Vienna

So its been awhile since I posted, I’ve been weirdly busy still adjusting to life in Germany. I’m not sure how long other people take to adjust to stuff, but I take forever. I remember when I was a kid and my Mom decided to put our family parrot in my bedroom; it took me years to adjust to that. I was also afraid it would peck my eyes out while I was sleeping mostly because the bird was evil and of course its name was Precious. Even our cat was afraid of Precious, which tells you a lot.

Anyway, I’ve been busy adjusting and doing bits of things like traveling to Vienna, buying our wedding rings, making plans for the future (specifically our wedding) and doing stuff. So let’s talk about Vienna first. Vienna is nice, almost pretty when you don’t pay attention to the details, namely the people and the graffiti. I always imagined that Vienna would be one of the prettiest cities in the world. Which in some ways, it really is. It’s old and full of historical sites and castles, but also it’s inundated with probably the unfriendliest people I’ve ever met. Not to mention, IT IS SUPER EXPENSIVE.

But the good stuff first. Vienna is old, has amazingly beautiful history and has plenty of entertainment in terms of musical theater, orchestras, live performances, you name it. Actually, on this point, Vienna did not disappoint. We walked around a lot; Vienna is a great city for walking in, plenty of space and big walkable streets. We were able to find a cheap and absolutely lovely hotel inside the city, although the reception desk left much desired, but we had a two-floor penthouse for very little, so no real complaints on that. We went to the symphony one night at Schönbrunn Palace (Marie Antoinette lived there and it’s shown briefly in the Sofia Coppola biopic) , we gorged ourselves on cake, schnitzel and traditional Austrian foods, and tiny bite-sized Sacher tortes from Demel. Demel is stunning and everyone should check that out if they ever find themselves in Vienna. We also found the perfect engagement ring in this obscure little antique jewelry shop, that was cheap and perfect for me.

BUT the people are rude and the city is expensive. There were no redeeming moments for the Austrians here; they never asked you if you needed help, they made you feel unwelcome, and their teens are completely out of control on the subways, pushing the elderly and pregnant women alike. Not the kind of place you immediately fall in love with. Perhaps the Austrians seem to have a severe dislike of working, which could explain some of this unwarranted unfriendliness. Next, it’s expensive and in some places, double the prices of Germany. Not to mention, they don’t particularly care for the Germans. Lest you forget, Austria has always been on Germany’s side in every major war, and importantly, Hitler was born there! Yet the world only ever blames Germany for all the evil incurred, while Austrians are often forgotten in their role and of course, never had to bail out anyone in the EU. But I digress. Austrians are not so keen on the Germans, a fact the Germans are well aware of, and if I didn’t know, I was reminded by posters pegged up for the European Cup at the time that had pins and needles sticking out of a German doll. Not even then could they support the Germans. It’s all a bit odd.

I was uncomfortable shopping, and at some points eating; the tables are way too close together, and I know they do this to acquire a better turnover rate, make the greatest amount of money, but it’s super uncomfortable and believe me, I wasn’t the only American squirming around because of this. I noticed plenty of Americans complaining about personal space, who knew that about our culture? Needless to say, go to Austria if you want to see old beautiful sites and take in the ballet, opera, symphony. But by all means, don’t go for the people. I was happy to have gone and enjoyed sightseeing, but I cannot imagine going back at this point. Like Miami, it’s just not one of my favorite cities.

So far my top fav. cities: Boston (naturally), Dublin, Nürnberg, San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Washington D.C  (I really need to travel more)

Least fav. cities: Miami, Vienna, Trenton, the entire states of New Hampshire (sorry friends) and Connecticut, Eerie, L.A., Reno

Anyone have any ideas for short weekend trips here in Europe?

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6 thoughts on “Vienna

  1. Istanbul! I looooved it. Not expensive, direct flights from NUE. Great food, friendly people, BEAUTIFUL city.
    Also, don´t give up on Austria. Salzburg is amazing too.

  2. Hi, Ellie. Been following your blog and enjoy it though got somewhat alarmed about that part about you previously being a meanie;) I can identify with about 90 % of what you feel, I think! Er, I based in Vienna (hubby works here) and I cannot stand most of the Austrians. TRY AS I might…. Not just UNPROVOED RUDENESS but arrogant, mean, practise double standards and uncaring, suspicious, unsmiling, tear into other women (my lovely Amercan friend who left after 10 years after son was bullied),INFLEXIBLE to the point of lacking common sense. I believe people who are a certain way just refuse to see they are wrong , they are convinced it’s everybody else who ‘s the bad guy- generally-speaking, not just in regard to Vienna. They’ll say they are reserved, not rude, foreigners are fake friendly, every country’s the same, etc- I am only here because my hubby refuses to move.The folks who love it here are either celebrities like Anna Netrebo., the opera superstar of are sleeping with a native of this country. Sigh. i love people and it ‘s so hard to be written off without being given a chance, though of course, there are the nicer ones but they aren’t enough of them around.

    The same can be said , I suppose for the Germans. I’ve found them to be friendlier than the locals here but that same friend says it’s the opposite. The Germans and Austrians- the Teutons , for want of a better word- who have lived in Asia and Africa tend to be considerably better people. More humble, polite:

    1. Wait, I was previously a meanie?? Thanks for your comments, the Germans are nicer yes, but I wouldn’t go so far to say they are super friendly either. There are parts of the US just like it. Maybe I’ll try to give Austria another chance though

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more about the people. They are pretentious and cold to anyone not in their class or within their culture. Rudest people I’ve met.

    Weekend trip: go to Zurich and/or Lucerne. Cleanest and friendliest city in Europe. My top favorite hands down. I would move there in a heart beat. Clean, nature filled, good for a long weekend. Really enjoyed it.

  4. This was our exact experience in Vienna! Its a really beautiful city, but you do encounter certain amount of unwelcomness, which is quite a rude shock. My girl friend and I are a mixed race couple and most Viennese found that hard to digest! Quite a few people did ask us funny questions about it. And we did find the conversation quite awkward.

    We went to couple of posh restaurants and cafes and some of the waiters almost refused to serve us cause we were non-white, I felt quite terrible about it. But then again, the people who sell food on the streets, almost all of them were lovely to talk to. We found this quite hard to understand, kept thinking that it was our mistake though we’ve lived in the UK and a couple of other western countries for quite sometime.

    Nevertheless, our next destination – Prague, there’s no word to describe it. We just loved it!!! 🙂

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