Friday, May 25, 2012

We Meet Lukas and Karin and Jakob

05/25, Friday
I stuffed myself at breakfast with traditional Austrian fare...eggs, pastry, meat, cereal, cheese, more pastry, and lots of coffee...strong.

Cousin Jack's contact in Vienna, Lukas and Karin Mayerhofer, are our hosts for the next several days. Their home is within 4 minutes walk of our hotel, so we arrive by 11:30, after just a minor confusion of the address. It's a beautiful weather day with temps in the 70s.

What a wonderful couple!! Lukas carried both of our heavy bags (at least 50 pounds each) up three flights. Their home is on the top two floors of the building which is probably 100 years old. Karin has a great eye for decorating, in fact, she and a friend are in that business together. Lukas is off to work...he rides a motor bike. Their son, Jacob, is at school until 2:00. It's a long weekend...Monday is a holiday. Their place is wonderful, warm and quite unique. They do welcome us with open arms, just like cousin said they would.

Karin informs us of things to see and do in Vienna, which we follow to a 'T'. U-Bahn #1 to the Danouinsel (Danube Island) stop. Find a bike rental (which Mom persists in finding although it is not easy to locate, and I'm doubting). Ride on the island paths which are paved for 28km. This is a manmade island and of course no cars.Spending time on a beautiful day biking with the Danube on both sides is quite nice!

We then U-Bahn back to the Belvedere, two palaces built for Prince Eugene of Savoy, a summer palace and a winter palace separated by a 500-yard garden. They are opulent and maintained perfectly. Today they house an art museum of primarily Austrian artists including Gustav Klimt. You will probably recognize one of his art pieces below. The rooms themselves are beautiful art pieces and there are marvelous views of the gardens. The gardens are only a few minutes walk to Lukas and Karen's home.

Lukas arrives home from work at 6:30 and we're off for dinner by 7:30 at a neighborhood restaurant, Sperl's, and sit outside. Great, fun dinner and their son, Jacob, meets us there after going to the movies with friends. We sit outdoors on their rooftop deck when we return home and have some special Austrian red wine. Really, really a nice family.

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