Wondering in Wien

Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Vegas Hostel

Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Thursday, September 24, 2009

We decided to go to Vienna (Wien in Austrian).  We get to the railway station to find 50 people long queues.  Trains are leaving to all the main cities in the area - Prague, Budapest, Warsaw etc.  With minutes to spare we get our tickets and find ourselves on a very comfortable and empty train.  The return trip cost 11.  Bare in mind my ticket to London in the mornings costs 28.50.  Want to take a guess which one is rammed, smelly, never on time and is actually a shorter distance?

We both are surprised at how flat the landscape is.  Think we both thought that since it's Austria there would be far more hills and mountains - though there are some in the distance, there is a hella lot of flat farm land as far as the eye can see.

We arrive at Wien Sudbf station, and decide to do as we normally do - head towards the city with no map and see what happens.  We stumble upon a huge palace that these days is a gallery, known as the Belvedere.  We walk around the large landscape gardens, but ignore the actual gallery.  From here we head for 20minutes in the wrong direction altogether, because I was spending most of my time looking at the buildings rather than concentrating on my internal compass.  No harm done though, we got to see more of the city!

We pass through a nice park that straddles the River Wien, at this time of year looking more like a storm drain rather than a river.  I assume in spring when the snow melts up in the Alps that the river becomes much larger.  Things we notice are the ample cycling lanes and bench seating everywhere.  Two little details that make Vienna so welcoming.

We eventually end up in the centre of the city, at Stephansplatz, home to the massive Stephansdom (St Stephens Cathedral).  It really is quite impressive, inside and out.

From there we end up at the Museumsquartier area, home to a large number of museums and parks.  We bump into another English guy who had done the same as us - get a 4 flight to Bratislava and have a mooch around the area.  We compare hostels around Europe and make a note for the Krakow ones - they'll come in handy soon.  We also mooch around Kunsthistorisches Museum and Neue Hofburg.

Back in Bratislava we spend the evening in the old town again, walking the streets by night and taking it all in.  We end the night back in the Slovak Pub and it's neighbour KGB Bar, taking advantage of cheap but yummy drinks. 
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