The next day, we decided to spend as much time as possible in Vienna again. We had not seen many of the sights such as the super-rich’s homes that the concierge had mentioned at the hotel. We took the train back to the city center and walked around this time seeing a University that was started much before Harvard – the University of Vienna. The University was founded in 1365! The University has an inventory of 6.6 books out of which the Historia Naturalis is the oldest, published in 1469!
The Austrian Parliament building is another example of the pride that Austrians have about the architectural abundance the city possesses. From Wikipedia – ‘The building saw tumultuous years during the late years of the declining multi-ethnic Austrian monarchy stretching from Dalmatia to Bukovina, as the House of Representatives was extremely fractious with tensions among liberals and conservatives, German nationalists and Young Czech deputies, as well as between the government and parliament. It became notorious for filibusters, parliamentary brawls and undisciplined deputies throwing inkwells at each other as a common feature.’
We walked into a delightful little coffee/ice-cream shop with the typical sidewalk seating. It was much welcome infusion of sugar. Ever since I started my diet and workouts to reduce weight since the last holidays, I had not eaten more than two scoops of ice-cream in nearly five and a half month. I was keeping tracking of my calorie intake and workouts at www.mapmyrun.com. But it became harder to track the food on the vacation. I was getting an average of 5000-10000 steps per day so far and I knew I was getting my required dose of daily activity. So there was no guilt as I indulged in a spoon of ice-cream! I did get my share later on in the vacation, but at this shop it was a latte for me. In Europe, the food is as much about presentation as it is about quality. This was also a sort of first in over five months to have a full-fat milk latte.
Some souvenir shopping and we were ready for lunch. Tian is an exclusively vegetarian place in the heart of the city. It was marked $$$ in some of the online reviews. The service was top-class and food too, but the quantity was puny even for European standards. Imagine drinking soup that is all of 5 ounces and a salad place that is all on a 3-inch diameter plate – almost ridiculous. It was well over 2:30 PM when we finished lunch. It was time to leave one of our most favorite cities we had visited. After picking up the bags from the hotel and setting up the GPS to Prague, The Czech Republic we were on our way for another 330+ kilometers on the road. My Garmin GPS was working like a charm.