Pilgrimage to Vienna - a bleg

This Friday I'm flying overseas to lovely & majestic Wien to spend the Christmas holidays. The trip is of course to see the birthplace of the Austrian school of economics and not at all because my buddy & his family live there and want me to come and hang out for a while and see the sights. Nope. Not that at all.

So since this will be my first time to Europe, let alone Austria, I was wondering if anyone in our widely traveled audience might have suggestions on places to see, things to do, etc., while I'm in the Osterreich region. I'm planning on hitting Prague, Budapest, and Salzburg while I'm over there, so suggestions about those areas (mainly Prague as my buddy loves the town and we'll likely spend more than a day tooling about) are welcome too.

Danke in advance. :beatnik:

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The only place in Eastern

The only place in Eastern Europe I've been is Prague - it took me 23 hours on a tran (From Marseilles, France) to get there, but it was worth every minute. Plus, I was in a sleeper car on a clean german train, with my laptop for most of the ride, by myself.

Prague is pretty much the only major European city that is untouched after the world wars - this is due basically to their policy of acquiescing to the invaders, but it has left them with some astonishing architecture. Wish I would've had more time there to take in the sights, the $1 pints of Pilsner Urquell or Budvar, and the night clubs that stay open til 7am.

While you're there, be sure

While you're there, be sure to visit the Birthplace Of Austrian Economics Monument - I hear it's magnificent.

The great library of the

The great library of the monestary at Melk is nearby -- definitely worth a day trip from Vienna!

Be sure to check out the

Be sure to check out the Opera House in Vienna and have a drink at the Bristol, next door. Climb to the top of St Stephens (I think that's the name but could be wrong) cathedral, which is several blocks behind the opera house and Bristol hotel (you can't miss it.. giant church thing). Somewhere near that cathedral is the place that supposedly invented the Wiener Schnitzel. It's on a side street, with a dark green awning. Awesome. Have fun.

Oh, and check out Prater.

Oh, and check out Prater. It's an old amusement park with the Riesenrad, which is a 100+ year old ferris wheel. Very neat. The park itself is a joy, combining cheesy carnival type rides, old school carnival type rides, interesting music playing (french rap, austrian techno) and Beer.

Salzburg, yes! Schloss

Salzburg, yes! Schloss Hellbrunn with its trick water fountains, the Salt Mines, Konigsee, and Berchtesgaden are all within a few hours of each other. If it's open this time of year, you can see the pinnacle of socialism at Eagle's Nest, near Berchtesgaden.

.. and drop an email in case

.. and drop an email in case you're more in the west (Belgium) :smile:

Austria? Blechhh... Way too

Austria? Blechhh... Way too much government. A society in decay feeding on the built up capital from the past. Plus, everything closes early. It was fun to scam the Vienna and Salzburg public transportation.

I spent a semester in

I spent a semester in Budapest, and one of my classmates there wrote a restaraunt guide:

http://www.research.att.com/~aarcher/Budapest/

Ben- I dunno if I'd go that

Ben-

I dunno if I'd go that far. Austria seems to run itself as a combination of (a) giant theme park and (b) commercial hub. The (a) comes from the built up capital of the past but it's not eating into the feedcorn per se to trade in nostalgia. The (b) is capital generating and plays into what I think has always been the core competency of Austrians (the people), which is diplomacy and shady dealings. Let's face it, historically speaking the Austrian military is colossally inept and bumbling. The Polish had to save them from the Turks when Vienna was beseiged, and only by a stroke of luck did the Austrians march into Serbia one time (once), and then Austrian military incompetence promptly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and routed themselves back to the Croatian/Hungarian frontier. Its a story of loss after loss after loss whenever a competent foe took the field against the Hapsburgs. But the Hapsburgs always came back due to being shifty bastards adept in back alley dealings- er, diplomacy. That ability seems to be at the heart of international finance/commerce, and I don't see any diminution of said bastardly ability amongst latter day Austrians, so more power to 'em. At least this time they're just helping OPEC and other organizations connive, rather than using back alley dealings to gain political supremacy over peoples and regions.

The fact that Austria is one of the richer European countries, per capita, would seem to belie the idea that they're on their way down...

Brian, if you can in any way

Brian, if you can in any way shape or form , open an account in Leichtestein or Austria, put enough balance in it to keep em happy. and forget it. one of these days, you'll really wish you had. its one of the most liberating and beautiful acts beside sex. denying the filth thier stolen goods is an exteme joy very few can still recieve.:lol: