Arrival in Austria

Trip Start Apr 25, 2013
Trip End Nov 02, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Sunday, August 18, 2013

'The-Hungary-Special-Ultimate-Leave-Hotel-In-Budapest-Fun-Tax-for-Tourist' tax. Budapest wouldn't let us leave without one last subtle mugging. Once that unpleasantness was complete, we boarded a westbound train towards Budapest's Coach terminal. Here we would be boarding an 'Orangeways' bus bound for Vienna. Or so we thought we would depart from the coach station. Orangeways are too budget for that. Rather, their 'pickup spot' was across the road, denoted by a faded poster, blowing in the wind, before a construction site, as tumbleweeds blew by. The bus ride itself, was bearable enough. It was cosy, but air conditioned and 3 hours later we were to arrive in Vienna.
On first glimpse, the city itself seemed somewhat underwhelming. We found the nearest U-Bahn station and made the short trip from the city centre to Langenfeldgasse in the southwest. Our Star Inn hotel was just a minute from the station. Dinner that evening was at Ernies, a small restaurant 100 metres from the hotel. We both enjoyed schnitzels and Zipfer beer before turning in.
The next day, Sunday was designated to exploring the city of Vienna. We had booked a tour for Monday, but overall, there just didn't seem to be much to do in the area. We wandered around town for a time, the most spectacular building being the St Stephens Cathedral, towering above the city. We purchased a cheap fish sandwich for lunch, and spent some time in a church listening to singing. I'm a bit wired lately, stressed, stretched, strained and I cant fully explain it. I feel, overloaded, theres been so much to take in over the last four months, I need time to digest it, let it soak in, and decide what to make of everything and whats next. My brains been bombarded and neglected, I havnt given it much attention for a while. We've been so busy! As such, we spent the afternoon relaxing at the hotel.
Just before entering St Stephens, we were sold opera tickets by a street vendor. I generally try to avoid being seduced by these creatures, but his suggestion and show on offer just sounded good, and when in Vienna, classical music seemed appropriate. Prior to heading to the Opera we squeezed in another schnitzel at Ernies. This time, stuffed with cheese, peppers and ham. Amazing. The show started around 8. It was performed by the Royal Orchester in the Grand Hall at the Palais Niederosterrich. The playlist consisted primarily of Mozart and Strauss, but also included some tenors, comedy and traditional dancing. It was a pretty good show overall, with a glass of champaign included. Tomorrow, Natalie, me and my broken toe, have a date with some bicycles.
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