23 November 2008
7 hours to London and then 2+ to Vienna. Our first time in Terminal 5 at Heathrow--very sleek and sparkly new. Huge. Way different ambiance than T2 or T3. Feels more like an upscale shopping mall, but then maybe that is the point?
Lots of smiling faces greet us at the "Nothing to Declare" entry... RK and his bride EK, DM and MP, LG, and KF. They swoop grandma, CA, and I into two cars and we head to the heart of Vienna and the Naschmarkt--hoping to eat gyros and buy freshly made hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, bread, cheese, and spices for our culinary adventures this week. But, the market has closed...
It is cold and windy. LG is excited to take a train, so we take the U-Bahn just one stop from Karlsplatz to St. Stephen's--Stephensplatz. The cathedral is continuing renovation...
Shielding from the cold at the side of the wiener cart, we eat tasty sausages with brown mustard and rye bread. And then, cross the plaza to the Segafredo cafe and warm up with hot chocolate thick with creamy foam and whipped cream. From there a short walk to our rendezvous in the lobby of the Marriott across from the Stadtpark. We have stayed here several times, and the lobby is comforting and familiar. We sit and visit and then head to the cars for the final 1-hour drive to Bratislava and Chorvatsky Grob--DM and MP's lovely home, which is warm and welcoming. 30 hours since our Saturday wake-up. 30 hours since we last slept, although CA and I napped briefly on the flight from London.
After sorting through the gifts and surprises from our suitcases, we enjoy a restful and restorative sleep--Great Grandma doesn't surface and we are torn between interrupting her sleep and wondering if we have killed her. Finished her off by walking her all about Vienna. After an hour, CA peeks in and wakes her. She claims she wasn't asleep... A point of pride that she not be the last one up?
Several cups of Vienna coffee and we settle into our week in Slovakia.