How to deal with the Viennese
Vienna is a modern and very traditional city at the same time; to get a first impression, just take a short walk around the "Ringstrasse" and from the Opera to St Stephens Cathedral.
I bet, you will rarely find many Viennese there, it may be yet rather important to know, how to deal with them:
Viennese are friendly and helpful, as long as you are not schoolmastering or showing them, that you are better educated, richer, more intelligent or capable of languages, your Viennese counterpart is not. Unfortunately the knowledge of foreign languages is comparable with the UK or US, i.e.rare, but increasing with the younger generation.
In fact, many Viennese suffer from a sort of inferiority-complex, combined with a little fear of making themselves a fool, when discussing with a stranger. Be nice to them, and they will be nice to you and do their utmost, to make your stay pleasant.
Just do them a few - free of charge - favours: Bid them a "Good Morning", "Guten Tag"(Good Day), "Auf Wiedersehen", when you enter a waiting room, a shop or a restaurant. "Bitte" and "Danke" (Please and Thank You) are also nice phrases, unfortunately not always heard, when appropriate. Viennese food can be a gift and a torture as well - (being away from Vienna)
The most beautiful impressions of Vienna will be the sights of the "Ringstrasse" in spring, the old historic buildings, mixed with the impressive new Vienna of the recent years.
Take a walk by the Donau-channel in summer and visit the "Summer Stage" or the Vienna Festival from May till the end of June. In summer there are daily performances infront of the Town Hall, a lot of foodstalls and music in the air. Come to Vienna on New Years Eve and walk the "Silvesterpfad" (New years path) across the city. You will then feel, what I`m talking about here !
Strange floating orange box.
We were strolling by a canal near central Wien when we stumbled upon a strange big orange box. After some questions, It was actually some sort of a resort with swimming pool, restaurant and a club. Very cool facilities inside a strange looking ship! But who wants to take a swim in there when you can swim at the Danube? :)
Grinzing is an area in the north-west of Vienna and it is ´famous for its wine and the great "Heurigen". The expression was derived from the new wine of this year (=heuer) and by law a Heuriger has certain restrictions to follow : They may serve only their OWN wines and food that was produced by them. Ask the local people for their favorite Heurigen or take one of the tours to Grinzing :
Vienna Sightseeing offers a "Grinzing Serenade" for 64 Euros
and it includes a ride in the Giant Ferris Wheel / Riesenrad
a Heurigen-show with singers and Viennese operettas
the dinner, including 1/4 litre of wine
The 3,5 hours-tour starts daily at 07.30p.m. mar 25th-nov.1st
and 07.00p.m. nov.4th-dec.23rd ONLY at Tue/Fr/Sa
and 07.00p.m. dec.25th-jan. 2nd daily !! Of course you may organize a tour through Grinzing also on your own, or with the help of a local friend !
DON'T go there with your car -
police-controlls are quite strict in that area !!
You may take first the U-bahn to Heiligenstadt and change there
to the buses 10A, 11A, 38A, 39A
I first visited Vienna as a callow youth in 1967 with friends from the University of Salzburg, where I was studying. I remember picnicking in a corner of the park surrounding Schönbrunn Palace on a blustery fall day with the wind blowing dead leaves into our food, all the while on the look-out for groundskeepers because we were neither supposed to be on the grass nor eating food brought in.
Photo: Schönbrunn Palace, Maria Theresa's superb country estate on the outskirts of town -- or at least they were the outskirts in the 18th Century!
My impression is the Austrians are very industriuos people. They seem a very hard working culture. When we spotted this statue above a building on one of our many city walks we thought it was appropriate.