An Old Friend; A New City
Vienna Travel Blog› entry 1 of 9 › view all entries
It was my birthday! Yep, an older man posing as a younger man; my favourite game. I had planned a week off for the big Oktoberfest in Bavaria, however, with a lack of uptake, and a lack of efficient planning, it was a spectacular failure. Well, to save the situation, I still managed to squeeze a small group of people together, and do a little European vacation, and see some new places to add to the travels list. First stop was to be Vienna to visit Constanze, a friend I had travelled with twice before, and see a new city to me. It was to be a mostly travelling day for me, and with a later flight (4:35pm) from Gatwick, I had a lazy morning, full English breakfast, and plenty of tea, before catching a late morning train to London. Everything was fairly straight forward, and I got to London with plenty of time to spare. I decided it would be best to go to the airport straight away, and meet my friend Chris there, and start the drinking nice and early. A quick couple of beers, and a cheeky burger and chips later, and it was time to fly to Vienna.
The flight was surprisingly shorter than I expected, and we were soon touching down in the Austrian capital. I managed to get some WiFi, and messaged Constanze. She pretty much told us what to do, and laid it out on a plate for us, and it wasn’t too much longer before we were in our cab and on our way to our hotel, which we found out, was quite a way out of the city centre. Fortunately, it was a nice, basic hotel, with a metro stop close by, and even better, on Constanze’s side of the city. We had enough time to check in, drop our stuff off in the room, and run downstairs for a pint in the hotel bar and watch a bit of the football, before Constanze arrived with a taxi bound for the city. We did have to gulp the beer down a bit though, and in honesty, I quite enjoyed that.
Once in the city and after introductions, Constanze took us to a student bar, where we could have cheap drinks and a bit of an atmosphere. I noticed quickly everyone still smokes indoors, and the place was a dive bar; I loved it! A real reminiscence of the older days, though, being a non-smoker, I would be in for a sore throat in the morning.
It was actually quite a heavier drinking night than we had planned. Constanze had work the following day too, but still tucked away plenty of drinks. We had a fair few drinks in the bar, and quite a few vodka redbulls, and then headed on to a club. Again, it was reminiscent of yesteryear for me, and I absolutely loved it. It was quiet and we easily found a table to sit around, and slowly, but surely, people were piling in. A lot were dressed in traditional clothes, which really impressed me, before learning that it was actually people who had attended the beer festival that day, and it was actually a touch out of the ordinary, and more for the occasion. I was really pleased, and impressed, that we had landed plumb on our feet, and an Oktoberfest equivalent was in town. It was completely unplanned, and extremely welcome. Things had just got interesting!
Once the music volume started creeping up, it was time to leave the club. It was around midnight, and though we hadn’t planned on having a late one, we still continued to stop out, and go to another bar. I was impressed with Constanze’s stamina! There is no way I could get out of bed for work with the amount we were drinking, and non-plexed, she carried on.
The next bar was another dive sort of bar. There was shattered glass absolutely everywhere. I’ve never seen so much broken glass left without being swept up. It covered our table, and we had to be careful to sweep the chairs off without getting hurt. Again, I really enjoyed it, as it was so different to the strict regulations found in the UK. I probably wouldn’t enjoy that kind of thing for more than a short-term surprise, however, to see a much more laidback approach to life was interesting to me. We tamely drank a couple more beers before calling it quits. Constanze arranged the taxi, and dropped us off on her way back. We agreed to meet for a traditional meal in the evening of the next day, and to meet in town. My friend, Bondy, would also be arriving, and his hotel was much more central than ours, so we’d complete our quartet for the trip. Clearly, it was going to be a lot more boozey than I had originally expected.