Thursday, October 17, 2013

There are no kangaroos in Austria

I don't have 3G over here, so when a random Facebook status pops into my head (since, you know, I pretty much think in terms of Facebook and Twitter), I can't put them online. This is probably a good thing. However, here is a sampling of what I thought today:

-- An old lady just "auf wiedersehen"-ed me out of her shop. Apparently having a customer in her store inhibited what she was trying to do. 

-- How do deaf people talk to each other in the dark?

-- Nothing ruins a museum like being the only one in the room save an employee who's watching you to make sure you don't steal anything. 

-- I just passed an all-you-can-eat sushi/pizza/kebab place. I feel like that's too multicultural to be a good idea. 

I'm in Vienna tonight. I got here too late to do much but walk around and look at the spectacular old buildings. (And eat a cheese-filled bratwurst, which I hideously mispronounced, and a hazelnut dessert and hot chocolate that I thought I pronounced correctly, but neither waitress understood me.) We're back in the every view's a postcard phase. The center of the city contains this collection of basically palaces that are now libraries, museums and, well, palaces. The Hapsburg emperor and empress ruled from Vienna, so there's a long history of royalty here. And you can tell. 

My morning in Salzburg consisted of randomly changing my Hungarian plans around, searching online for Christmas shops in Salzburg and getting nothing, only to run across a shop called Chrustmas in Salzburg, and enduring a few terrifying moments in the catacombs of St. Peter's Church. I wasn't quite sure what to expect; the catacombs of Paris have femurs and skulls "artistically" arranged on the walls. These catacombs, at first glance, were dark, empty and up a scary flight of stairs. 

Have I mentioned that I am terrified of dead people? A small, shrill part of me is convinced they're going to come back to life and come after me. There's a scene in Harry Potter that I absolutely cannot watch. So catacombs, maybe not such a good idea. 

It ended up being just a chapel and a room with a few graves; I think the interesting angle is that they're cut into the side of the mountain. And that Mozart is buried there. So I survived with only minor heart palpitations instead of a panic attack. 

Once in Vienna, I consulted my guidebook on important facts -- not to be missed foods -- and headed out. The cafe with the hazelnut cake came highly recommended, and while it wasn't what I expected, it did not disappoint. Plus I got the last piece. What was weird is that my hot chocolate came with sugar on the side. I didn't understand why until I got past the foam on top. It was not sweet at all. Good, yes. Chocolatey, yes. Sweet, no. 

Tomorrow -- more Vienna, less heartburn from food truck sausage.
St. Stephan's Cathedral

The Rathaus -- city government building

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