Archive for the ‘Austria’ Category

By the Numbers

A few numbers from the trip.
(The table formatting is off but I think you can figure it out.)

24 Days in travel status
21 Nights in hotels
7 Different hotels
24,896 Miles: Air miles flown (runway to runway)
24,901 Miles:

Earth’s circumference at the equator

14 Number of flights (different planes)
8 Different airports
7 PPTs given, written, or helped to write
3 Countries visited (spent over night – not just airport stops)
13 Geocaches found
2 Fish caught
77 Blog posts (including this one)
unknown Cups of coffee consumed

Friday night in Vienna

The sun is going down in Vienna and, if all goes well, the next sunset I see will be Saturday night in Western NC.

Today I dropped by the IUFRO Headquaters and then Michael took me over to his house outside the city.  Vienna is very “green”.  Lots of parks and trees and open space, still it was great to get out of the city and see more of the country side.  I even saw the begining (or ending) of the Alps – depending on your point of view.

Thursday in Vienna

It is Thursday morning in Vienna. Almost noon. I have had two cups of coffee, the temperature is warm and the sun is shining. (For the moment.)

What would you do?

K.K. Hofburgtheater

Amazing.  I wish everyone could see this place.  It takes my breath away…..

K.K. Hofburgtheater

K.K. Hofburgtheater

Dinner Time

Vienna Sausage

Vienna Sausage

Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The video does not change so just hit the play button and enjoy the music.

Hotel Blogging

Hotel Kreiner

Hotel Kreiner

’tis a rainy afternoon in Vienna.

Previously I had been joking that I brought sunshine where ever I traveled but today the rains arrived in full force.  No sprinkles here!  The lightening strikes knocked off the Internet connection at the IUFRO headquarters so I came back to the hotel to do some emails related to FORNIS along with USFS work.

Other than not being able to get an Internet connection in my room, the hotel is great.  Of course one advantage of working in the dining area is that I am offered “gas water”.  (Yes, there are two types of water.  “Gas water” and “still water”.  Of course, still water is sometimes called flat water.)

Perhaps if the rain lets up I will walk around the neighborhood.  If not, then it could be another early night….

Back in Vienna

reading lähtevät signs

reading lähtevät signs

Long day on Sunday.

I started my afternoon by “reading lähtevät signs” in the Helsinki airport, flying to Vienna, taking trains, buses, and finally a taxi until I arrived at Hotel Kreiner.  There are always people that speak English but yesterday there seemed to be fewer than usual.  This proved a little challenging since, because of track construction, the train did not go all the way to Hütteldorf and i had to try to figure out the bus system.  The unexpected extra steps in transportation were not terribly difficult, it just adds a little extra challenge when you don’t speak the language.

Since there was no Internet at the hotel last night I took the opportunity to go to the restaurant across the street and watch the last set of the Wimbledon match.  I think the Austrians were pulling for Federer to win and it was a epic ending to the match.

Last night was another great night for sleep.  Perhaps being on the road for three weeks can actually make a person tired….  ;-)

Today I am off to do a little work with Michael at the IUFRO Headquarters.  More soon! (Providing I have access to the Internet.)

“You Are A Lucky Man”

So…. this was a bit odd…..

While having lunch a man walked past me and stopped to talk.

“Deutsh?  “English?”
“I am a fortune teller.  I can see that you are a lucky man.  I can tell by your face”
“Next moth you will be three times lucky”
OK…  (I said with trepidation wondering what scam was coming my way….)
“These letters are lucky for you – these letters mean something:  ‘M’ ‘B’ ‘L'”.
I am still wondering what the heck is going on when another guy shows up and tells me to believe whatever the first man told me.  (Gotta be a scam, or so I am thinking….)
“You must determine what those letters mean.  You are very luck!  Next month.  You will see!”

Then both men walked away…..

A scam?  Perhaps, but doubtful.  They never asked me for anything or came close to me or my personal belongings.  (Or maybe it was going to be a scam and they changed their minds for some unknown reason.)

Just some odd people on the street?  Could be.  There are odd folks everywhere in the world.

Some true fotune teller?  Of couse I would like to think so.  (Thenagain, if he said that something horrible would happen I would not want him to be for real. ;-) )  Guess I’ll just have to wait and see if “M, B, and L” give me good luck next month!

Salmon Pizza

Salmon Pizza

Salmon Pizza

At mid-day I took a quick ride into town and had lunch at a sidewalk café.  (Not the Starbucks!).  In the mood for pizza I noticed an Italian place and was soooo happy to see Salmon Pizza on the menu.  I have had salmon on pizza before and I always wonder why more places do not serve this dish.  Yummy!

Traditional Viennese café

Traditional Viennese café

Traditional Viennese café

Submitted without comment.

Friday Morning in Vienna

Exciting View From My Hotel Window

Exciting View From My Hotel Window

ahh….  a good nights sleep…..

The stopover at the Vienna airport has not been cheap but I believe adding this extra day has is well worth the time and expense.  Wednesday/Thursday I could feel myself getting drained from the flight over the pond and, considering my past experiences with international travel, I need plenty of rest to make sure I stay healthy.

And thanks to Ambien, I was able to sleep though most of the night.  :-)

This morning I did a smattering of work while I had a long leisurely breakfast with LOTS of coffee to ensure that I am going to stay awake though the day and be adjust to the correct timezone.  So far, the physical adjustment has been MUCH easier than going Asia.

Now is time to gather my things.  Checkout is at noon and because I have a few hours between clearning my room and meeting Michael for our next set of flights, I plan to take the train into town in search of the famous Viennese Coffee.

Quarter Mile Radius

It is night fall at the airport and I am ready to call it a day.  Not much to report so far…..  I walked around the area (“the area” is probably not more than a quarter mile radius from the hotel and consists of the airport terminal and surrounding parking garages).  Even though a train trip into the town Centre was fairly cheap, seeing Vienna will have to wait until tomorrow or some other day.

Tomorrow will be about doing some more pre-work for the meeting, trying to find a cache, and taking a few photos.

Tomorrow night will be about staring another set of plane rides to the south east of Africa.


flag_austriaI have made it to Vienna!  Well, to be precise, I have made it to the Vienna Airport Hotel which is  about 100 meters from baggage claim at the airport.  Downtown Vienna is a few miles away and I don’t think I will be seeing that anytime soon.

The first set of flights were uneventful except for turbulence flying through a storm from AVL to ATL.  My luggage made it fine and that is a HUGE plus

Overall the 5,000+ mile trip took 21 hours (door to door).  Not too bad considering I had to go through customs in Frankfurt.

After arriving at the hotel I have slept a few hours and now my big decision is to:  a) do some more prep work for the upcoming meeting in Blantyre, b)  walk a mile to a Geocache, or c) fall back asleep…..

So far, spending “quality time” with the pillow is looking like the best option.