian capital just in front of the rain. I’d intended to drive along the Danube and visit the river towns and castles but the weather didn’t cooperate. So I shifted gears and headed east for Vienna.
I researched a Park+Ride spot where I could leave the car and jumped on Vienna’s excellent public transportation system. Typically in larger German-speaking cities, there’s U-Bahn for Untergrundbahn (subway) and S-Bahn for Straßenbahn (street trollies).
Vienna’s system was extensive and fast. I bought an all-day ticket at a kiosk and hopped on the U3 to ride into the middle of the city.
Vienna, to me, was like going back in time. This was the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It looked the part of an imperial city with extravagant Baroque architecture, gilded fountains and expansive parks.
In the German language, Vienna is spelled Wien and pronounced “Vee-in”. I have no idea when Americans associated wiener schnitzel with a hot dog but it means a thin cut of breaded, pan-fried veal. It’s Viennese cuisine folks.
And no, I didn’t lunch at Wienerwald…
I actually stopped at a traditional Austrian Würstelstand and ate a sliced sausage infused with cheese and spicy mustard standing up like the locals.
These were initially movable stalls created during the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to provide a source of income for disabled veterans. They weren’t allowed to become stationary until the 1960s.
Nothing like a little history with your Wieselburger Bier!
Amazingly, the rain moved on and it cleared a bit. Vienna is a large city with massive buildings, churches and parks spread out all over the place. I hiked what felt like several miles and found an U-Bahn station when I got tired.
Vienna wasn’t initially on my radar but I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit. It retains a regal air and seems relaxed for such a large city.
I’m headed to the hotel to figure out a way to stream the Auburn game online tonight. Thankfully the Tigers kick in the early afternoon back in the States so it won’t be such a late night here with the seven-hour time difference.
Driving to southern Austria and the city of Graz tomorrow. Weather looks promising and I’m interested in exploring that city. I’ve read good things.
Thanks for coming along on the trip. If you have questions or suggestions, tweet @JasonRMatheson. Missed an entry? Click here.