Sunday, July 17, 2011

Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Swedenplatzstrassefartgasse?

OK —I made that up — but not by much. It seems that every street name in Vienna has at least 20 characters. And they are impossible to pronounce or remember. All of the tourist city maps are unreadable. Why? Well, in my opinion, it is because it is a physical impossibility to fit all of these incredibly long street names onto a small map. Then add to that, the quirky (giggle inducing) word endings like Gasse and Fhart and Platz, and you simply can't concentrate long enough to find your way.

It has been a laugh fest since Doug and Devora arrived yesterday morning. We are quickly developing a language of our own consisting of all of the incredibly funny parts of words we see on the maps we can't read, and the street signs we can't pronounce. Add a beer or two to the mix and the hilarity escalates dramatically.

Between fits of laughter, we continue to move forward with our itinerary. Here are the highlights from Saturday.

Hanging out at the the local flea market
Bright and early Saturday morning we hit the weekly flea and food market, several blocks away from our apartments at Pension Sacher. We dined on local delicacies, sipped on lattes and perused the hundreds of stalls in the flea market. Doug, a flea market afficianado found and purchased a wonderful hand coloured print of the skyline of Vienna circa 1550, to add to his ever growing collection. The rest of us just marvelled at the people watching opportunities.


We took the subway to the train station and boarded a train for the nearby town of Melk, home to the Melk Abbey. We hiked up the hill to the Abbey and walked through the exhibits with Doug as our guide, reading from his guide book.

Melk Abbey details

From there we hoofed it down the hill and through the town to the ferry dock where we just managed to catch the last ferry of the day for a ride down the Danube, via Spitz, to the town of Krems, with views of vineyards  and churches along the way.
Ferry ride to Krems

Us taking a nap on the ferry captured by Devora :)

After a quick tour through Krems, we boarded the return train for Vienna, with pizza and a kilo of apricots in hand, for a picnic on the return trip. We arrived back in Vienna with little time to spare. A quick freshening up, and a hop on the subway to catch the opening concert of Gabi and Sophie's choir tour.

When we entered the Church one minute before the performance began, we were thrilled to see that it was standing room only! We managed to find seating just as the concert began. The performance was superb, and I can report that parents and godparents were gushing with pride!

We stopped for gelato on route back to the apartment, where our full day of activities ended with the compulsory pastry fix, and some final laughs. Not bad for day three!

As you can see we are having a Gasse and Platzing at every turn!

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious! I remember when Keith and I were driving through Austria many years ago we had to stop the car for laughing fits because the directional signs were so funny. And then there was the pastry. But I want to go on Devorah's tour! She's got it all planned perfectly! Keep posting. We're all living vicariously through you.