Europe Trip, Part 1  

volim 53M
17 posts
9/28/2005 3:12 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Europe Trip, Part 1

Well folks I just got back from my latest tour of Europe. Spent 15 fun filled days making the rounds and soaking up the atmosphere. Had a GREAT Time, as always!!!

My itinerary was pretty busy.. Fly from DC to Vienna, Vienna to Fussen in Germany, to Rothenberg in Germany, to Spa in Belgium, to Paris, then back to Vienna. A little too much driving, but fortunately you can go 100MPH, so still fun!

I’m going to make a lot of general comments and observations. Remember, these are generalities, so don’t go nonlinear if I hit a nerve…. I’ll throw in some hints, tips, and lessons learned while I’m at it.

Vienna:
This is probably my favorite city on earth. There’s just something about the place that I love. I usually make a bee line for my favorite hotel, the Hotel Kaiserin Elizabeth on Wieburg Gasse. For only about 250.00 Euros a night you get a room that is beautiful and reflects the “style” of Vienna, and some of the most excellent service you could ask for. If you want a smaller more “American” style room, but still want heel clicking, mind bending courtesy and service, go to the Hotel Intercontinental on Johannes Gasse. Just across from the Stadt Park. It’s actually more expensive, but you do get more services, and a “Grand Hotel” air from it.

OK, first Euro/Vienna tip… Don’t rent a car if you are going to just be in Vienna. Take the shuttle, or the CAT (rapid connect train) from the Schwechat Flughaven to the city center, and walk everywhere, or use the U-bahn (Subway-Metro). Parking and driving in Vienna is not recommended for the uninitiated, and the public transport is so good, you’d just be wasting money anyway. This was my 6th trip to Vienna, so I know of what I speak. Next tip, Don’t change your Dollars to Euros at an “Exchange” place. Use your ATM card in any bank machine! You get the exact exchange rate at that moment, and you pay absolutely no fee for the service. Well, except for the “not my bank’s ATM fee” which in my case is a whole $1 for the transaction! This is true of anywhere in Europe. The only caveat is that if you are heading to a “small town, or village” fill up with Euros in a bigger city because the ATMs are not as prevalent there as they are here.

There are a thousand things to see in do in Vienna, as I mentioned, I’ve been there many times and I always find something new and interesting to see. The area for nightlife is best in the area between Kartner Strasse and the Stadt Park. Lots of clubs, bars, and late night fun. All just a 5 minute walk from either of the hotels I mention. My favorite restaurant is the Café Mozart just behind the Stadts Opera. The Weiner Schnitzel is the best in Vienna. On a nice day you can eat, sit there and have a few excellent Otkaringer (sp?) beers, and watch the city pass you as long as you like. Next Tip, Unlike the U.S., in Europe people like to linger and enjoy their meals, desserts, coffee’s, and liquors.. Thus there isn’t the incessant rush to get you in and out of your chair at light speed. What I mean is that by U.S. standards the service is much slower, and usually you will need to ask for your check. They will let you sit there for hours if you’d like, and that’s by design. It’s not poor service, it’s part of what makes Europe special…so, enjoy it!

OK, now Viennese women…. Not the most beautiful in Europe, but they do have a special style all their own. They mostly have a very chic dressing style and definitely have a “come and get me” look about them. Of all the ladies in Euro big cities that I have seen they are the most, “I’m going to do you till you’re dead, and then eat you up”, look that I’ve encountered.

Now let me qualify my observations about the women of Europe. I’ve been to just about all the major cities on the continent, at least once. I am a very observant fellow, and love to just sit in a café and watch the people go by while analyzing all that I see. It’s from this frame of reference that I make my observations here. Also, personal taste will always play a factor so your mileage may vary!

More 2 come - see Part 2


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