Friday, June 5, 2015

Day 9: Vienna Bound

got on to my night train from Hannover to Vienna. When I got to my cabin I was overwhelmed by how incredibly small each space was. The bunk beds were in a three tiered configuration and it looked like there was maybe a 2 foot clearance between them. As I lay my bags away, I went to the toilet and when I returned, there was an elderly couple who were trying to get up to the highest bunk. At that point, I didn't care, I wanted out.

I sought out my conductor and she placed me in a room with 4 beds and one other companion. I didn't realize my ticket gave me free breakfast of coffee & two rolls.
There was no showers just the toilet so there really wasn't much to do but sleep. I guess I must like the motion because I fell asleep immediately and the next thing I know, Vienna was calling itself Wein.

The directions to my hostel was perfect, I got there easily and was able to leave the majority of my luggage in storage. I grab water from the Hofer market which was what we called Aldi. It was the same layout and cheap.

Then I went looking to buy the Vienna pass and take advantage of the easiness of the program as I had seen it work in Berlin. But whereas in Berlin where it was just a receipt for the day, my 2day pass was a credit card looking thing on a lanyard.

I rode the 5 lines, checking out which sights I wanted to see in greater depth tomorrow. My first trip was to get dropped off to take a 2hr Danube River tour. It was another £21 but I didn't mind. I would be cruising on the Danube.

I had a 45min wait so I decided to look for lunch. I tried a durem wrap, is what one man tried to explain it to me. It looked like a gyro. Mistake one, I went for the chicken, mistake two I got the sprinkling of spice. It was a large sandwich, but it was also fiery. After only eating half, I had to throw it away. Besides, I was very full now.

The Danube is reduced to canals inside the city of Vienna and some reviewers cited the preponderance of graffiti that detracted from the less than sterling views of the canal. But it didn't take long for the cement to give way to greenery and for us to make our way out to the Danube. Then we got the treat of being locked in a sluice gate and watching the gates closed and the rising water. 

I wondered in awe at what a feat of mechanical engineering this was. It wasn't the Panama Canal but it was just as cool. I haven't visited the Panama Canal yet and if I do, I'll make a real comparison.

We continued down to see some interesting sights along the banks. 
One on side a church that looked like it belonged in a Viennese waltz. But directly across was a new section with fascinating buildings. 

Then took it upon myself to disembark at a location different then when I embarked, hoping to catch another bus with a different route.

I ran like a little Japanese boy with my backpack jiggling on my back, but I didn't make the bus. All that running for nothing! Unfortunately, it took another 30min before the next bus and now it was closing in on mid afternoon.

I returned to simply enjoy the ride and the free and nicely fast wifi on the bus and made my transfer to the State Opera House where I waited for another line to take me to the area where my hostel was. 

I walked around the block and found another destination, Sacher Hotel and the Albertina which I will pay visit to tomorrow. 

Then I didn't have to pay extra to ride on the subway! It was brilliant. Now I knew I had a ride all day tomorrow.

When I got back, my room was a much bigger space and a 6 female dorm. It was a bigger space and actually very peaceful. Again the others were all very respectful of each other's privacy and space. 

I reviewed my maps and let's see what tomorrow brings.

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