[Please tolerate any typos… this is being typed on a European laptop…  z and y are switched, thereäs all sorts of rearranged characters, and the spellcheck is Deutsch.]

ReedPOP is hosting their first Vienna Comic Con this weekend! Looking at the calendar, this coincided with my annual ten-day Thanksgiving vacation (which uses only three vacation days from work).  I invited a geeky friend from my college days to travel along with me, and she’ll be taking pictures for us as well as providing a “con virgin” report later.

My direct flight on Austrian Airlines left at 6 PM Thursday out of JFK, and arrived at 2 AM Friday (8 AM local time). Along the way, I assimilated my mind over to German mode (not unlike Buzz Lightyear being reset to Spanish mode in Toy Story 3) by watching Disney’s Frozen for the second time.

The service was excellent! Dinner and breakfast, wine, drinks, much better than what you find on most domestic carriers, and at a very good price! There is an express train to the city center, and we navigated our ways to the Vienna Messe convention center. The press center wasn’t set up yet, so we acclimated ourselves to the large center (where staff used scooters to traverse the empty corridors) and took a few pictures of the preparations.

This is the beginning of the convention center.  As the sign says, Hall D is ten minutes by foot. Or two more subway stations. (It’s not that bad…about the same length as Javits or San Diego.)
Weapons control
The plan. It does not occupy the entire hall.
The directory. It’s very compact… reminiscent of the first NYCC or NY Anime Festivals.
Panel stage / autograph area / hanging rooms / token vending (for celebrity photos) / VIECC merchandise / ID control / coat check / restrooms (WC)

After this, we waited in a pub (Bier Beisl was the name) drinking a variety of coffees, until the landlord arrived to let us intooo the apartment we rented for $75 a night. One room with a double bed, one room with two twins, plus one bed in the kitchen. A huge kitchen, a huge living room (seating for six, could sleep two on the couches plus the floor), a separate shower and bath with a towel rack/radiator, toilet separate from the bathroom…  An amazing space!

We took a nap, then we hit the grocery store! ach du liebe… speck (smoked and air-cured bacon…but better than bacon, not cooked!), chocolate, everything! Oh, and ketchup flavored Pringles!

We then went walking, and discovered a great restaurant… I had Tafelspitz…Austrian “meat and potatoes”…boiled beef with vegetables! Potato salad…more like hashbrowns, not the American picnic variety. My friend had a very tender beef stroganoff. The restaurant sources a lot of ingredients locally, and I highly recommend dining there!

Afterwards, we wandered through the Prater (think “Coney Island” meets “Central Park”) it was 8pm, in a very wet November evening, and I couldn’t help but think of all those Scooby Doo cartoons I watched as a child! The Christmas market opens Saturday, so we’ll return again!

More wandering, which included the cops congregating on the Danube searching for a lost body?, then back home to dry off and do a little web work!