Trip Start Dec 17, 2005
28Trip End Jan 17, 2006
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Prague - Vienna
price: 27 €
duration: 7 h
carrier: Ceské dráhy
there are two main-train stations in Prague, make sure from which train-station your train leaves
i would like to say, writing this travelogue is not so easy. traveling through other conutries, it is hard not to judge who I meet and what I see. the main goal of writing, however, is describing, not judging. i am aware of the fact, that I judge continuously. it must happen subconsciously.
moreover, it seems like all Baidi and I have been doing is traveling on trains, feeling cold or hungry, and sleeping. you may get this impression from the outside. i try to share the inside with you through the writing. Baidi puts a lot of effort into those pictures, to make you see the world through our eyes. it must be said that when you travel as lover and lover many things seem not so important to you. traveling alone is an entirey different approach.
from Prague to Vienna
No more free compartments. Finally we find an empty one, only an old man with large and scarred workers hands and a friendly face sitting inside, sleeping while smiling. Happily we fall down onto soft seats, enjoying the rest we were yearning for.
Outside men are drinking. Young and old. They are making fierce faces. Their eyes shoot aggressive glances towards us. We smile and ignore. Men are watching Baidi as if she was a piece of game. Their eyes show no sign of shame nor respect. I dislike the way they look at her and decide not to fall asleep regardless of how tired I will be.
As the conductor checks our tickets, we can tell from his face that something is in disorder. "This is first class", he exclaims calmly. We had assumed that there were no classes on this train. Still standing in the doorframe, the conductor tells us to leave. Besides he explains that we're on the wrong part of the train. The part we are in is going to Slovakia. We saddle our backpacks and leave the compartment. The old man didn't say a word. He must feel happy to regain the silence.
NEED HIGH QUALITY PHOTOS?
As we walk towards the front of the train, we are detained by a slide-door which cannot be opened. On the other side of the barrier, people sleep peacefully on soft beds in sleeping compartments. Of course we are not allowed to enter. We have to wait for the next stop.
At the next station we jump off the waggon, run in the direction of the other train part. It's too far away. If we continue to run, maybe the train will leave without us. It stops only for some seconds, maybe a minute. Quickly we turn back and reach the familiar door shortly before the locomotive starts anew.
We try again at the next station. We run. We feel like the actors in the NIKE advertisements. Only we lack the cool music and the artistic black and white camera settings. There is no music here, just a disturbing voice from the loudspeakers. The settings of our eyes are anything else but artistic.
We reach the other part of the train. Immediately after we reboard the train pulls out of the station with a noise. We find ourselves a cozy apartment. A middle-aged man and a young girl are sitting inside. We greet each other. The man speaks German. He's coming from germany. Going to slovakia. Visiting his family for Christmas. The girl has the same itinary. We talk a little bit. Then everybody but me falls asleep. I don't want to sleep. I just want to take care of her.
In Breclav we have to change trains. We arrive about three o'clock in the morning. Finally entering an Austrian train. It looks and feels much more comfortable here. The The air is warm, a little bit too warm. We find an empty compartment and fall asleep at once.
Suddenly a dark figure rushes into our compartment, noisily crashing the door with. Baidi is lying down on a row of three seats on one side of the small cabin, i'm lying on the other. Instinctly i'm pull my feet towards my body, so that he doesnt get the idea to sit down next to her. He takes a seat at the end of my feet. Then he switches the light on, pretending not to take notice of us. Turning on a pocket radio, he unfolds a newspaper loudly. The sound of news and paper makes me angry. He is very inconsiderate to wake us up like this. There are many other free compartments.
we were just asleep. now we are awake. i would really like to get up and punch him into the face. instead i move over to baidi and we warm each other for a while. after a while the strange and well-sized man gets off. both of us together are not his size.
once he leaves, it's quiet again. quiet. i just wish to be in a real bed. i just wish to have some real sleep again. but this is only the beginning. the boarder guard gets in. he looks very austrian. like a mountain boy out of swiss chocolate advertisings.
we arrive in Vienna. this time we are not asleep when the train pulls into the train station. we get off. the first thing we notice is the coldness. at this point we already decide to continue to Venice the same day. we have heard many things about Vienna. but it's just too cold. It's snowing a little bit. the wind is biting into our faces. we pack our bags and move inside the train-station.
regain warmth. We have only been in the cold for five minutes and already miss the warmth. we are not rough enough. the bakery spreads the scent of freshly baked rolls and coffee through the waiting hall. we're hungry and thirsty for coffee. we want to feel warm out- and inside. warmth is important. we order some coffee which is our first contact with the Austrian culture. i order a coffee in German, but they dont understand. they say something and I dont understand. maybe they think i'm inconsiderate. i just take what they give me and bring it back to Baidi. we drink it with delight. it's warm, has coffeeine and tasted delicious.
we step outside the train station. everything seems to be so grey. it's still night. we can't see anything beautiful. just a wide street and some ugly buildings. in the distance we can see the roofs of beautiful buildings. we decide to go back inside and store our luggage. then we buy our train tickets to venice. the train leaves at three. we yearn for sunshine. our minds automatically connect Italy to sunshine. happily we stow away our tickets to the sun. then we buy a metro pass and explore vienna.
first we catch the wrong train. we go outside the city center. we find buildings that look like dices and quaders. geometric shapes. not much decoration. functionality. children on the tram are going to school. they are so loud. everyone of them has a cell phone. we discuss how we didnt have cell phones at that age. they talk differently. i love the Austrian German. Baidi loves it, too. the tram is old. it has a character. like old leathershoes that you have worn for twenty years. everything here seems to have a character, even the signs. there are many signs that tell you something. one says that you should give up your seat for disabled or elderly people.
soon we find the outskirts boring and take another to the city center. when we arrive there, it's eight o'clock.
we walk around the city all day long. the major event is when Baidi finds some cool trousers at Zara. It is much too cold to be a tourist today. Heavy snow is falling, covering our faces with white cold.
We find a supermarket, I think it is Dixi. We shop some essentials. From there we run through the snow and seek shelter inside the cathedral. There we make a picnic, trying no to let people know that we are eating. Soon our train is leaving to Venice. Beautiful warm Italy, how we are yearning for you already!