Lord of the ring

Trip Start Dec 20, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2011

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Flag of Austria  ,
Saturday, January 1, 2011

I knew that would get you to read it!!  I just returned home and as I unwind, I want to get this all down before it disappears into memory. 

My story starts with me waking up at about 9:00 in the morning after a fairly difficult sleep. Remember that explosions were going off constantly all night due to high hopes for the new year. So anyway, I was going to check out and leave my stuff at the hotel but it was so cold and my train wasn't going to leave until 8:30, I sort of took my comfortable time. 

So at about 9 minutes to 11, I checked out.  I took the tram into the center for the last time, knowing I had all day and it would most likely be quiet.  I had marked some places on my travel map that I was still interested to see and sort of headed in that direction.  As i exited the number 43 tram I saw the "Ring tour" tram just heading down my way.  This would be a good start.  A 20 minute tour around the ring road circling the inner city.  This road used to be the city boundary wall and is a good, walkable journey that contains access to most major sites in the center. The ticket was around 4 euros.  So the tram was built probably around the 40's era and was interesting transport on its own.  We have the "F" line is San Francisco, where I'm from.  

So, as it happened, The tour was so interesting to me that I walked it.  I started at the point where the tour ended which was at an old military installation.  Now it houses the police.  It looks like an old fortress right in the center. Across the street and down about a half a block, wa sthe first skyscraper.  it was part of a reconstruction plan after the war.

Turning the corner, I found that I had been right about the old jewish section.  I learned something interesting, quite by accident.  I stopped to get a little knosh to eat and saw armed guards looking up this small alley.  Turns out, they watch that old synagogue every Saturday morning so the Jewish community can feel safer.  I have an understanding now of that need. Just around the corner from there was a monument to the victims of Nazis and behind it the ruins of one of the Nazi headquarters.  (Used to be a Hotel or something) but it was taken over at gunpoint to be Nazi offices.

After the Jewish area i stumbled upon Sweedenplaz.  There is a very interesting history here.  It was partially bombed out after the war and the Sweedish people took in the hungry children and fed them for one year and returned them healthy to their families. In gratitude they built up this area and have Mozart concerts played there periodically. One of the oldest buildings is there too as it was missed in the bombing it became a landmark.  I found it very quaint and also the oldest winery is there.
I'm not going to describe the entire walking day. it would take too long.  I do need to mention that it turned out to be a very good plan and took about 4 hours with my many stops.  Here's something interesting. I was walking near the Hotel Imperial. it is the most exclusive hotel and I just thought I would poke my head in and look.  they say the biggest dignitaries stay here..Even Mick Jagger!!! 

I felt a tad out of place but then I went behind the hotel to a very nice theatre where there were black limos parked everywhere along with a lot of security.  I big crowd was forming in front of the theater so i stayed a bit. After a little time, there was some murmering between the security people and I got it that whoever was there was already snuck out.  And I was right because the doors opened and every one rushed in. I was swept in with the crowd only to hear those words. " They're gone already"

I was so not surprised.  

I kind of wound my way through a very nice park and back around to the city hall area.  I found it so sweet that there were couples old and young dancing waltzes while the army band played Mozart.

I really had to stop again and enjoy the moment.

I slowly made my way around the ring until I was back at the beginning.  Like I said, i stopped along the way and just took it all in.  I feel so lucky that I can enjoy those moments.

After about 5:00 I went on back to my hotel to prepare for my final adventure....The overnight train....

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