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Trip Report Vienna in November is a great idea (WillTravel on the scene)

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As I posted before, I decided to go to Vienna after a professional event earlier in the week in Munich. I also gave Salzburg, Regensburg, and Passau a quick run-through, but more about those another time.

I arrived here a little more than 24 hours ago. I caught a taxi from Westbahnhof. I had previously considered public transit, but I had so much stuff, and had acquired more at the event, that I could not imagine it. The taxi fare to Hotel Lindner am Belvedere was 10.10 Euros plus tip.

This is a great hotel. It is 4*, newly constructed, contemporary design, and with a great breakfast buffet. So far I am finding the location, at Renneweg 12, great. I had to first pick up my ticket at Musikverein, and later attend the Martha Argerich-Mischa Maisky concert, and I walked all around and through the Ring, went to Stephansdom and to Shakepeare and Co. I went to Cafe Braunerhof, had a Viennese cafe experience, and emerged unscathed. I had a quick lunch at the Konservatorium lunchroom (cheap and fast). I also visited the Arthur Schonberg Center and saw the Schonberg, Strindberg, and Munch exhibit (I was not aware before that Schonberg and Strindberg were painters, and of the relationship with Munch). The audioguide is pretty good, if a bit jumpy, and the relationships and the paintings are interesting. Perfect for a late autumnal day in Vienna.

The concert featured wonderful playing, with a very conversational style between the two musicians. I had a much better view of Maisky than Argerich, and he was quite a site to see with his white hair flying furiously as he played. Of course the venue is fabulous.

But I had a shock in the second portion. I looked up to the balcony level, and saw a man being carried out by some other men. I could clearly see that he was older (over 60) and was wearing a white dress shirt. So what had happened, I wonder? Did he have a heart attack? The show went on without interruption. I think the same men who had carried the guy out returned to the concert a few minutes later. In fact the door opened and shut a few times at the balcony level, which distracted from the concert a bit. But I suspect most people did not notice.

Given the revered nature of this venue, I was surprised that people engaged in behaviors like turning pages, coughing (I know it cannot be helped sometimes), looking through purses, etc. Not that there was that much - but somehow I expected people here would be more perfect. I would say that if you are not standing, you probably want to dress up a bit (I felt underdressed in typical West Coast business casual).

There were two encores, which I enjoyed very much, but I cannot say what the pieces were.

Vienna is very, very windy. But I am doing fine, as I have long-sleeved shirts, a fleecy sweater, and a warm coat that goes to mid-thigh.

There is a Billa grocery store nearby on Renneweg, where I picked up a few things. Last night, having gotten to my hotel after 8 PM, I decided to look nearby for a restaurant. I am near the famed Gmoa Keller, but I was totally ignored while other people were welcomed in. So I headed back elsewhere, and found the extremely convivial, authentically Viennese (non-posh Viennese) tavern-like place at Renneweg 8. My standard schnitzel order last night with Bohemian beer was very good. I went tonight after the concert, and had gulasch, which was not as good, although the huge bread dumpling was quite a site (bigger than a tennis ball, I would say). I had expected something like a delicate matzo ball, I think.

Vienna is just starting to be lit up with Christmas lights, and it is beautiful.

Typed up quickly here in the hotel lobby on a German keyboard. More later about my German train misadventures (I am fine).

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