Trip Start Dec 18, 2008
Trip End Jan 15, 2009

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Great Adventure has begun... Intrepid Journeys eat your heart out!
We arrived in Vienna very tired after a marathon haul from AKL -LAX-LHR-VIE...Premier Economy made it reasonably bearable though we didn't get too much sleep.
Got a bit cranky when we realised that - whilst we all made it- one bag did not...and unfortunately, it was Leigh's!! Austrian Airlines still can't find it, 3 days later!!
Day 1 in Vienna was cold like Christchurch but got steadily worse - and it was pouring at times, windy and very cold. The highlight was climbing the spire at Stephansdom Cathedral - 437 stairs, 67m. The view was great even if the day was not flash.We all made the climb - Pam's knees worked fine but the staircase was narrow and it was tough when we had to pass people. The backpacks made it very difficult.  
The cathedral was built and modified over centuries from the 1300s- it had been bombed during WW2 and the entire wooden roof has had to be re-built.
Train system was great, and we had little trouble figuring it out. Most people speak Englisch.City is starting to look ready for Christmas... Christmas trees are everywhere waiting to be sold. We guess that the Viennese pick them up on Christmas Eve otherwise they'll wilt in the indoor heating
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