Today’s Tribune column: “History and sausages in Vienna.”


There are no kangaroos in Austria, and for an outsider who doesn’t speak German, the Viennese can seem a bit detached. In spite of a zealous tourist industry and its status as an internationally connected city, Vienna remains firmly itself — self-aware, smart, and world weary.

Even now, decades past its imperial prime, there is a cosmopolitan reserve and a daily recognition of the past’s influence on the present, neither of which stand in the way of innovation and forward thinking. The attitude of the Viennese is deserved, and as a sandbagging visitor of long practice, it has never offended me. The coffee’s pretty damned good, too, and no one, nowhere, serves it quite the same way.

BAYLOR: History and sausages in Vienna

… later on the very same day in 1985, I saw Franz Ferdinand’s blood-stained tunic and the restored automobile in which he rode to his death, both on display at Vienna’s military museum, itself filled with relics of far more battles lost than won. The Habsburgs didn’t conquer their empire through battlefield prowess. Rather, they married into it, piece by piece.

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