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Vienna

Something I noticed in Salzburg seems to be true here as well: Austrians take their weekends very seriously. When I got into town last night, at 5:30 on a Saturday, the grocery stores were all closed. Today (Sunday) the hot dog stands are shuttered up.

Vienna is huge. Just the downtown area has a radius of something like 6 km. Despite the length of the walk from the hostel, which is near the train station and therefore, I assume, in a touristy area, to the city center, though, every other person I passed was American. Literally half the population of Vienna, or at least half of the population that’s out and walking around on a Sunday, is a tourist.

Some more relevant observations, then: there’s a lot of old stuff here. I realize that’s a sort of European non sequitur, but in Vienna even the fast food joints are in 200-year old buildings, or at least buildings that were designed to look 200 years old. The effect is really pleasant, and makes it a nice city just to walk around, which is nice, because the other things for which Vienna is famous (opera and theater, e.g.) are sort of out of the reach of a backpacker’s budget. In sort of a nod to culture, I am going to a screening of The Third Man this afternoon.

Vienna also has a fantastically wide (50 to 100 m), tree-shaded ring road from tearing down the old city walls. This is obviously good for navigation and for providing a way to get out of the sun, but also seems to function as a sort of bike/jogging trail/park.

Bookstore

Bookstore

 
Pretty sweet public pool

Pretty sweet public pool

 
Anachronism

Anachronism

 
Ostentatious enough for you?

Ostentatious enough for you?

 
Lipizzaner stallions

Lipizzaner stallions

 
Concert at the Rathaus

Concert at the Rathaus

 
Parliament (Funkadelic)

Parliament (Funkadelic)

 
HUGE mosque

HUGE mosque

 
Inventor of the automobile

Inventor of the automobile

 
Since... 1978?!

Since... 1978?!

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