Tschuss, Wien und Osterreich
Trip Start May 13, 2011
67Trip End Apr 28, 2012
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We are ending the first leg of our journey, the first introduction to the European way, and we are so glad to say we spent this time in Vienna. Although there are things we found harder to adapt to in this culture, there are many aspects we appreciate about our Austrian friends.
We have met may people here from all walks of life, even homeschoolers, who are a rare breed in Europe in general. We made some friends that we know will be with us for life and gave us tips on how to live like a local. We met expats that gave us a taste of home just when we needed to be reminded of some comforts. We rocked out with a local Jersey boy, that made us feel like we were 16 again.
We have sucked the marrow out of the city, and figured out we are not the best tourists ... we skipped the biggest attractions in Vienna, opting instead to avoid the crowds and head for the parts unknown, the nooks and crannies of the city. We rode with locals on every kind of public transport you can imagine, sans the fiakers. Kahlan was patted or pinched daily by Viennese omas, we purchased a rolly shopping cart and could even beat the lady at Hofer market when she through our groceries at us and demanded payment, the person behind me puffing impatiently while I counted out my change.
We visited cemeteries, art museums, art classes, churches, crypts, interesting art galleries and glass shops, Swarski and snow globes, gardens, mountains, ponds, lakes and rivers, Prague, Budapest, Melk and Krems, ice cream shops and beer halls, every playground in and around Vienna, open air markets and pickle vendors and even wild boars and peacocks. And, I could never forget our slug friends.
We went to a thermal pool yesterday that rivaled any pool complex in Arizona even, and navigated thorough a confusing entrance process and giant pool complex with no problems. Our smiles seem to get us through basically anything, and our willingness to communicate and figure things out only has opened doors for us that otherwise I think would be closed to us.
I think Vienna has taught us that we can explore anything in life with open eyes and willingness to learn, and with each other linked arm in arm, we can tackle anything. Even though some loneliness has settled in at times, and hung around even, the knowledge that we have each other has kept me going. Seeing sights though the girl's eyes has taught me to be more peaceful and patient, to not only experience places through guide books and signs posted.
On our last day here, we visited one of our favorite places, even though the temperature creaped above 35 degrees Celsius, the Prater. We swung, climbed and zip lined our way through the morning, went to the Viennese version of Sweet Tomatoes/Soup Plantation for lunch and toasted to our journey over calzones in our boiling, moldy apartment.
We are ready to hit the road, Jack, and are all eager to reunite with the sea. Here we come Slovenia and Croatia, I hope you are ready for us.