the russia adventure, day 1 (vienna).

Note: Most of the content of this post comes from notes I wrote while in Vienna. I also took pictures and had intended to post them, but am having trouble with my laptop at the moment. I'm on a bit of a time crunch now, but will try to upload some later.

Another note: I'm not going to ask you to comment if you're following along for notes about my trip. But I am going to tell you that I love comments. And, since I know it will be difficult to actually keep in touch with each of you individually over the next couple weeks, if you have questions, feel free to leave them here.

The flight

The flight was pretty uneventful. It didn't seem nearly as long as I thought that it would. I also didn't sleep nearly as much as I thought I would, which made for an interesting day in Vienna.

I met a woman on the plane who lived in St. Louis, but was originally from Iraq. She was on her way to Syria, then Iraq, and would meet up with the husband she hasn't seen in 8 months, because he couldn't come to the US, and she owned a business she couldn't leave.


I'm actually surprised at how much German I remember from the three years I took in high school. Its not enough to talk to anyone, or even really to understand them, but I can read road signs, or at least sound them out. Fortunately, I ran into very few people who didn't speak English, and most of the signs in the airport were in both German and English. Also, there are a lot of similarities between the two languages, so its actually possible to kind of figure some things out.

The weirdest thing is that there are English words all over the city, mixed right in with German words. For example, the train from the airport to the city is called the City Airport Train (or CAT train). That's not a translation - those are the actual words.

After getting my first stamp in my passport (yea! I can cross that one off my list), I transferred the stuff I needed to my purse and stored my two carry-ons with airport security. Then I took the CAT train into the city, and used the underground train to go Stephensplatz (the location of St. Stephen's Cathedral). The underground train wasn't too difficult to figure out - its very similar to DC's metro.

St. Stephen's Cathedral is absolutely beautiful. There's something awe-inspiring about standing in a building older than your country. Parts of it actually reminded me of this church in colonial Williamsburg (the oldest still active church in America) - something about the pews. But this, of course, was significantly bigger. Also, the roof outside the building, and the ceiling inside, were amazing - just beautiful.

After touring the cathedral, I wandered around the area a while, browsing stores even though I knew I wouldn't buy anything. I bought a sausage from a street vendor and chocolate filled with strawberry cream. I even got asked out for coffee by a man selling concert tickets on the street (I think) outside the cathedral. It would have actually been a good way to pass the time, but too many of my friends and family have seen Taken recently, I was a bit nervous about doing that.

Then, I took the train to the university center, partly because I thought it probably had some beautiful buildings and partly because I saw something about a teddy bear museum. I never found the museum, but wandered around outside and took pictures of buildings. By that time I was so exhausted (since I was running on about 3 hours sleep, total), that I just went back to the airport, found a Starbucks with a nice comfy chair, and chilled for the next several hours.

I saw a few familiar places - McDonalds (no surprise there), T-mobile, Claires, Timberland, and Weight Watchers. That last one actually had my jaw dropping open.


  1. Kristy, the great world traveler!!!!


  2. Hold on. You traveled a ridiculous distance, and then you went to Starbucks! Our father would be proud.


  3. Kristy, I'm proud of you for checking out Vienna! Thanks for keeping up your blog, even though you have no sleep. You write very well. --David

  4. I agree that Cathedral is beautiful! Was the outside of it still under construction? It was while I was there this summer. I'm so glad that you toured the city! :)


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