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Kristi
The Boy, 2 Muttleys and I have finally realized our dream of living 1 mile from the Lindt Chocolate Factory. Leaving Atlanta (the World of Coke) for Zurich (the World of Chocolate) hasn't come without challenges, incredible fun or giggles. Follow along as I chronicle our adventures as we acclimate to this new Swiss lifestyle.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Beer and Wine

A little Vienna Opera action
The Boy and I just returned from a visit to Munich and Vienna.  We traveled with the Boy's brother Andrew and his girlfriend Paige, both of whom had never been to Europe before.  It was a real treat to see Europe through the eyes of two newbies.  Having lived here now for over a year, I have started to take all the oldness and cuteness and cobbly-stoned-ness for granted. They reminded me why I love this place so much and why I chose to uproot my life in Atlanta to move here.

Let's get the painful part out of the way.  It was fracking cold outside making even us seasoned travelers want to shed icicle tears and kill fuzzy bunnies.  It also made us lazy picture takers even lazier. We took photos, just not a lot of them.  The cold weather also made for extended museum stays where it looked like I really appreciated the 500 ways to paint Baby Jesus and his Mom.

If I were to rename both cities, I would call Munich "Beer" and Vienna "Wine".  Munich is considered to be the beer capital of the world and is a very laid back, approachable city.  It is the kind of city that reminds you of throwing back a cold one as you sit contentedly in a "chair in a bag" chair.  It is a city rich in history with every story containing some sort of anecdote about beer. Did you know that beer alone was responsible for preventing the entire city from burning down and even cured thousands of the black plague?  

Nothing says "shop like you have money" like exterior chandeliers
Vienna is "Wien" in German, which looks a lot like "Wine" but not the reason why I would rename it so. Compared to Munich, Vienna appears to be a much more refined city. The architecture is more ornate, the streets aren't littered in broken glass and there seemed to be a Prada store on every corner. Additionally, Vienna is known for its wine shops, wine bars and well, good wine. Even so, it isn't pretentious. It is smooth, like a nice glass of Gruener Veltliner.

Is one better than the other?  I guess that depends if you are a beer or wine person. Years ago I proclaimed that Vienna was my favorite European city but now I am not so sure. The more I travel, the less I want to have a favorite city.  I still love it but I think I prefer it when it is in bloom and a bit warmer.  You can dress up cold and grey, but at the end of the day, it is still cold and grey.  

2 comments:

Katherina said...

Did you know that Vienna was ranked first on Mercer's list regarding quality of living in 2010?
http://www.mercer.com/qualityoflivingpr#City_Ranking_Tables

I actually thought it was going to be Zurich, and was impressed!

Kristi said...

Yep, Vienna and Zurich constantly jockey for the #1 and #2 spots. It is about as suspenseful as it gets on the "quality of life" rankings.