Sunday, January 18, 2009

Vienna - Day 1

I spent most of the morning riding the train from Munich to Vienna. The route offered me the opportunity to see a lot of northern Austria, even if it was only through the window. My impression is that while the architecture and "look and feel" in Austria is similar to Bavaria, there is a lot more industry. On the German side of the border I mostly just saw small agricultural towns, but on the Austrian side there were a lot of lumber mills. It didn't seem to be quite as clean looking, either. Though admittedly my scope of observation is limited.

After checking in to my hotel I jumped on the subway and made my way towards the Museum Quarter. The subway system is NOT as nice as Munich and I feel confident enough in my observations to stand firmly behind that assessment. In Munich, the stations are clean and they don't really smell. In Vienna, I kind of felt like I was riding MARTA. If you've done that, you know what I mean about the odor. Fortunately, the Museum Quarter smelled fine and the scenery was outstanding. I only had time to visit one museum so I ventured into the Natural History Museum seen above. Mostly, I just wanted to see what it looked like inside such a cool building. The architecture was amazing! I didn't really learn much about natural history since almost everything was in German, but I did get to see several large dinosaur skeletons.

I then made my way over to St. Stephen's Cathedral. I was really disappointed when I arrived because Mass was already under way; I only caught the end of the service. However, I was in luck; they had back-to-back Masses. The student Mass was at 7:00 PM instead of 6:00 PM like it is back home. So, I was able to take a seat and participate in that one. Again, it was all in German, but it really isn't difficult to follow a Catholic Mass if you're familiar with it. I'd have to say that this was my most favorite experience so far on this holiday. 

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