In my time in Vienna, I have only met one person who said they would live somewhere else. He has lived in Vienna for over twenty years and said he would live in the south of France or in Spain if he didn’t have to live in Vienna. Don’t know why. Everyone else loves it.
Vienna is a quiet city; it’s more about culture and music, then it is about partying. It seems like a city for families, which is maybe why it is regularly voted the world’s most livable city. Things may heat up in the summer (pun intended), when tourism peaks. While there are plenty of breweries and bars in Vienna, it’s more of a calm atmosphere than it is a raging drunkfest.
Vienna also takes its services seriously. Trains, trams and subways run on time, all of the time. Even on Christmas. It is easy to get to anywhere from Vienna. Even the airport, which isn’t the biggest but is nice, is easy to get to by train and bus.
Before my time in Vienna came to an end, I had a few things I wanted to do. But first, I really needed to fix my leg. Walking is a handy skill. I’d been looking for a “deep tissue” massage, but only managed to find “relaxing” and “soothing” massage places. On my fiftieth search, Google offered an orthopedic clinic. Ah-ha!
I found the physical therapist both frustrating and infuriating. Do you know how frustrating it is to be told you are doing everything wrong? Stand up wrong. Sit down wrong. Walk wrong. Sleep wrong. Use crutches wrong.
Aaargggh. I have been standing, sitting, walking, and, mostly, sleeping for a very long time. And there I was paying someone to tell me I don’t know Jack.
And what is soooo infuriating, is that he was right.
“Stand up. No, no, not like that. Like this.”
“I can’t … it will hurt … it’s … oh, that is better!” Bastard.
Leg now much better, I had time to hit some of the tourist sites. Top on the list was St. Charle’s Church (Karlskirche, 1737). Dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo (you may know him as the plague saint), Karlskirche was built in the Baroque architectural style following a plague in Vienna. It is not a huge church, but the high alter is a baroque masterpiece. Pick up an architectural history book and you’ll find Karlskirche!
While you are visiting churches might as well include the Votivkirche (or Votive Church…I had to look it up too), St. Stephan’s Cathedral (Domkirche St. Stephan), and the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (Griechenkirche zur Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit). Try saying that one three-times fast.
Sights seen, it was time to leave. It took me 60 minutes to go from the apartment to the airport terminal. I walked two blocks to the tram stop, where the tram was waiting. Took the tram to the U-Bahn station. Took the U-Bahn (had to wait two minutes for the next departure; so inconvenient) to the Wien Mitte station where I caught the CAT. The CAT or City Airport Train (yes, in English), runs directly to the airport and you can check-in and deposit your luggage before you get on the train (actually, you can drop you bags the day before, which is handy). At the airport, I went straight to security and then passport control. Done in less than 1 hour.
One last thought on Austria. Austrians have a reputation for being unfriendly. They are brutally honest, and proud of it. Why wouldn’t you want to know that I don’t like the cookies you baked for me? Surely, you would rather have saved the eggs. While I have never found the Austrians to be rude—but I haven’t baked them any cookies—I have learned one important lesson when dealing with Austrians. If they say they are rude, agree with them.