a visit from Nat, Ma, and Pa

This will be a longer post.  I finally have my new laptop at my apartment, so I will celebrate by writing about Natalie & her parent’s visit to Vienna.  (I am using a UK keyboard, so I apologize if weird typos happen).

Their first night was my last night living in Klosterneuburg.  They were a little tired after arriving, so they took naps and showers while I did some work (in preparation for not going into the office the following week).  Around 5 or so, we took the bus to Klosterneuburg center with Olga (who was visiting IST Austria from Georgia Tech.  Ironically, she is from Ukraine).  We saw the Stift Klosterneuburg in all of its gradure, and then took a walk to our favorite Heurigen (Redinger), where Chao, Bei, Michael, and Michaela met us for dinner.  Of course, it was delicious.

The next few days, we were in Budapest (which I have already written about).

On the day we returned from Budapest, I moved into my new apartment in the 5th district of Vienna.  I think that evening we went out to dinner on the other side of Margareten Strasse, near the Naschmarkt and went to bed.  The next day, Natalie and her parents took the tram around the inner ring and saw some of the Habsburg palace as well as the Rathaus.  Then, they met me at IST Austria and helped me take the rest of my belongings home.  Daria counted every one of the 104 stairs as she was walking up …

The next few days, we explored Vienna until our feet fell off, at which point we stopped at a cafe to recharge and do it again.  I will not attempt to remember the order in which we explored, but I will tell you about some of the highlights:

Stefansplatz is in the very center of the city.  Rick Steves told us a few things I did not know about this church, including the fact that there is a cannonball in one of the towers from the Ottoman invasion of the city.  He also said that the second tower was not finished due to not having enough money.  I was not observant enough to even notice that the towers are not the same height …

We ate dinner one day at a Medeterrian restaurant called Gyros in the 1st district.  I must say, the food was delicious, and the desserts amazing.  I made the mistake of looking at the dessert case after I went to the bathroom towards the end of the meal, and would up coming back to the table with a second round of desserts!  The staff at the restaurant was very kind to us, and happy to serve us.

One morning we went to the Spanish Riding School morning practice.  In the palace, there is a showroom for the horses.  Amazingly, the room does not smell like horses.  We got to watch them trot around, and occassionally saw a horse stand on its hind legs.  We also saw the trainer tap the backs of the legs so that the horses walked in an almost skip.  Watching this made me want to see an actual show.

We ate lunch one day at Buffet Tresniewski.  They serve small tasty open faced sandwiches for one Euro each.  You can get a small beer there for one Euro as well.  Although the food was very good, I was hungry again shortly after leaving the restaurant.  Perhaps I should have had more mini sandwiches.  Or, perhaps I am just always hungry.

Visiting Budapest and Vienna, they could not leave without seeing spectacular royal things.  So, we went to the tresuary.  There, of course we saw amazing jewels and large rocks worth a lot of money.  There were jeweled crowns and beautifully decorated religious pieces.  Among the possessions are a couple of items of religious signifigance for Christians.  There is a piece of the cross from which Jesus hung, with a nail hole in it.  There is a piece of the manger and a piece of Jesus’ loin cloth.  Although these items may or may not be historically accurate, the possibility that these are their origins amazes me.

Having a sacher torte in Vienna is probably among the top five things tourists look to do here.  Cafe sacher is the restaurant that first created this Vienese dessert.  However, over the years, they have turned into a tourist attraction and the quality of their cakes has gone down.  So, we went to Demel to get a sacher torte.  Demal has a peek-through bakery, so we could watch the confectionerists baking and decorating as we ate our snack.  Unfortunatly, Demal is also a tourist trap and refused to give me a glass of water if I did not order a coffee or hot chocolate.  The nerve!

The original snowglobes are the Perzy snowglobes.  We stopped by the museum (really a little shop) and bought some original snowglobes.  It is a little out of the way of the normal tourist routes, but worth visiting to pick up a globe.

On their last night here, we went out to see the musical Tanz der Vampire.  I thought the show was amazing, and I am really glad that we went.  The theatre was tiny, so every seat had a good view.  Even though the musical was in german, we could understand most of it.  At the begining, I heard them singing about ‘Knoblaugh’ and I said to Natalie ‘They are now singing about Garlic?’  As I said the words, it dawned on me why they were singing about garlic …

So, that is a summary of the highlights of their visit.  I am sure that Natalie will remind me of what I missed.

Next visitor: HERO!

2 Responses to “a visit from Nat, Ma, and Pa”

  1. pk Says:

    What’s different on a UK keyboard? I think you have a “pound sterling” sign instead of “#” over the 3, yes? What other differences are there?

    …btw, I learned from my German prof that “#” is called a “pound sign” bc it also represented pounds (either weight or money) at one time; the symbol itself is part of a fancily written “Lb.” which itself stands for pound because it abbreviates the Latin word “libra”.

  2. bfasy Says:

    The funny thing about this keyboard is that sometimes it acts like a UK keyboard, and sometimes like a US keyboard, depending on which application I use it in.

    Yes, there is a pound sterling sign over the three… the pound sign is by my left pinky taking up half of the normal “enter key”. The enterkey is longer up and down than left to right. I always mess that up.

    Where the ~ sign is, there is a “not” sign. The tilde shares a key with the pound sign. Funny enough, the UK keyboard has a USD sign too.

    Over the two is the double quote, and the single quote is near my left pinky again, next to the pound/tilda key. The single quote shares a key with the @ sign.

    The shift key is also smaller. And has a the \ and | key right next to it.

    The biggest problem I am facing is the size of the enter and shift keys because I keep hitting random symbols instead.

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