Vienna-Day One

Your German lesson for the day:
°Abfahren= To leave.
°Ankommen=To arrive.

Sunday

We’re leaving Munich this morning,  travelling to Wien (Vienna), via Salzburg.  We will be back in Munich in a week or so.

Munich Hbf (main train station) is my favorite among the cities to which we travel. There are lots of things to like about it,  and a few things I don’t (which are common to many of the stations).

Likes
°Central location in the city- it’s easy to get to anywhere in the city from here; the tram and U-bahn all radiate from here,  and of course connections to other cities,  the airport,  etc.
°Conveniences- great food court with a lot of food choices, as well as some grocery stores and other shopping.  Not the place to do your primary shopping,  but because of its location,  other shopping is within quick reach. Luzern has better shopping in the train station itself.
°Clean- Hard to do in a super busy travel hub,  but it’s clean and seems safe.

Dislikes

°There always seems to groups of young men hanging around the exits,  who obviously aren’t in-transit. I don’t see much vagrancy in Munich,  generally, though.

Unlike our trip to Munich,  no standing on the train from Munich to Salzburg,  or Salzburg to Vienna, though the trains were full.  Have to board quickly!

Wir kommen in Wien an! (We arrive in Vienna). N. B. German has some separable verbs.  The verb is separated into two parts in the sentence when conjugated.

It’s notably cooler here than in Munich,  at around 63F. Our hotel is only four stops away on the U3 line U-bahn from Westbahnhof,  then a short walk from the U-bahn station to the hotel.

The public buildings in Vienna are on a grand scale,  as Vienna was the Imperial capital of Austria.  The Hofburg Palace (winter residence of the Imperial family) and the Spanish Riding School is just down the street from our hotel. Their summer palace,  Schonbrunn,  is (now) a bit further out of the city (was in the countryside at the time) . It rivals (and imitates) France’s Versailles in scale and opulence.

Hofburg:

Spanish Riding School stables:

The Albertina museum,  which we visited many years ago has an exhibition of the period from Monet to Picasso.  It’s a beautiful museum. We went into St.  Michaels kirche,  which we’ve walked past before,  but never gone into. It is just across from the Hofburg. It’s really beautiful and ornate.

Just across from the Albertina is a memorial (denkmal)  to Austrians lost to concentration camps in World War II. Further around the corner is the famous Hotel Sacher. Famous for (among other things) its Sacher Torte,  a wonderful chocolate torte,  made from the same secret recipe since 1832. We each had a piece, along with a Melange.  A Melange is coffee with foamed milk and whipped cream.  Neither of these has any calories,  I’m sure .  And the Starbucks (€4.50 venti latte) across the street doesn’t stand a chance,  though it’s 20 cents less than the Melange, and the decor is, well, Starbucks. The atmosphere inside the hotel speaks of,  and is,old world elegance (but with free wifi).

We walked down to Stephensdom which is a huge Cathedral.  It’s notable on the outside by its multi colored tile roof. In years past,  we climbed the stairs to get a panoramic view of the city. It’s late in the afternoon,  so long shadows are cast over the lower part of the Cathedral. Inside,  there is a service going on. The structure hanging from the ceiling holds little pieces of paper on which people have written their prayers,  to be shared later this month. Down the Graben is Peterskirche,  which is extremely ornate.  There is an organ concert here later this evening,  and the organist is practicing. The Graben (literally ‘ditch’) is a high end shopping area.

Interesting stats on the blog. 64% of the page views come from a mobile platform (Android,  IOS).

Tomorrow, visit to Vienna continues.

More photos at Flickr

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