Austria Day 1: Slow Start

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After two conferences back to back, I was very glad to have this vacation to look forward to. We had been through Austria in 2005 on a Viking River Boat cruise. I call these cruises samplers, as you get a taste but not much more of the places you visit. We had just a few hours in Vienna and it rained the whole time, so we needed to come back.

We had used points for the flights, so we were in business class in all directions. That meant we had access to the lounge at Dulles before our flight departed at 10pm on Thursday. We taxied for awhile and then stopped. The storms were north of us, which wasn’t a problem to take off but it was our flight path. We sat until 10:55 and then took off on a modified flight path.

The impact of the delay and rerouting was we arrived over an hour late to Paris. We had to get through immigration and change terminals to make our flight in just 30 minutes. After quick walking though a hot airport we made it to our gate in 28 minutes. But the flight had already closed.

We went to customer service and easily got rebooked on the next flight to Vienna. Only problem was it was 5 hours later. But we were able to use he lounge and were given a voucher for a meal. So we lost a chance to wander a little in Vienna on Friday, but also got to relax at de Gaulle and eat a leisurely meal (off a special Air France flight delay menu!)

The flight from Paris to Vienna is scheduled for 2 hours, but got in a little early. Our luggage came quickly, and we bought tickets for €12 each for an express train into the city. I navigated the 15 minute walk from the train station to our hotel, a Radison Blu in the city centre.

We got to the hotel at 8:45pm. The hotel clerk commented on Ellen’s tan, which Ellen said was a benefit of being a teacher. Once we were checked in, the clerk said she upgraded us to a nicer room because Ellen was a teacher. Nice!

The room is nice, queen bed, period furniture and a large bath. It is in a former palace. We dumped our stuff and headed out for a little walk. Ellen got a snack, I had tea, and we strolled the area around the hotel.

We normally would have used the afternoon today to nap and then begin exploring the city. We missed out on that, but didn’t really lose much of the vacation. Just a slow start.

Tomorrow we’ll spend a full in the city, and then we bought tickets tonight for the Schonbrunn Palace for Sunday morning.

We have the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on television in the room. It is a small world.

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