Arriving in Vienna was terrifying. Not because of the place itself, but because I did not know if I was at the correct stop or not. Was I in Vienna yet? I had no idea. The time was roughly matched the printed arrival time on my ticket, but the station name was totally different, and didn’t have the word Vienna in it. I tried to ask a few people, and people did respond, but I could neither understand what they were saying, or their nods of agreement were somewhat unconvincing, and I thought that maybe they were just nodding in the hope I would leave them alone. In the end I took a leap of faith and lugged my bag off the train and headed to the nearest info desk. Luckily the people at the desk spoke English and confirmed that I was in Vienna (good news), but I was on the other side of Vienna (not so good news). No matter, they sold me an underground ticket and I headed towards my hostel for the night.
As in Berlin, I’d chosen a wombats hostel. They’re reasonably priced, clean, safe and usually have a bar for meeting people. As it were, I got chatting to someone at the internet terminals and ended up going for a drink with her. I cant for the life of me remember her name, but she too had been inter-railing around Europe and we got chatting about our common ambition of visiting Croatia. We went for a drink to discuss further, and in doing so bumped into her mates from Prague. What ensued was a night of utter carnage. I had just intended to have an early night that evening and my friends would be arriving in the morning and I wanted to be fresh so that we could go do things, but I succumbed to a good night out instead. That night be visited many of Vienna drinking establishments, some good some bad, we sampled many Austrian beers, some good, some awful. The guys were a great laugh, how they had survived to this point I do not know as they barely had any money between them, they’re aussie bank cards just wouldn’t work. I later heard that they got kicked out of their hostel the same night/morning. The funniest part of the night was playing ‘I have never’. This is a little how it went …
Q: I have never been arrested …
A: I got arrested for burning down my parents house
Q: I have never hit a woman …
A: I had a really vivid dream where I was in a fight and accidently punched my girlfriend in my sleep.
Q: I have never had sex in public …
A: I had a 3some in Prague sq last week
… I learnt a lot that night!
In the morning I was greeted by two of my good friends who would share the rest of my journey with me. Fresh from having flashed a good many Japanese business men at the airport Esther and Ret (non flasher) soon arrived at the hostel.
The sun was shining (not because of them) so we decided to take a walk through the city and try locate an interesting looking bar I’d found in one of the guide books in reception. We wandered for a bit, found a nice green area to sit down and eat some ice cream on, and the found the river on which this bar was located along. I believe the bar is called Sand in the City, and it was an Oasis! Right in the middle of the city, and small section of land was coated in golden sand and retro style deck chairs. We decided on a drink, but that soon because more than 1 drink, in fact we didn’t leave until the sun was almost out of site. It was blissful! Sun, sand and beer, we had a great time. If I lived in Vienna, that would be my first destination every time the sun came out.
The next day we were to catch a train to Budapest, but that wasn’t until the afternoon, so before we boarded the train, we boarded a tram. The tram took us to the nearby palace which was quite stunning. A grand piece of architecture with some amazing gardens, the palace was a lot more interesting than I thought it might be. We had a go at the maze, and the other ‘play’ areas in the gardens, and once again the sun was out to make it a really nice day!
- Sand in the city
- The Palace