Three days in Vienna

October 30 2003

More glamorous business travel.... seven hours transit time from my hotel room in London yesterday to my hotel room here in Vienna.  I hadn't ever realized this before, but Heathrow is not the best place to be if your flight is delayed.  Because gates are announced "just in time", a delayed flight is conveyed only via a stern "Please wait" on the departure monitors.  It didn't help that a ticketing mix-up that United claimed to have resolved in Chicago on Monday was in fact not resolved, putting me in a bad mood to start.  Nonetheless, the flight itself was pleasant enough -- the gentleman next to me, who looked to be about my age, was on his very first flight!  I guess I really have come to take travel for granted, but it was a good reminder of how many people are not interested, not able, or afraid of flying.
With only about 90 minutes of daylight left after I arrived, I didn't get to see too much yesterday.  What I did see surprised me -- this is a much bigger city than I expected.  It has a very classic continental look about it, and the people seem nice enough.  The trappings of home aren't far away (Starbucks is here! In the city that defines the traditional coffeehouse!), but mostly, it feels Vienesse.  I don't have a high speed connection (the hotel has "in room Internet", but it's WebTV), so it will be a while before I can spin up a photo album.  I am also planning on taking the train over to Bratislava, Slovakia -- I guess mainly because I can, and because the Slovakian capital city should be interesting to check out.
By the way, have I mentioned how great the daytime flight from Chicago to London is?  As Carl Tyler suggested, it's biggest benefit has been no jet lag.  None.  Yes, I'm using my usual twin trappings of caffiene in the morning, melatonin at bedtime, but I absolutely have not felt tired during the day, which is a first.

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