Emmersdorf to Vienna

Trip Start Jul 04, 2013
Trip End Aug 29, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Monday, July 29, 2013

It's been a big 3 days. The solemnity brought on by the concentration camp visit was broken that evening by the staging of "Talent Night". Liz served as our Mistress of Ceremonies and introduced a wide variety of talent - several original songs about our trip were performed that were hilarious and insightful. Louise conducted a symphony of bicycle bells, there was a limerick, some haiku, comb-playing and pot-beating and a skit. I had no intention of participating but with all the accents in our group, I spontaneously engaged the group in singing "Fried Ham" with different accents. Can't believe I didn't win....;-)
Once in Vienna, we all cheered! We'd spent 2 long days in the worst heat so far (a BLAZING 97 degrees- poor Canadiens). And an air-conditioned hotel (the Ibis) for 3 nights!!! Helmut suggested a bier garden (Schweizer Haus in Praterplatz, a well-known amusement area) where all the locals go for schnitzel. It was delicious as was the chocolate poppy-seed cake. Afterward, some of us hit the bumper cars, the "Black Mambo" (where Frosty almost became a flying object) and a Ferris wheel built in 1897. The Wiener Riesenrad was mostly destroyed by fire and bombs in the final days of WWII but began operating again in 1947. It was Lil's birthday and we wanted to try to make it memorable.
On Saturday, after doing laundry and cleaning our now filthy bikes, we then began exploring Old Vienna. First to St. Stephens Cathedral, seat of the Vienna Catholic Archdiocese, built in the 12th century. It is stunning - I've never seen such an extensive collection of sculptured/carved pillars and oil paintings. My mother would have been brought to tears by it's beauty. Today we continued our cultural enlightenment with a visit to the Leopoldo museum (an extensive exhibit of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, 2 prolific modern Austrian painters) followed by a tour of Staatsopper, the Viennna Opera House. I was amazed to learn that during Opera Season (Sept-Jan), they perform a DIFFERENT opera each night from a repertoire of 50 operas and 10 ballets. That's ALOT of work!!!
And of course I managed to get in a compulsory run to add to my list of international runs! Tomorrow we ride 72k (~42 miles) to Bratislava, Slovakia so I'll have to muster up some energy to add that one too since we'll only be there a day. Then we'll move on to Budapest.
It's been a wonderful 2 days to put on a skirt and feel like a girl again. The people in Austria have been extraordinarily kind and Vienna is a very clean city. I'm rested and my bike is clean and lubed - as Brian says, "A clean bike is a happy bike".
So tomorrow we ride...
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Chris on

Your trip seems like a personal dream come true. The writing, pictures, and stories are great. I know you are having a blast! Take care.

Steve on

Great blog! I read the whole thing! Keep em coming! Do they have Vienna sausages in little cans there? Just wondering

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