20 February, 2007

The hills are alive...with beer and churches (Austria)

I love Wienershnitzel. and Austian monk-made beer. and any type of Wurst.

This past weekend I traveled to Salzburg and Wien (Vienna) by train from Geneva. It was a spectacular time. We left Geneva at 7PM on Thursday night, arrived in Salzburg via nacht train at 4AM, then toured the morning-ghost town until things opened and we were able to get some Austrian breakfast. I traveled with Abby Anderson, Molly Gilmore, Ginnie Fridell, and Kevin Creighton. After seeing almost all of the old town before it even opened, the girls departed Kevin and I and left for a 4 hour Sound of Music Tour. We opted out of this, decided to climb the towns overlooking cliffs and searched for the Augustiner brewery and abbey. After much searching, we found the brewery and were appalled to discover that a beerhaus was not open at 930AM. I mean, who would see that coming?

After walking, drinking beer, eating, walking and drinking beer, eating and walking, and a mix of all three, we met back up with the girls and decided to have an early dinner (around 430). We ate at the oldest restaurant in Europe, the Stiftskeller, founded in 803 and situated in a cellar right next to the St. Peter's church, a beautiful building right under the cliffs with an amazing graveyard. That night, we took the 3 hour train to Vienna and planned our time while there. This is now Friday night.

Saturday morning, we decided to walk Vienna and see every single chuch we could, taking in all the Gothic architecture and beautiful Hapsburg influenced palaces, parks, and squares. Kevin and I continued enjoying the fine Austrian beer everywhere we went, while the girls watched on in amazement.

Really I cant explain our trip more than a pile of amazing food (incapacitating amounts of wienerschnitzel), great gelato in Vienna, about 10 churches all with different splendid grandeur and lots and lots of beerhauses, biergartens, kindergartens, kinder chocolate...

Regret: not bringing a pedometer to Europe, I wished i could log all the space I cover.

More pictures will follow.