In the morning of our 17th day, we cleaned up and packed. We then took the RER C train and then the RER B train to the Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport. We awkwardly had to leave the station at St. Michell–Notre Dame to buy another set of tickets for the airport and then re-enter the subway as we were not able to buy the right ticket at the RER C station (Javel) where we began our trip.
Other than that little detour, our journey went smoothly. Our plane to Vienna was slightly delayed, but the flight itself was a breeze as most of us dozed off. We finally landed in Vienna around 4 pm.
As we arrived much earlier than the Masterworks Tour group, we ordered our own shuttle to “Mercure” hotel in Vienna (for €60). Upon checking in, we settled into our rooms, and went around to explore. Karol, Keane, Michał, and Naomi stumbled upon a Kangaroo Bar (there is a fair amount of Australian references in Austria, probably poking fun at some travelers confusing the two countries!) where we sampled our first Austrian beers. The verdict was mixed and we decided more tastings will be required to arrive at a verdict.
In the evening, there was some confusion – we would later find out that the itinerary we received from World Projects would often be adjusted –and the dinner was moved from our hotel to a restaurant on the other side of Vienna! The bus also left 15 minutes earlier than what we expected based on the itinerary and, Naomi Lena and Michał had to take an uber, while Scott and Marcus rerouted their airport shuttle to drop them directly to the restaurant!
The dinner in the large restaurant hall consisted of a beef broth, wiener schnitzel with a side of potatoes, and an Apfelstrudel for dessert. In case anyone was still not convinced they were in Austria, an accordion player serenaded the group during the meal. With all the stereotypes professionally affirmed by a venue that expertly caters to American groups, everyone surely felt they received an authentic experience!
In the later evening, Karol, Keane, Michał went on a night walk around town to explore further and get their bearings for the next day. Vienna was not short on night life and it was both a pedestrian and bicycle friendly. We also noted that everyone seems to observe traffic lights and there are almost no jaywalkers. Having had our first taste of Austria, we got back to the hotel, ready for the next day.