Off to Wien, Österreich (Vienna, Austria)

Our trip to Vienna started off with first-class seats onboard a Railjet hurtling through the countryside and along the Alps at 200km/h (124 mph).  We had planned to arrive in plenty of time before the train departed the central train station in Munich (the Hauptbanhauf), as we had cut it pretty close in the past.  We arrived 45 minutes before our train was scheduled to depart, only to discover that the train was not there, and the train previous to ours, leaving from the same track, was running late (which was shocking to us, considering the timeliness of the German rail system).  So, we grabbed some food and hung out in the train station until our train arrived.

For this trip we have a full schedule of events:

  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • State Opera House
  • Riding the tram around the city on Ringstraße to take in the sights on Tram 1 and 2.
  • Imperial Palace and the Kunsthistoriches museum (including the Imperial Treasury, which has the original elector crown from the Hapsburg dynasty).
  • Schloss Schönbrunn
  • Porgy & Bess Jazz Club
  • Naschmarkt

Because we were unsure if we were going to have Internet on my iPhone, we did a lot of extra planning to ensure we would be able to find everything.  We printed out copies of the Netzplan and the U-bahn map, figuring out the best way to get to each of our planned stops.  Hopefully this will come in handy.  The good thing is that Vienna is very similar to Munich, so we are feeling very confident that we will have no problem getting around and enjoying everything the city has to offer.

We will spend two and a half days in Vienna, then it’s off to Florence, where we will be staying with family friends in a villa near Certaldo, Italy.  We are renting a compact car to travel from Florence to the villa, which will be the first time we will be driving in Europe — very exciting!  I almost forgot to grab my drivers license, which has been collecting dust in the computer desk drawer, since we haven’t been in a car for 43 days.  It’s been really awesome to live in Europe without needing a car.  It’s getting hard to remember the days of driving everywhere; to the grocery store, to dinner, to the bank, etc.  Hopefully I can fit in the car, as it will probably be a smart car.  I’m still dreaming of renting a BMW and going for a cruise on the Autobahn.  :)

Well, back to staring at my beautiful wife sitting across the table from me, and out at the gorgeous green countryside and mountains.  Ahh, I love Europe.

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