Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music

Vienna, Austria   6-15-11

You know, mattresses here in Europe are much different from what we are used to back home. They are much thinner, and beds are much lower to the ground. I will have to take a picture and post it so y’all can see. No box springs here. 
We woke up this morning kind of early to get ready to head out of Brno and make our way to Austria. After a breakfast of Czech doughnuts and pastries, we loaded up the car (which was quite a feat) and headed out. Trying to fit two women’s stuff into a trunk smaller than what we are used to in the states is quite difficult, but we did it! Praise the Lord it all fit. 
The Austrian countryside is much like the Czech countryside, except that wind turbines dot the countryside. Austria is apparently a green country, according to Iva. They use little nuclear energy (and what they do use of it, they buy from the Czech republic) and they use mostly green methods of getting energy. The first group of wind turbines we saw was kinda cool, but after the first few, it began to ruin the pristine beauty of the fields.  
It only took us a little under two hours to make it to Vienna from Brno, so we were able to spend a good amount of time touring the city. It is a lovely city, but not as beautiful as Prague. There were many really neat things to see, like the parliament building, national library, and, of course, another gorgeous cathedral. This cathedral is worth detailing a little bit. It was one of the few that allowed you inside to part of it without paying an entrance fee. We were quite surprised once we got inside to see that it was extremely colorful, like a discotech. They had colored lights creating an incredible display of color throughout the sanctuary. It was quite gorgeous.  
The food in this city, though, was fabulous! When we first arrived at the U-Bon station in the city, there was a small collection of food carts, and one had local fresh fruit and veggies. I got to eat my first peach of the season (in Austria no less)! Very delicious, but not as good as a Georgia peach, of course : ) I was also able to eat my first pretzel since arriving in the land of Deutsch as well. Delicious! But, not nearly as awesome as the snack we had a little later. We had two typical Austrian desserts, one was apple streusel and the other was a kind of chocolate cake with a think jam in between the layers and covered on top with a chocolate shell. Its called sacher, and it is incredibly rich. To accompany these delicious desserts we had the European version of iced coffee, which has no ice involved whatsoever. They use vanilla ice cream and chilled coffee, and top it off with fresh whipped cream. YUM! We need to rethink how we do iced coffee in the states.  
The only complaint that I have so far about this continent is that I cannot find Reese’s Cups anywhere! Dangit! 
We are headed to Mirano, Italy tonight to stay, and tomorrow we will be wandering around Venice. Italia, I will finally get to experience your awesomeness. Spaghetti, pizza, and lots of gelato are on the menu for the next several days!
So on our drive through Italy, we have just had two back-to-back funny stories. First, we see another car pass us by who is from Iva’s hometown of Brno, Czech Republic (we are right now over 800 miles away from there). We waved at the driver as he passed by and he blinked his lights hello back to us. Literally about two minutes after this we realize we are coming up next to a caravan of Italian Army soldiers. Woohoo! Lots of cute Italian boys! So after passing the caravan of soldiers, we came again upon our friend from Brno, who then proceeded to ask us through sign language if we wanted to get coffee. I don’t know about Iva, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a drive by coffee offer before. Guess there’s a first time for everything!

We have now arrived in Mirano and are staying at the cutest little B & B inside this lady named Sandra's home. It is so cute!!! Can't wait to post pictures! Tomorrow....Venezia/Venice!!

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