Happy Birthday Mum from Vienna!

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Mum... hope you've had a wonderful day. I'll try to ring you a bit later when, hopefully, you'll be home. I realise how busy you are on the weekends and do hope I can catch you before I head off to Vienna's palace. The call centres are excellent here in Austria and cost only 9 cents per minute to ring Australia.

Well Vienna is an absolutely stunning city and I'm so glad I've had an opportunity to visit. I feel kind of priviledged to have been able to immerse myself in such beauty. Even though I've got a good feeling for the city, you need money to do it justice... probably around the $200 a day mark. My budget hasn't given me the opportunity to do the many tours on offer and I've yet to visit the orchestra, Vienna boys choir and opera (not that I'm interested in the latter). But everwhere you go, you are immersed in the classic music of Mozart etc. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here and will come back. I'd probably recommend at least a week next time, and bring heaps of cash. Doing it with someone else (preferably a partner) would be even better... it's got a very romantic feel to it. I couldn't believe the open air festival opposite the Town Hall where hundreds and hundreds of people were watching the opera on a huge screen. Even though Perth is a beautiful city, after visiting such exquisite places, I can now see why Perth sometimes attracts the 'Dullsville' label. I look forward to the day where cafes and outdoor entertainment precincts line the Swan River so we can compete with the world stage.

The Strawberry hostel has been simply fantastic and great value. It is in such a great location, close to the main station and main street. Getting around is also a sinch with a great U-bahn. Last night I had the room to myself which was very much needed, for I haven't had my own space since leaving Perth. Given that I'm way over budget for the year, I am very much limiting my expenditure now and have no alternative but to do it on the cheap. The hostel has large rooms, own ensuites, all facilities and the friendliest staff. Why stay in an expensive hotel when you can stay here?

Friday night was awesome. I went to the 'Why Not' club which was highly recommended by the local guides. I don't normally stay too late at clubs but simply got addicted to the outstanding music, friendly patrons and excellent dance floor. I danced away the night and met a few interesting travellers from the states, Kuwait along with a few friendly Viennesse locals. There was no cover charge and the drinks were a very respectable 3 euro. Who says Vienna can break the budget? I stayed till 5am and when I left it was light outside. But I still got disoriented and very lost in Vienna. It took me 3 hours to get back to my hostel because I had to rely on public transport and local knowledge to get me home... some people sent me in the wrong direction getting me extra lost.

Getting back to the hostel was bliss and I fell asleep very quickly but couldn't really sleep. Kept getting disrupted by phone calls from the front desk to see if the other girl had left the room.

During my stay I've managed to visit many of the famous buildings here in Vienna. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Tonight I will be catching an overnight train to Rome. It takes about 14 hours and I have booked another 4 bed compartment at a cost of 35 euros. I depart Vienna at 19:35 and get into Rome at 9am. I have no accommodation booked... I've given up on Hostelworld and will simply rock up and go to the room booking service at the train station. I don't know what to expect of Rome - when 20, I only spent 1 day here because I hated it. Might have a different perspective this time. I can't wait to see the Vatican and immerse myself in the Italian food and... wine?
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