Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CE Euro Vacay - Vienna

A couple of weeks before our daughter's second birthday we took off across Central and Eastern Europe for a wild and crazy touristic adventure en famille.  My lovely wife graciously accepted my minimalist packing challenge and we fit all of our essentials for 10 days into 3 small day-packs.  Prague - Vienna - Budapest - Belgrade - Sofia.  5 countries/cities in 10 days.  Planes, trains, automobiles.  Couches, air mattresses, hotels, sleeper trains.

Today I'll share some memories from Vienna.

While Prague was my favorite city we visited, Vienna was perhaps my favorite stop on our trip.  My reasons for enjoying this stop had less to do with the city and more to do with our experience.  While in every other city we visited we knew someone local to give us insights, tours, and an air mattress, in Vienna we were on our own to explore.  And explore we did!

Found a big park near our hotel.  We loved it.  Slides contoured to hillsides, obstacles with increasing difficulty, and even a zip line!

We marched onward and came to an amusement park.  Big ferris wheel, Elsie's first roller-coaster (complete with authentic native american d├ęcor, strobe lights, and fake smoke), and all sorts of crazy carnival attractions.

We arrived in the city a couple days before the Vienna marathon, so the city was abuzz with runners.  There's nothing quite like eating round 3 of a breakfast buffet in the window of a downtown hotel while every other visitor to the city is jogging by on the sidewalk.  Thanks to the marathon timing, we happened to have some friends in town and thus someone to explore with!  We hit the zoo, one of the oldest and best in Europe.  Animals everywhere and beautiful scenery.

Orangoutang faces!
My little lion.

I always love visiting German speaking countries, mostly for the quality signage we see.

 It turns out there's more to Vienna than banks and parks.  There's also a palace.  To be honest, it sorta looked like a big country clubhouse to me.  Or maybe a Lexington, KY horsebarn :).  But there were a lot of people there, so it must be a big deal.

 Also churches, opera houses, war monuments.  And pizza and ice cream.

Thanks for a fun visit, Vienna!

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