August 5th â€“ September 2, 2014
We left the boat in our marina in KaÅŸ, Turkey on the 5th of August and flew to Vienna. Itâ€™s super hot in Turkey in July and August and after shvitzing for the month of July we were happy to pack a couple of back-packs and fly to cooler parts of the world for a few weeks. Fortunately for us we have sailing friends who live in Vienna who were kind enough to let us live in their beautiful apartment while they went off for their summer sail. Our friends Alex and Peter and their 14 year old son Finn, are good friends of ours whom we first met in 2007 in the Galapagos. After sailing with them throughout French Polynesia, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand for much of our first year at sea, they continued on with their circumnavigation and eventually returned home to work in Vienna.
We were excited to see them again and we had a great time together for a few days as they prepared to drive to Italy (where they now keep their boat). Then we moved into their apartment and had a wonderful 2 weeks enjoying both the apartment and the many beautiful parts of Vienna and getting to know and love Viennese food and desserts. We had great weatherâ€¦ hot for a few days and then cool with a nice mix of sunshine and clouds and an occasional rainy day. There is so much to do in Vienna and the public transport is terrific and cheap. We were lucky enough to spend an evening with Nathaniel Lepp (one of Benâ€™s good friends), who was in Vienna with Steph (his wife) to attend a friendâ€™s wedding.
Some of the things we enjoyed during the time we were there include:
â€¢ TÃ¼rkenschanzpark â€¦ our favorite park just a block away from the apartment;
â€¢ FiglmÃ¼ller Restaurant â€¦ known for its schnitzel;
â€¢ CafÃ© PrÃ¼ckel â€¦ the most delightful place to spend a rainy afternoon and drink coffee;
â€¢ Stadtparkâ€¦. Interesting statues, especially when you have your iPad with you so you can find out who all these famous people are;
â€¢ Italian restaurant (I Tricolori) â€¦ near the movie theater we frequentedâ€¦ delicious pizza ;
â€¢ Kunst Historisches Museum â€¦. a million artifacts from the time of the Habsburgs;
â€¢ Landtmann CafÃ©â€¦ one of our favorites for apple strudel (with whipped cream!) and previously a hangout for famous Viennese such as Freud;
â€¢ WÃ¼rstelstÃ¤ndeâ€¦. Yummy Viennese sausages sold in many places throughout the city ;
â€¢ Meyerei CafÃ© â€¦ in TÃ¼rkenschanzpark Park. Great ribs, amazing desserts, nice waiters;
â€¢ Schoenbrunn Palace…of the ruling Hapsburgs ;
â€¢ Jewish Museumâ€¦. Two separate museums, one with a special exhibit dedicated to Amy Winehouseâ€¦.. not exactly what we were expecting, but actually very interesting ;
â€¢ Salmannsdorfâ€¦ great walk in the vineyards;
â€¢ Rathausplatz… free movies on a giant screen every night and dozens of food vendors and thousands of attendees. We saw a spectacular concert there (on screen) with Gloria Estefan, also some opera and operetta on other nights;
â€¢ PÃ¶tzleinsdorf Park â€¦. So beautiful;
â€¢ Plachutta Restaurant where we had the Tafelspitz (boiled beef) speciality
On August 21st we left Vienna and rode the train to Davos, Switzerland. What a beautiful ride. It took about 9 hours and we enjoyed every minute of it. We even took a 1st class compartment as they had a special deal for â€œseniorsâ€ which we couldnâ€™t pass up. In Davos we rented a lovely 2 bedroom apartment, also owned by sailing friends of ours. Our friends share this house with their family and often ski there in the winter. It is not used much in the summer so it was available for us to rent. Davos was great, but a bit cold and rainy. Temperatures were often in the 50â€™s and we had some rain most every day. Still, it was nice enough to go for a couple hour hike almost every day and there are so many paths there that you could hike for a whole summer just in the immediate vicinity. There is also a beautiful lake in town. It was easy to hop on a bus or a train and go to some of the surrounding towns to hikeâ€¦ one of our favorite hikes was in the valley of Dischma Tal and a small village called Teufi. There were a couple of very convenient stores just a few minutes walk from our apartment so we stocked up on food and ate at home most nights. Restaurant prices were outrageous. One day we took a very scenic train-ride to St. Moritzâ€¦ really spectacular ride.
On September 1st we took the train to Zurich and Hannahâ€™s good Swiss friend Adina met us and brought us to her parentâ€™s house. We got to meet her parents, Sammy and Katia and had a wonderful dinner at their home and then spent the night there. Really wonderful people.
September 2nd we flew back to Turkey. We had to spend the night in Antalya as we did not arrive there until mid-night and it is a 3.5 hour drive back to KaÅŸ from there. We stayed at the Laguna Suites Hotel, a 2 star hotel, that is pretty comfortable and clean and fine for a one night stay.