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Vienna: Very Livable

656867-1030519-thumbnail.jpgOne of the things we always ask ourselves when we get to a city is, “Could we live here?” The answer is almost always no. In fact we can probably count on one hand of a Chinese machine shop worker the cities that could support our fragile ecosystem (Hong Kong and Sydney are about the only two that come to mind). But now we have a third to add to the list, as Vienna has all the life sustaining properties we require. Tremendous food, great shopping, youthful exuberance (but not too youthful, since now that I’m 30 youngsters annoy me), and amazing public transport. Not only do they have a clean and efficient metro system, but also trams that go everywhere. Plus most roads have a separate, wide bike lane. Not that I would ride a bike. But it’s nice to know it’s an option. Plus just about everybody speaks English.

Unfortunately, we had to leave our first hotel. It was beautiful and comfortable and everything we love in a place, but since it had just opened 656867-1030524-thumbnail.jpgthat week the internet connection still wasn’t working. And the fastest way to put a Wandering Walker in a mad mood is to mess with his internet connection. So we packed up after the first night and schlepped over to Flemings, a strange restaurant/hotel combo chain. The room was nice enough, but for some reason they thought it might be classy to stick an all-glass shower in the dead center of the room. And not frosted glass – just plain old regular see through glass. I don’t know about you, but for me shower time is private time and being on display like that is sort of unnerving. Plus I couldn’t shake the idea of putting a few strippers in there and letting nature take its course.

I can’t say that we were at our most adventurous while in Vienna. Frankly, we were feeling pretty tired and worn down. We mostly wandered around 656867-1030537-thumbnail.jpghome base and saw the basic sites and hung around the room watching BBC. We watch a lot of BBC as the vast majority of countries have BBC as the only English channel option. The thing about BBC is that they repeat themselves. A lot. It’s sort of like watching Headline News on an endless loop for hours on end. While I do feel very up-to-date on world events, and could probably deliver a newscast to you word for word about what’s going on in Iraq, I am looking forward to returning home to my million channel plethora of choice. I will never complain about “what the hell are all these channels up in the 600’s and who the hell needs all those” again.