BOB CORBETT'S TRAVEL JOURNAL -- 2007

Vienna 4: May 11, 2007 -- Zwei Kinder Im Prater -- Two children in the Prater -- notes from Bob and Sally

Bob Corbett's note:

Today two oldersters, Sally and Bob, put their ages behind them and behaved like little kids in the Vienna Prater. The Prater is a gigantic and ancient amusement park right in the city of Vienna. Many of you will know of the gigantic Reisenrad, Giant wheel, that has been there since the 1890s. It is much like the giant Ferris wheel that was in St. Louis during the Worldís Fair of 1904. The Reisenrad also figured in the great 1950s movie set in Vienna, The Third Man.

The Reisenrad has cars rather than seats, and each car could hold as many as 30 or more people. We were just walking in The Prater to see things when I suggested to Sally we ride it. She was surprised but agreed, and off we went. We got into a car with 6 German folks, and it was a stunning ride, with a marvelous view of Vienna from way up high.

While looking down on the grounds of the Prater itself we noticed a miniature golf place. I was thinking, Iíll ask Sally about that when we get down, and about the same time she asked -- want to play miniature golf? And off we went. It was a ball, and of course I whipped her, why with my putting and the fact that I kept score, she didnít have a chance. It was so blasted much fun and we were just exhausted and very hot when we finished.

We hurried back to the inner city and to Zanoni and Zanoni and feasted on two gigantic ice-cream treats. I had the huge chocolate bowl with lots of ice- cream, hot chocolate sauce, banana, hazelnut ice-cream and nuts themselves, and other ice-cream. The tall thin glass was near a foot tall. Sally had the Waldberry special. The forest berries special. Lots of ice-cream and about 6 different sort of berries, including lots of huge strawberries of which she shared a couple to me. We added a lovely "viertle" of white wine for each of us (a fourth liter) and it was a gigantic feast.

Normally we eat our main meal in mid-afternoon. Today, however, will be a first on this whole trip. We will eat an EVENING meal. My friend Walet is a waitress at Cafe Classic, a Persian restaurant where we ate earlier this week. She only works at night and I really want to see her. She is Iraqi and I want to check on her family and just visit. So, after doing this e-mail we will first check a second-hand store down the street, then go back to the hotel and just rest a while until about 6 PM and then go to dinner at Classic.

Earlier this morning we went out to the airport, just to check up on the airport train for next Wednesday morning, and to see about getting our seat reservations from British Air, but they wonít give us seats until the morning of the flight. However, the airport train is the same as ever, so I feel quite comfortable about that.

It is really hot today, must be well over 80s and sunny. Supposed to be warmer and sunny the next two days, which suits us fine. Tomorrow will be a big day. Each Saturday there is a gigantic street market of used goods at the Naschmarkt in town. We will go there hunting some nice antique schnapps glasses and other such things. Then on Sunday we will go out in the Vienna Woods to the Zum Martin Sepp wine garden. Sundays are the big day for these heurigen (as they are called, and there will be all sorts of awesome food plus the winey and schmaltzy Viennese music and even some umpah, umpah music as well. I love the heurigen. We hope too to take a long walk in the morning in the Wienerwald (The famous Vienna Woods).

Oh my goodness, it is beginning to dawn on me that this trip ends next Wednesday. I am NOT ready, not even close. I will so miss Vienna. I think I could easily live here forever, but I just donít think I have enough money to do so, alas and alack... But I love to visit. We are already talking about a return trip for perhaps a full month in the fall during the October fests. Who knows....

Off to see whatís in the old goods shop and to rest up for a big night out for dinner. Sure wish we could eat at 4 PM and be home earlier, Iím just not a night person.

Bob



Sally's note

Hi Everybody,

Today is another beautiful sunny day here in Vienna, and in fact its closer to 80 degrees today than 70.

We heard it was going to be a sunny day and Bob and I made a change in our original plan for today, and instead of walking the Schoenbrunn gardens, we headed for the airport first thing this morning.

We checked our map first after breakfast and chose our route carefully. Bob had taken the trip many times before, but from the University, not from Schoenbrunn. But we found the way and will repeat the same trip next Wednesday morning when we fly home.

We tried British Airlines while we were there, but two different clerks told us that it was too soon to get seat assignments. Its not our longest trip of the three flights home, so it doesnít matter if we donít have seats together. We already have our seat assignments on the other two American Airlines flights.

After that we tossed around a couple of options and Bob mentioned the Prater. Its where the huge Ferris wheel is housed, along with lots of other amusement park rides and games. We both agreed that would be fun on a beautiful day like today. And we were so happy we did. The ride in the huge wheel is awesome. The cars are nearly as big as buses and Iím sure during the summer the crowds are huge there. But today we were on a car with only 10 others and there was plenty of space to walk around and move from side to side to see the glorious 360 degree view of Vienna and its surroundings.

One of the things we saw when we looked down on the ride up to the top was a little miniature golf game, and as a matter of fact it was 18 holes, so it wasnít as tiny as some others. We both looked at each other and said... letís play!

Those who know Bob know that he has grown up in a very competitive family. His father Bob was Hall of Fame soccer star, and his mother Louise was a senior Olympic golfer and bowler. So, I laughed out loud when he said he was going to beat me at this game, well, he said something similar to that.... :)))

Turned out he didnít beat me by as much as he thought. I think the scores were 69 and 65, and I was very, very, very happy at that outcome.

The holes were built on solid asphalt or concrete with the exception of one, and they varied them so that each was slightly different and a bit challenging. We just had so much fun! They had lockers so we could lock up our vests and my day bag so that made it even more fun.

After that, back to the Zinoni and Zinoni for more ice cream, this time celebrating our day out at the amusement park and our scores!!

We were going to do more walking, but after a little while it was getting very, very warm so we took the bus and Ubahn here to the internet place by the hotel, which turns out to the best bargain in Vienna!

Tonight we are going to try something a little different and have dinner a bit later. Bob wants to go back to a favorite place of his Classic Cafe to see an old friend who is only there in the evening. And tonight may be the best weather we have had so far for an evening outing too.

Tomorrow is Saturday and Bob and I are planning to go to what they call the Naschmarkt. Its Viennaís outdoor market, similar to Soulard in St. Louis. But on Saturday they also have a flea market there, and Bob knows that I love flea markets as much as he does. WE may not buy a thing, but then again, if he finds some of the darling little schnapps glasses he found when he was here last time, we may!!

Unfortunately, we just checked the weather forecast and it looks like we will need our rain jackets tomorrow.. Ah well, we havenít melted yet!!

Sally Ryan Sharamitaro

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