Thursday, March 29, 2007
Fritz & Joanna in Europe, Day 1
To get to Vienna, we first flew Emirates Airlines at 11:50 pm Wednesday (all times are local) from JFK to Hamburg. If you flew first-class (photo left) you received many perks, but economy was not so bad either, though the seats were a little cramped. Each of us was given a kit that contained socks, eye-masks and toothpaste and toothbrush. Each economy seat faced its own tv screen and the system carried something like 500 channels. Most of it was on demand. I got to see Dreamgirls. Jennifer Hudson was great and so was Eddie Murphy. The flight staff served warm damp towels to clean our hands before we ate, then delivered large trays filled with delicious ethnic food. I had chicken with basmati rice, among many other filling things.
We landed in Hamburg, Germany, around 1:30 p.m. and drank beer and watched the airplanes land and takeoff from an outdoor observation deck. Our Air Berlin flight was comfortable, leather seats. We landed in Vienna around 5:30 pm. Fritz's parents greeted us with beautiful red and peach fragrant roses. We kissed and hugged and got in everybody's way, then they drove us to the apartment we are renting in the second district of Vienna. The apartment is cute, a studio (photo right), and it's in a neighborhood similar to like below Houston Street in Manhattan. Except you walk a couple of blocks and it turns into Fifth Avenue, then industrial with a couple of spots with red lights, and there's even a festival area, since this place is about 2 blocks from the Prater, the ferris wheel that stars in the Joseph Cotten movie "The Third Man."
We went to visit Fritz's long time friend Martin, and on the walk back we stopped to take a picture across the street from the Prater. It's almost midnight in Vienna. We're ready to pass out.