This was my second trip into Austria. Driving again and for the first time while it was snowing. The temperatures outside were really down the scale during our onward journey, reaching -8 to -10 at places. But salutes to German engineering, there was not one trace of snow on the Autobahns even the though the area around it was covered in a think white blanket of snow.

We started off from Plochingen in the evening and reached Vienna by midnight. We were hosted again by Sandeep’s cousin Soumya chechi (of Chicken Bonn fame ;)). It was tough finding her house because our navi was not working outside Germany and the signs in Vienna were poor even compared to Indian standards!

Next day morning, we drove to the Schloss Schonbrunn. The city roads of Vienna were not ice-free as the autobahns and handling the car on ice was a pretty scary experience in the traffic of Vienna! The schloss was quite good and I was impressed by the Princess ‘Sissi’ who once lived there – for once a European princess was actually beautiful :)

After a brief stay there, we drove towards the city center. There we walked around the quite charming city and somewhere in the city we found the desi ‘Cafe Coffee Day’! It cost us a lot, but the welcome we got was pretty cool. They even gave us a bag of coffee as we left. The place seems to be pretty popular in Vienna too.. way to go India! After the CCD experience, we went to a huge Christmas market right outside the ‘Rathaus’. The Christmas market had a brilliant atmosphere with the numerous stalls selling a variety of curios, hordes of people chirping away, children riding ponies, a live band playing and even a glimpse of the Vienna mayor! We ended our day with a visit to the parliament building which has some beautiful Greek sculptures adoring its front yard.

The next day was mostly spent at home cooking away. After another nice meal we bid farewell to Soumya chechi…

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