Vien

I found my way back on to the street, and started heading toward the main square know as Stephansplatz, which is located at the geographical center of the city of  Vienna, Austria. The streets made out of old cobblestones support the amazing hustle and bustle of life found in this area of the city, centered near the famous Stephansplatz Cathedral. The Gothic architecture of one of the tallest churches in the world is the seat to the archbishop of the city. This very old and massive structure transports you to another time of an older world.Vienna 2011 371
Exclusive restaurants and shopping boutiques line the boulevards, and on their sidewalks unusual characters pose or perform for the tourists. Suited musicians play in the street. You wonder who they might be as you stop and listen to their string ensemble of amazing talent. In the distance a crowd forms around a party of break dancers. A single artist performs, painted in gold from head to toe, wearing fashioned clothes like those of Mozart. He poses in photographs with tourists for a price.The click-clack of horse-drawn carriages adds to the background sounds and ambience of this cultured & mannered city.
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“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.

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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.

Gruss Gott

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

 

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