On our second day in Vienna, we had a food tour that took us through one of the oldest markets in town. We thought this would be an introduction to Austrian cooking and there were a couple of things that related to that but mostly it was an example of just how international the whole world has become, and how gentrified this part of town is. The tour was for up to 10 people but Wife and I were the only ones. Thus we ended up with a three hour rather than two hour tour. I will have a lot more on this when I get the pictures up.
We were both pretty tired so we headed back to the hotel and took a long nap. We were out again around 3:30 PM and headed back to the city to search for some art galleries that our guide from yesterday had said were centered in a particular region of the city. Well we didn't find anything of interest art wise BUT we did find a gelato place that was a branch of an Italian store in Rimini that has been opened since 1947 (my birth year). It was crazy good stuff and was incredibly inexpensive. You got two scoops for 2.50 Euros. In fact I was only going to get one and the girl serving me said, "Only One!" like I was cursing out the Pope or something.
Then we went around madly trying to get pictures of 'great buildings and monuments' while the light was favorable. I was doing my camera Sherpa best but was being thwarted by the fact that Vienna it is almost impossible to get a great shot of the buildings because of trees being in the way, power lines being in the way, or vehicles being in the way. To add insult to injury in addition to the standard 'great view destroying' issues, there was some humongous street festival being set up that up scads of tents and stages in the places where you could get a great photo shot.
We finished our day by heading back for another great fish at our Croatian fish restaurant next to our hotel.
Today, Saturday the 19th should have been a pretty mellow day. All we needed to do is go back to the airport, pick-up a rental car, and drive two hours to Graz Austria where we have a rental house for a couple of weeks.
Getting to the airport was no problem. Finding the rental car center took a while but was found with plenty of time to spare. The problems started when we found we had a free GPS in our car. We figured, "might as well use theirs rather than take out our trusty Tom Tom. Big mistake. First understand it is a long walk from the rental car center to the cars. We get to the car, turn it on, and its computer with all the things to manage the air conditioning, GPS, radio, et al, are in German. I've had rental cars in Europe before and I'm damn sure there's a way to switch everything to English. But we try and try and try with no success. We walk way the heck back to the rental car center, wait in line, where they tell us to bring the car to the rental car return place where they will switch it for us.
Back to the car, drive to the rental car return center, wait for the young lady to finish up with two other people, she comes and changes the language. Somehow we should have figured it out. So we enter where we're going into the car's GPS. Low and behold the verbal instructions are in German! Back to the girls in the rental car return center. They work and work but they can't figure out how to change the verbal instructions. I give up and say we'll just use our own Tom Tom. All well and good and we drive off...except we can't turn off the car GPS. And it keeps speaking in German. So we have two GPS, speaking in different languages and giving us different instructions. In spite of all this we come to the rental house only 30 minutes late.
We then have the normal 'new rental house shakedown cruise' where in spite of all the instructions your host provides there are still things that you can't seem to get to work...in this case the internet. But our host was very responsive even guiding us down to the nearest grocery store which was going to close very soon.
The house itself is pretty lovely and I will get pictures up from yesterday and today hopefully in the next post.