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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Vienna in Under 24 Hours!

After taking in as much of Budapest as we could in 24 hours, Danielle and woke up way too early on Friday and hopped on the 6 a.m. train to Vienna. The train ride was about 3 hours and I’m sure rather pretty, unfortunately I slept most of it so I didn’t get to see the countryside except for bits and pieces when I opened my eyes for a minute.

Originally we were set to stay at the Westend Hostel despite reviews that it had bedbugs (it was the only open hostel when we booked). Thankfully, however, my friend from Euromed who is Austrian and went to School in Vienna offered to let us stay at her place. So before leaving we cancelled the hostel. Unfortunately she would be leaving Vienna on Friday to go back to her home town for a wedding, but the plan was to meet her at her office to pick up her key before she left. Unable to get a hold of her after getting off the train, Danielle and I put our luggage in a locker at the train station and set off on our express sightseeing tour of Vienna. Before leaving Paris we had checked the weather for all the cities we would be visiting and it was reported that Vienna would hold the best weather for us and that it would probably rain in the other cities while we were there. We got very lucky with Budapest and had no rain and great weather. Vienna we weren’t so lucky, it was cold, rained some (not consistently), but worst of all was extremely windy thus adding to how cold it was. This made sightseeing a little less pleasurable and as a result we don’t have many pics from Vienna. We did meet up at lunch time with my friend and got the key from her and were able to chat for about 30 mins. Then it was back to sightseeing. We weren’t quite sure what all to do in Vienna and the bus tour was too expensive or at least more than we really wanted to pay, so we really just wound up walking around the city and visiting its churches and other famous buildings. By night time we were exhausted and it took all we had just to get cleaned up and go to dinner. Hearing that Vienna didn’t have much of a nightlife anyway and being way too tired we called it quits after dinner and went back to my friends dorm room. Again probably a good decision as we had yet another train at 6 a.m. the next morning taking us to Prague.

My overall impression of Vienna was that it was a much larger city than I ever imagined and is very pretty too. Didn’t seem too much of a touristy city to me as there just wasn’t that much to see or do. It has lovely architecture and is obviously very big on culture, but not necessarily a city I’d make a plan to go back to just for a vacation. I’d love to see more of Austria though and if I’m ever in the area again I would stop in Vienna as it was a nice city. But at this point I preferred Budapest. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had the weather not been so tough and had I not been so exhausted.

Below is a pic of Danielle and myself in front of Schönbrunn Palace. The idea behind this palace was to build one larger than Versailles. Below that is a pic of the long straight away in its gardens; not quite as flowery as Versailles, but still very beautiful (again just wish the weather had been better).


Anonymous said...

Well what a coincidence ! The Lippaziner White Stallions from the Spanish Riding School in VIenna were on Good Morning America in Times Square, N.Y. this morning. ! Diane Sawyer mentioned that Gen. George Patton helped save them in WWII.

Anonymous said...

That was me! I pushed the button too fast !