"OH!! Vienna!" Vienna by Mariajoy
Vienna Travel Guide: 7,358 reviews and 18,228 photos
A couple of weeks ago P says to me *we've got to have a break somewhere*. So we decided on Vienna. She booked hers a couple of weeks in advance with British Airways but I left my booking until about a week before we were going. In the end I had such problems getting a flight I decided to go for a city break with Travelocity -hotel and flight together with Austrian Airlines.
Petra was supposed to fly out on the Thursday and meet me on Friday night in Vienna. I couldn't fly earlier because of work commitments.
Suddenly on the news on Wednesday I heard that BA flights were cancelled as baggage handlers had gone on strike in support of 800 sacked catering staff. Petra had got to the airport but was of course not able to fly so she returned home. I told her I would go anyway and we were hoping she would be rebooked on another flight.
I flew to Vienna on Friday night, got there about 11.30 and took the CAT train and U-Bahn to my hotel. The following morning, P sent me an SMS to say she was on a 10am flight to Vienna with BA. We eventually met up at 4pm on Saturday at Wien Mitte and had to catch up on lost 'girlychat' time over coffee and cake in a lovely coffeehouse near St Stefan's Dom.
Of course the chat turned to *what shall we do tonight?*... and I said to P...*lets go to Bratislava*... *yeah great, ok* she replied. We knew we had to get to Sudbahnhoff for the train to Bratislava, but on the U-bahn there I asked, just out of the blue... *Have you got your passport on you?*
*errr... no..and I will probably need it won't I??* *Yeah, probably... it is another country!!*
So off we went back to Petra's hotel to pick up the passport. The time was now about 5.30pm on Saturday night... She had had to hand her passport into reception and her request to have it back from the hotel manageress was a disbelieving *What?? You are going to Bratislava?? Tonight?? You are you coming back, aren't you??*
Back to Sudbahnhoff - paid the 14E return to Bratislava jumped on the train... only to be told it wasn't going for another hour... *sigh* oh well we had paid for the ticket so we might as well sit there and wait. Eventually the train left around 6.50pm and we arrived in Slovakia at 8pm. As we got off the train we started talking about where we were going to eat... *Ummm... P what currency do they use here? Is it the Euro??* *Errrr... no I don't think so* *So how are we gonna pay for anything??* Thankfully we found the Exchange Bureau in the station was still open (just!!) and we exchanged 20E for what seemed like loads of Slovak Krona. They even sold postcards... but no stamps unfortunately and nowhere open at that time of night to buy any. Still at least I have one souvenir of my 2 hours in Slovakia!
The area around the station was full of the usual undesirables who come crawling out of the woodwork of every city at night. At least there were plenty of police around to deal with them. I would be very wary of being around the station waiting for a train at that time of night if I was travelling alone. (I didn't feel like that about Vienna, which I felt to be a very safe city.)
Opposite the station was a nice looking restaurant where we ordered omlette and chips after spending hours attempting to decipher the Slovak menu. It was only much later (while still waiting for our food) a girl at the next table turned round and informed us that * there is an English menu available and were we going to Warsaw on the overnight train that night?* We told her no, sorry we were going back to Vienna on the 10.30 train - if the food ever arrives - which it did - served by a surly and miserable waitress.
Eventually we finished our meal and decided to take a quick stroll around the centre of the city before we had to board our train back to Vienna. Well of course we got lost - did we have a map? Did we heck. We enjoyed the warm balmy Bratislavan evening - the cicadas clicking in the bushes and the ... well that was it really - no time for anything else - although I did manage to take a couple of photographs the palace -but we had a train to catch!! Found our way back to the station and got on the *short train* back to Vienna.
The following morning we met up again at 10am. This time P wanted to see my hotel so I said *meet me at Pilgramgasse* Of course we were standing at wrong exits.. so the convo went something like.. *Hi I am here at the exit to the station*, where are you?? *At the exit to the station* We hadn't realised there were two exits and of course it would be too easy to both be at the same one at the same time wouldn't it?? After P had ooohed and ahhhhed at my lovely 4 star hotel we visited an Internet Cafe, the Museum Quarter, Leopold Museum (Schiele being our main objective),had a nice piece of strudel and coffee and later had lunch in a nearby Japanese place. After lunch we both headed back to my hotel again where we picked up my rucksack and I headed for the airport on the CAT train.
- Pros:Public transport is cheap and reliable
- Cons:Too many tempting cake shops
- In a nutshell:Use public transport and don't be tempted by cakes
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