Budapest and Slovakia had history, but after entering Vienna, it was like entering another world. The trip there was filled with eco-friendly windmill power plants all over the countryside, leading to a train station more similar to a high-tech airport than anything else on our trip so far. All the farmlands look like manicured lawns and the streets are wide and clean. I can honestly say I have never felt safer in my life.
Vienna was for decades seated as the capitol of the Austro-Hungarian empire and before that, also the Holy Roman Empire. So in a sense, it has been the centre of the western world for much of history. That explains why every building screams opulence.