Many decades ago, when I was a very inexperienced young student, I was doing some traveling in Germany. Since I had a Eurrailpass, I decided to visit Austria and make a quick stop in Vienna, where I had never been, just to see this famous city. I was so naive that when I got out of the train station, I thought the neighborhood looked pretty ordinary. Even though I spoke German, I was too dumb to ask around and I was too poor to buy some kind of a guidebook. So I soon decided Vienna must not be as great a place as I had been led to believe.
(I suppose I was used to smaller cities in Germany, where the train station was always more or less in the middle of town, where anything worth seeing was right nearby.) In Vienna, of course, the train stations are in pretty ordinary neighborhoods on the outskirts. Well, Duh! Why would anyone want to put a train-line through the middle of a marvellous ancient town? Years later, after experts like Professor Blair Holmes had guided me around and I had brought students to Vienna myself a number of times, I felt pretty stupid. I realized that during my original visit I had not even found my way to the historical center of the city!
So now, as I end my career as Professor of German Studies at Brigham Young University, I hope my little guidebook — the written PDF version and the down-loadable MP3 audio version — will help prevent any future students from missing out on the remarkable things Vienna has to teach us. As we walk around Vienna together, you will get to know me and my quirks, which I hope are not too annoying. I only wish I could be there with you in person to get to know you, to gauge your reaction to the wonderful things you will see and experience. In any case, I hope you will find my comments useful. I invite you to send me an email and let me know a little about yourself and about what you may have discovered during your visit(s) in Vienna!
Servus! (Austrian for “your humble servant”),
Dr. Alan Keele
Professor Emeritus of German Studies