The morning I was to leave for Vienna to attend the European Congress of Radiology, I woke up to snow, predictions of 8 to 10 inches of snow to come, and news of hundreds of flight cancellations. According to online flight tracking, my flight was still on, so I left for the airport early. O’Hare was a virtual ghost town. On one hand, I was happy that my flight was still listed as on time. On the other hand, why the heck was my flight practically the only one not cancelled? Isn’t there something to this whole not flying in inclement weather thing?
Anyhow, after only slight delays, we got off the ground and to Stockholm only a tad behind schedule. During the brief layover in Stockholm, I happened upon a stuffed moose (as in actual moose that was once walking around, possibly getting drunk off of fermented fruit) in one of the airport shops. Of course, I had to take a picture, and I was promptly chastised (first in Swedish, then in English when it was clear I didn’t understand) for doing so. I’m not sure why one would put a moose in the middle of the perfume section of an airport shop and not expect people to photograph it!
I flew from Stockholm to Vienna on Austrian Airlines. The most memorable thing about the flight, by far, was the uniforms of the flight attendants. Bright red from neck to toe! I supposed they are easy to spot, but man, that’s a lot of red.
I arrived at my hotel in Vienna to find that my room was not yet ready and my phone had no service. I was travel weary and grumpy at the time and appalled that the hotel lobby did not have free wifi. Once my room was ready, thankfully, I was able to call my carrier and clear up the phone situation quickly. My colleagues headed over to the conference center to pick up our bags (which, by the way, were not your typical conference bags–I may actually use this one again!) and then went out to dinner.
For dinner, one of my colleagues suggested Cafe Mozart, which, according to her guide book served Austrian specialties and a variety of vegetarian delicacies. These vegetarian delicacies, as it turned out, primarily referred to desserts, as the only vegetarian item on the main menu was a pancake, which was almost like a dessert, but I had it for dinner, along with some bubbly. Then I had dessert too. I’m pretty sure calories don’t count in Austria, so it’s okay.
The next morning, a couple of my colleagues and I had some time before our sessions began, so we headed out to see some sites. When I had been exploring places to see in Vienna, one of the first things I came across was the Wiener Riesenrad at the Prater. I had never really planned to make going on Ferris wheels in Europe a thing, but it seems to have become one for me, as I have been to the London Eye, the Wheel of Gothenburg, and a Ferris wheel at a traveling festival in Amsterdam. So, of course, I had to add another to the list. My colleagues and I headed to the Prater.
After riding the wheel and walking around the (mostly closed for the season) amusement park, we went to Stadtpark.
After our sessions were over for the day, my colleagues and I headed to Gmaokeller for dinner. This time, the guide book had indicated that, in addition to being one of the friendliest restaurants in Vienna, one of it’s specialties was a vegetarian-friendly spinach pasta. Upon arriving, we saw no such dish on the menu. When we asked about it, the waiter informed us that they did not currently have the dish but directed us to several vegetarian options, none of which appeared on the English section of the menu. It was then we noticed that the German menu was at least 3 times as large as the English menu. However, with my new inside information, I enjoyed a lovely meal!