Vienna, AT LAST

If only I'd known when I wrote my last post that the adventures ahead of me would put my arrival to Vienna a good 10 hours later than anticipated! The portfolio of boarding passes I acquired may tell the tale. There was an hour-long lightening storm on the tarmac in D.C. and a lot of running around the Frankfurt airport for two missed connecting flights. Four fellow travelers fell into the same siutation with me. There were moments where I felt like we were traversing the airport like contestants in The Amazing Race. I paired with another woman traveling for business. At one point we competitively eyed the leisure travelers in line ahead of us and considered we could probably just get on the phone with our respective Corporate Travel offices and get to a United agent first. (Hey, they'd totally ditched us in the Lufthansa line earlier.)

I did finally landed in Vienna that night. As I parted ways with my new buddy she mentioned being glad to travel with someone who didn't let the events become overly dramatic. I agreed and noted I liked her priority to get a Diet Coke as soon as we'd finally arrived at a gate where we knew we'd be getting on a plane to our final destination.

In Vienna, a really wonderful view from my hotel window greeted me. St. Stephen's Cathedral is on the left. I spent the last week at a conference, with some snatches of tourism in between, but even then it was hard to get away from the conference. Note the AIDS ribbon on one of the sights. Me in front of the Opera House. I'll share more soon, but two first impressions:
1. There are a lot of horse-drawn carriages in Vienna. After sharing with my coworkers that this was once my summer job nary a horse went by without their jokingly suggesting we catch a ride, which meant that joke got a little old. 2. There is a lot of graffiti. My romantic visions of the Danube were pretty scarred by the view from the subway, where you could see the river lined by concrete walls and lots of vandalism.
Tonight I'm falling asleep in Prague, and can't wait for tomorrow's city tour, finishing with what I hope will be a boat ride that restores my impressions of European rivers.



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