It wasn’t exactly the day we thought we’d have when we boarded our plane in Amsterdam, headed southeast for Austria. The fact that it was almost half over with by the time we finally got to our hotel in Vienna, combined with the oppressive temperatures (record highs this week there), and throwing in the getting lost/bad directions for finding our first sightseeing stop — I’ll admit that the whole day had us a bit out of sorts.
So what do you do when you’ve wasted the last three good hours of the afternoon, schlepping it around (and, in Suzanne’s case, on bad feet and a bad back — she is a trouper, bigtime) from one wrong tram to another, in the suffocating, breezeless heat, just trying to go see dead people before everything closes down for the night?
Eat and drink, that’s what.
After returning from the Train Rides to Nowhere to Find Trams That Don’t Exist, we rested and freshened up a bit, then decided to venture out into the city again, but for a different purpose than finding Central Cemetery: Abendessen!
We turned left out of the hotel and starting walking. Strangely, miraculously, it wasn’t so hot, and there was a beautiful breeze blowing. We happened upon a restaurant with an open-air, covered patio, and after examining the menu posted on the outside door (Suzanne’s knowledge of Dutch helped her figure out some key German food phrases), we went in and asked for a table.
Great call. It was the best meal we’ve had so far, and that’s saying something because we’ve eaten like royalty on more than one occasion. Suzanne had beef and onions, and I had the schnitzel with parsley potatoes. Out of this world. But the best part was the two hours spent yapping over a dozen different topics. We see each other only once every couple of years, and we never fail to make good use of the time available. A disastrous afternoon turned into a relaxing evening, full of great conversation and miles of “catching up.” I’ll take that any day, in any city.
Today’s a whole new story, though. We’re meeting for breakfast at 7 (I’m writing this at 6 a.m., while you in the US are either snoozing or thinking about it, as I’m six hours ahead of you), getting cleaned up, and catching a train to the outskirts of town to start the day off at the cemetery. We will do this thing yet, because the women figured out what the guy at the front desk got wrong. Check.
Then it’s off to a tour of the beautiful Schonbrunn palace and grounds, among other places along the way. I hope to have a few more pictures (translation: more than the zero I had today) for you to look at then. Please come back!
RF, over and out.