“Gruss Gott,” God is good here. Everywhere I go I’m greeted with this phrase, and occasionally, someone who is likely from outside the city says “Guten Tag” instead. Vienna has been rated the top city in the world for the sixth year in a row by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. This survey ranks over two hundred cities to help governments and large companies place employees internationally.
The summer days feel warm and linger longer than the summer days of the States. I’m an American and I’m here to see Europe for the first time. While exploring I see people sitting in the park eating their lunch on real plates with silverware and drinking from glasses, not disposable paper or plastic. I have never seen anything that civilized before. This city is perfect for me with about one and a half million inhabitants. I would visit the public grounds of the palace Schönbrunn everyday if I lived here. Schönbrunn is a large estate with many walking paths and gardens to traverse. The imperial palace of the Hasburgs has 1441 rooms and the grounds are just as elaborate with 300 years of history in the gardens. Flowers, woods, landscaped labyrinths, and lots of statues line the walk ways.
Less than an hour away pristine mountains ranges luminate the backdrop of the sky. A bus takes travelers to the top of the mountain, past residential neighborhood villages filled with ginger bread like houses. I like everything about this place. While riding on the bus a stranger stands and offers their seat to an older passenger. This is a common practice for the mannered people you will find here.
The streets of Vien vibrate with shops and businesses and passer by, each neighborhood seemingly different. Finding people speaking English happens often, especially in the retail boutiques, but one should never anticipate this. That would be rude. A cup of coffee becomes an experience, always a freshly made espresso, mine with creamy latte. Finding my self inside MC Café I’m astonished by the chandeliers and leather seating. Behind the counter fine pastries fill the shelf and as I order my coffee I am still given a freshly made latte.
Do you speak English? —- Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Thank you —– Danke
Please ——– Bitte (also said when handing an item over, eg payment)
Don’t mention it (response to thanks) —- Bitte