Hier At Last

welcome

Our welcoming party

Well, we made it. After an exhausting layover in London, we landed in Vienna about 6:00 p.m. Vienna time yesterday. We were greeted at the airport by the Vienna team and a couple members of the church (as well as what seemed to be a hundred kids). It was so great to see everyone and be welcomed in that way.

Apartment

Our apartment street

Thankfully, they all recognized we had extreme cases of jet lag, so they took us straight to our temporary apartment. The team set us up with this extremely nice, fully-furnished, two-bedroom apartment to house us this first month while we look for a permanent place to live (unfortunately, this one is out of our budget). We settled in and pretty much went right to sleep.

lunch

Carson and Jake at Napolean’s

Today we picked up Tobias from the airport (more on him below), ate a delicious Austrian lunch with the team (I had Wienerschnitzel and Holly had asparagus cheese noodles), and ran some errands to pick up things we needed. Then Holly and I took a trip downtown to both the 1st District and Memory Lane. Since both of us have spent entire semesters in this city before, it was like coming home to come up the U-Bahn escalator at Stephansplatz and see the majestic Stephansdom towering over us. Everything was there: the smells of street food, the hordes of tourists, the living statues, the guys dressed up like Mozart and the intense sense of history. There’s nowhere else like it.

We got old favorites like Pizza Bizi and Zanoni & Zanoni’s gelato. On our way back to our apartment in the 22nd district, we stopped by the Donauinsel – an island in the middle of the Danube river – to watch the sunset. I’d never noticed the mountains just to the west of Vienna before, but they sure stuck out this time.

Zanoni's

Zanoni’s at last

These next couple of days are full of mundane but necessary things: registering with the government, setting up a bank account, getting service for our phones and buying transportation passes. Once all that’s done we begin searching for a permanent apartment. We don’t know how long that will take, but hopefully as little time as possible. When that’s done, the real work can begin.

Keep following us here and on Facebook and Twitter (we do most of our updates on Twitter). Keep us in your prayers as we try to settle in and do all we can do become actual Austrians.

Danube

Donauinsel

Update on die Katze: Tobias the cat is here and fine. Because of some customs problems, he had to wait in London an extra night and came in on another plane this morning. We picked him up in the cargo area of the Wien Flughafen, next to huge pallets and towers of boxes and meowing enough that the whole warehouse could hear him. When he saw us, it was like a combination of relief and “Why the heck did you leave me in this cage and put me in cold and dark and loud places for two whole days??” He wasn’t happy. But he’s at the apartment now and getting settled in. He’s also not mad at us anymore.

die Katze

Us as we speak

Until we move him again in just a couple of weeks. But we’re not telling him.

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