|James in the streets of Vienna|
Jamie and I had originally scheduled a trip to Germany for winter break 2013. My parents and niece were going to meet us in Germany for the break. We booked our tickets in March 2013, way in advance which got us a better deal.
About 3 weeks later, we found out Jamie was pregnant and the due date was very close to our winter break. With the baby to be born in Saudi, the paperwork for birth certificates, passport, and exiting and re-entering the country would take too long, so there was simply no way to go to Germany.
Mom and Dad switched their tickets and came here instead. I frantically searched for a new location to use our tickets. Turkish Airlines said that we could use our tickets, but had to travel before March.
So we decided to go to Vienna, Austria for this 4 day weekend in February.
It is the first time Alex was out of the country and his first flight.
We packed pretty much the night before, but we had a 2:55 am flight. We left for the airport and had some trouble issuing an infant ticket for Alex. Dammam airport has to be the worst airport in the world. No other airport comes close. The man running the counter simply just did not want to issue the infant ticket. He had to go take care of something else and said it was his choice to "refuse" us. While we did arrive a little later than usual for check in, this is something that they could have done quite easily. Plus, none of their other check in agents were trained in how to issue an infant ticket. I finally convinced the guy to do it, but he would only give Alex and I a boarding pass for the trip to Istanbul. Extremely frustrating. That airport has become progressively worse and worse each year we have been here.
We made it to Istanbul and only had about an hour or so layover before continuing to Vienna at 10:00 am. We took a bus straight to city center and walked a few blocks to our hotel, Hotel Austria. It had great reviews on Tripadvisor, and we are very pleased. It is very close to everything downtown.
We checked in quickly and headed out to a quick Austrian lunch of wienerschnitzel. We headed back to the hotel and refreshed and napped a bit before heading out. We finally walked around about 3:00 and headed toward St. Stephen's Cathedral, the most popular attraction in Vienna. After roaming around a little more, we decided to try to find this little Italian restaurant that had great reviews. It was early, so they place hadn't opened yet. Nonetheless, they were full for the evening. We decided to eat at this little pizza place we had passed and it was pretty decent.
Everyone crashed that night and we all received about 10 hours of sleep. Yes!