Vienna, Austria

Arriving in Vienna, we checked into the Ambassador Hotel. Lucy did some chatting with the concierge and managed to score us the Presidential Suite for almost the same rate we would have paid for a standard room. I don’t know how she does it. We got to the suite, which was much larger than we had anticipated. We unpacked and headed straight out for some lunch. We stopped at a Norwegian chain restaurant, Nordsee, and had some scrumptious fish plates. After that we continued down the street to see the famous St. Stephen’s cathedral. It was a very unique looking church with a tiled roof that looked almost like a flag. Walking around the church we passed a horse drawn carriage with which Blessu exchanged a few words with the white horse who, in turn, sniffed him curiously.

Mark and The Boyos in front of St. Stephen.

After two days straight of sightseeing including an exhausting audio walking tour through the city and a two of the hundred or so art museums the city has to offer we and boyos felt that the city was unconquerable. The city was splendid and beautiful full of modern amenities and old world class and monuments. We decided to take it easy the rest of the trip and indulge in some of the finer things the city had to offer. We lost ourselves in the outdoor concerts, and street shows. It was hard to not have Strauss’ Blue Danube stuck in your head while strolling about town. We began our own sort of gastro-tour checking out the microbrews in the pubs scattered around the city that served them.

Blessu, being the little prince he is, just loves white horses (or he is tired and wants to hitch a ride back to the Ambassador Hotel)!

Family photo by the old Imperial Palace.

We also imbibed Viennese wine in a Heuriger near the palace. We found that the Viennese were not as friendly as their Salzburg counterparts but once they saw the “hunds” everyone warmed up significantly. We ate many many things covered in dark chocolate though, since the boyos could not partake in the chocolate café, we gave them extra consideration at the pubs, taking care to order extra Wiener schnitzel and bratwurst. All of us had an excellent time in Vienna and, like New York, no matter how long you stay there you will never be able to do it all; once you accept that fact you can stop and enjoy life for what it is.

The Boyos by the foot of a beautiful fountain in Vienna.

Worst part: Having a cocktail at the hotel lounge and hearing a dog howl in the background only to find out minutes later that it was Blessu guarding our suite from a stranger who had broke in from the adjoining door. Best part: Discovering that Blessu is not only adorable but an excellent guard dog to boot and, of course, seeing that the Blue Danube is actually blue.

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