wiener anyone?

Vienna Travel Blog

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hello all. back in london now, sort of warm here compared with eastern europe!
thought i had better update you all on vienna and budapest. so here's vienna...
with some sadness i left prague on a bus on friday afternoon, and made my way to vienna via the highlands in southern czech r. as the bus headed south i noticed some shiny patches on the hills in the distsance. 'must be water or sun on soil' i thought, intentionally denying to myself the likelihood that i might be seeing snow shortly. no, can't be water, and it's on many hills, on either side of the highway. when i spotted snow by the highway, it was a certainty. at this realisation, i could not prevent a few tears of joy welling in my eyes. within a few minutes, the snow on the highway's side was thick, covering the paddocks and branches of trees. i was excited! alas, the snow did not last; before leaving czech r. it was gone.
the first thing i noticed about austria was the lack of any discernable speed limit on the autobahn into vienna. commercial vehicles and garden variety hatchbacks whizzed past, whilst sportscars and german sedans were mere flashes of red light in the dimming light. arrived in vienna, too heavily laden to take much notice of the opulent rathaus that we alighted near to, and headed for the hostel. checked in, grabbed an awesome kebab for a late dinner and readily came to find that there is no such thing as a convenience store in vienna. a few 9-5 metro supermarkets, but no 24 hour shops. the only thing open was restaurants and kebab houses. all i wanted was a pack of crisps!
when i left the hostel in the morning, i was astonished to notice small cold pieces of a white ash-like substance falling from the sky. could it be snow? indeed it was. most of my first day in vienna was spent in the company of a gentle snow fall. now vienna is an extremely pretty city. i toured the ring road and city centre extensively. several stunning cathedrals, sigmund freud park with it's escellent EU monument, the rathaus is the most adorned city hall i have yet seen and the palaces and gardens are in abundance. viennese are beautiful people. everyone in the inner city looks rich and attractive. enormous fur coats, high suede boots and rich suits everywhere.
that night i got to know my roommates at the hostel. a couple of swiss girls and a guy from melbourne. we decided to grab dinner at a pretty authentic viennese restaurant and hit a bar or two afterwards. food was good, drinks were great. ended up at what is apparently one of THE clubs in vienna, the empire. you have to pay to piss in this place, i am not kidding! everything is expensive. the sound is impeccable though, lighting like a shopping district in an asian metropolis and the people stunningly gorgeous - they knew it too. i've attached a pic from an austrian site of me and my new swiss friends. best part of the night though, was running down the main street of vienna, drunk and stoned, and having a snowball fight with fresh snow gathered from the roofs of passing and parked cars.
the following day i did some more palace spotting, soaking up the winter wonderland in gardens unaltered since baroque times, had an enormous pretzel that i could not finish, and bought my ticket back to the east. bring on budapest.
vienna is incredibly pretty, without a doubt. doubtless also, it is one very expensive city. and despite being so photogenic, one finds it somewhat lacking in substance. people say it is boring. maybe not boring, just a little superficial, certainly not gritty. one tends to observe that the people who have come here, have come here to be here, and for little other reason.
so back onto the arteries of europe, and again into a world without speed limits. i have never seen a barina go so fast. beep beep!
farewell for now all, i will share my experiences of budapest and more cheap beer with you soon.
take care, and please, no grievous bodily harm to anyone in desperate last minute christmas shopping.
love to you all,
jared xoxo..
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photo by: hellenica