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First Night: Imperial Hotel Vienna

The sales pitch on who we use for all our hotel bookings:

This historic Vienna hotel features a health club with gym, indoor pool with sunbathing lawn, sauna and steam room. Guests reside in a 19th century Imperial Riding School in Vienna’s diplomatic district, while enjoying the lush 2,000 m² private garden.

The boutique style Imperial Club offers uniquely designed rooms and suites with elegant furnishings. Standard features include flat — screen TVs, high — speed Internet access, safes and air conditioning.

Organic Austrian cuisine can be enjoyed at the hotel’s Borromäus Restaurant with a winter garden or on the beautiful summer terrace. The Arsenal Beer and Wine Pub proposes typical Austrian dishes and seasonal specialties of highest quality.

Guests may discover hidden gems only a local would know with Renaissance’s In-The-Know recommendations, personally curated weekly by the hotel’s Navigator.

The Ringstrasse and the city center, the opera, concert halls, theaters and museums are within easy walking distance. The Rennweg Train Station is right behind the hotel and provides a fast and direct connection to the airport (22 minutes). Various tram stops are only a few steps away.

We paid in advance last year and got an exceptionally good room rate — around 75 euros a night.

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Road Trip: Venice to Vienna

We were on a mission — not from God like Jake and Elwood in the Blues Brothers — more like hell given the number of twists and turns the week took, but more of that later. Our mission was to see Robbie Williams in concert in Vienna. Tickets for the concert here were about 50% cheaper than in the UK, so we decided we would take a break and incorporate the concert into the itinerary.

Once we had our precious tickets, we then proceeded to work out the most acceptable way for us to travel. Acceptable to us includes the following criteria — cost, opportunity to see new places, have new adventures, explore new and different cultures, make the most of opportunities, tasting new food and wines, hotels with bath and shower, the opportunity to learn, and most importantly for me, a means of travel which allows me to photograph.

We chose to travel using the motorway network — mainly for speed and our lack of geographical knowledge.

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Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing 13-53 Flat Wound Guitar Strings Review

A month ago, we reviewed the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz BeBop 12-50 guitar strings, and today, we are reviewing their heavier brother, the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing 13-53 Flat Wound guitar strings — the heaviest gauge guitar string TI makes in that cycle.  As I dip deeper into Jazz, finding the right tone is another ongoing mission, and the TI Jazz Swing flat wounds are uniquely different in three ways than the previously reviewed Jazz BeBops — other than just being all-around thicker.

Continue reading → Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing 13-53 Flat Wound Guitar Strings Review