Hot hotel room and a cold tour guide in Vienna

Trip Start May 12, 2007
Trip End May 27, 2007

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Flag of Austria  ,
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

After 10am, we reached the border between Hungary and Austria, of which there were really 2 border crossings. One leaving Hungary, where a uniformed man came on the bus and stamped our passports, which took a whole 7 minutes. It probably helped that we were the only ones going through. The other border was when entering Austria which took only one minute! We must have given Tunde a look when she got back on the bus, like "how did you manage that?" because she replied, "3 handsome men". haha Go Tunde! Vienna seemed to be less green than Germany and was hilly. The country seemed to be big on helping animals in any way possible which was nice. What I mean is when we were passing through an animal park, there were animal crossing bridges with trees that were overpasses crossing the highway. Tunde also told us underground tunnels were made for the frogs, in which she stated, "No FLAT Froggies!" haha
We arrived in Vienna in the early afternoon to which then Tunde left us with a local guide. We first did a bus tour passing the state opera, parliament, town hall, churches, museums and a very old ferris wheel. We stopped at Hero's Square to see the Hofburg Imperial Palace. (from the outside of course) Starting in 1279, it was the home of many kings and emperors and is now the official seat of  the President of Austria.
Our female guide made a comment about President Bush wanting the best suite in the Imperial Hotel and was refused because the Rolling Stones were in town for a concert, so they got it instead. But the Stones ended up canceling! She seemed snide when she said it and my friend Suzi wasn't happy with the comment and thus was the Start of why she was our least favorite guide. She then took us to  Stephansplatz where we were supposed to have an INSIDE visit of St. Stephen's Cathedral or Stephansdom, which is one of the tallest churches in the world but she acted like she didn't want to be bothered and quickly left us. She told us if we wanted to go in, there was a price! Well she didn't get a tip from any of us.

It was then lunch time and we walked aimlessly up and down Der Graben and Kärntner Straße, the main shopping streets in Vienna, for a couple of hours, trying to figure out where to eat and find menus in English. We ran into Mick and Kerry from Australia at a cafe where I got a smoked salmon bagel. The bathroom was also free. Another good thing was the chocolate ice cream we had across from the trolley. We were told by Tunde not to get it at the corner because it wasn't as good as this other place. She was right.

Back at our hotel, the Artis, we found out there was no a/c and being it was 34 degrees Celsius, the room was like a sauna! We opened the window all the way back and kept it like that even though there was no screen. One cool thing about it was we could hang out it and check out the side street. Dinner wasn't included this night so we walked to find a restaurant and it was raining. The closest thing was a Burger King and we chose that. It did have a good frozen lime cola.

At 7:30, we had an optional excursion to the Kursalon Waltz Show inside the Hofburg. It was supposed to be outside but because of the rain, it was inside. The orchestra and operetta singers were great even though I couldn't understand a word they were saying. (It was done in German) One male singer was hilarious with his facial expressions and a took a few videos of which I will post. The show was called Strauss- W.A. Mozart Konzerte performed by Weiner hofburgorchester. The show lasted 2 hours and Tunde gave us a CD of it which I am listening to as I write this.
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