Birthday Trip 2015: Vienna
Which new city to wake up in on my birthday? For my 9th year of this tradition, I've almost run out of ideas. I did previously think off Marrakesh but that somehow moved right down the wish list and it's too hot. There's not much else I want to see this side of the Atlantic. And yes, that's a wonderful thing to able to say. Vienna had held a fascination but it was while watching Mission Impossible in the summer (yes, really) that the instant decision was made. That's quite late in the year considering the Calgary birthday trip was brewing for a couple of years.
Having had the amazing hotel experience in Budapest and in Scotland, our bar is set high and Harmonie Vienna (Best Western) delivered. The room is a delight, service fantastic and the welcome warm. Like Budapest, this roomy hotel offer a happy hour where the lounge is opened up for complimentary tea and cake. No coffee the time - Vienna is a tea place - but I enjoyed the comforting vanilla brew anyway.
I loved the state opera house from the minute I set eyes on it on the second day. I love it more while it shone for the evening and then just that bit more when I actually got inside. The guided tour, however, wasn't on offer while we were in Vienna. So, the opera and the cake is evident, but where are the Viennese biscuits? Are these a myth?
For my actual birthday we decided on a local Italian recommend by the hotel, then to Pratar Amusement park - this mainly for some James Bond reference for Tim - I did not go on that big wheel though - it's my birthday! After which we headed back into town for our traditional sky bar cocktails. Why are these bars always packed? We couldn't get served until we found a seat and it was too busy! Eventually we found one when were about to leave and followed that by scrumptious dessert white chocolate profiteroles covered in vanilla tasting cream and a chai in a nearby café.
The next day, we headed for the train to Salzburg. Vienna hit the headlines before we flew out for being besieged with refugees. We didn't see any evidence of this, except for signs saying 'refuges welcome' and WiFi access at the train station just for them.
Next up: the Salzburg part off the trip.
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