Tuesday, August 11

We ‘slept in’ this morning…which was a good thing because I definitely did not have a good sleep because of all of my coughing! Thankfully, Sophie wears earplugs to sleep, so she didn’t hear me during the night!
We ate our breakfast before heading out to explore more of Vienna. It wasn’t really raining, which was a really great thing! We found an excellent route heading down into the center of the city, which, unfortunately was lined with shops…lots of which had sales! We stopped into a few – and I got a shirt for 5 E and so did Sophie! We then stopped into a dollar store and I bought a pair of plastic flip-flops that immediately gave me blisters between my toes! I didn’t realize my feet were such high maintenance before! OH! In that store there were also those really good shopping bags that I had bought two of at Safeway – except, here, they were only 1E! I bought 2 more…just because I know what they cost at home and because we have used my plaid one daily here!
We passed by several sites including a castle of sorts and a few museums, the opera and another theatre. Because we had already seen all of the official sites we mostly wandered around, poking into the shops along the way! It really poured rain for a while, which was annoying to say the least. At this time we were walking through a nice park where there were statues of famous musicians and composers – so I got a picture with Strauss, in the pouring rain!!
We walked down all of the shopping streets that we wanted to see (that Herman had told us to visit) and walked along the river. There were ice cream shops everywhere – people here eat ice cream even more than I do, it is great! We ate a wonderful ice cream cone at a place beside the river before continuing along the streets…
In front of the opera there is a nice fountain and grassy spot. We sat there for a good hour watching all of the people pass by! It was really interesting. The diversity of tourists and locals as well as a few really bold pigeons was cool to see! We were tired, so it wasn’t hard to sit on the curb for that long, watching the world go by!
I took out the map and decided that we really had seen everything that we needed to see, so we were going to start to make our way back up to our couchsurfing location…when I decided it would be a good thing to stop in the “Grand Hotel Vienna” to have a look. Sophie was completely appalled – but I have been well trained, and despite us looking awful, there were no problems. It was a beautiful hotel. And, the bathrooms were to die for! I decided since we were walking around the hotel that we should try out their facilities! Awesome, I must say. It was enough to shock Sophie into crawling out of the hotel as soon as possible.
We hung out at the couch surfing flat for a couple of hours after getting groceries to cook dinner for us three. I figure since Bernd had offered to lend us the use of his stove and fridge, the least we could do was offer to cook him food! Works for me – pasta is cheap.
It was interesting dinner conversation…between talking about Truman Capote –who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I totally didn’t know that before) to condom dispensers in the major cities in Europe to the conversion between square meters and square feet. I think Bernd was/is a little odd – but he seems to be really into all of this couch surfing stuff – having hosted over 30 groups in the last year – which works for me! I seriously have never met someone so meticulous. I was afraid to leave any crumbs anywhere or drops of water in the sink! And that is a comment coming from me!! Anyway, I thought we were doing really well with the cooking of the dinner and keeping really tidy and everything. But, then, he made a comment about how he always tries to take everything he brings with him away with him! Sounds obvious, I know, but he kept saying it – and in a way that made me think he actually wanted us to take our garbage with us! That is just a little extreme, I think. In any case, we will make sure to bring all of our belongings with us when we leave tomorrow, but I think the garbage will be staying where it is. Sorry!

Night
-AJ

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