I often struggle with the question of whether I am an introvert or an extrovert, and though I may answer differently on any given day, I have realized that I do prefer traveling with companions.  As such, I was very much looking forward to seeing Vienna with a personal guide, a former high school classmate now studying in Vienna.  When I flew from Sofia to Vienna, I was grieved to find that Anna was on doctor’s orders to stay at home.  However, in anticipation of my arrival, she had graciously composed a list of recommended travel in Vienna—all within walking distance.

I had been to Vienna in 2004, but had only wandered a bit near Stephansdom and new town.  So armed with my map of Vienna and some trustworthy recommendations I set off to travel primarily in the southern part of the old center.  I began my journey by walking through the flea market (flohmarkt) and a regular market (Naschmarkt).  Being a Saturday, the place was crowded with people buying and selling goods.  I was advised to find my lunch here and was more specifically advised to have falafel.  (There is a substantial Turkish immigrant population in Vienna.)  I armed myself with a rather hefty pita full of falafel and therein fueled my body for a full day of Vienna.

As I wandered streets, so did my thoughts.  In general I was overwhelmed by thankfulness for the opportunity to be enjoying such a beautiful city.  At other times, my thoughts dwelled on how cold I was (a fact of life in nearly every circumstance).  Though the sky was clear and the sun shone bright, winter is fast approaching in Europe, evidenced by the newly opened Christmas markets.  Friends had told of the supremacy of Viennese Christmas markets, and I contentedly wandered past their wares, crunching on some warm candied almonds.  There isn’t much of a storyline to be had from my excursion, except perhaps that which was delineated in my post on Klimt.  So I invite you to experience Vienna as I did, mostly through visual sensations.   (Though maybe walking around with your laptop outside in the cold will best mimic my experience.)

*Hint: if you click on one of the photos, it will pull up all of the photos in an album format.  Otherwise scroll away!


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