Grumpy and cold

Vienna Travel Blog

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New fingers

The two East German boys (Niels & Oliver) and I headed out of Prague on the same train.  They were heading somewhere different from me so along the way we parted company and I headed South down to Vienna.

I had wanted to go down to Hungary and across the top of Yugoslavia but there was still plenty of fighting going on in the area at the beginning of 1993 so I had promised my mother I wouldn't risk my sweet self, and I stayed clear of those countries.

Vienna was cold and I was getting tired of being cold.  I was becoming a bit grumpy from my short stops and frequent movements and the first few Viennese people I came across were very very different from the happy helpful Czechs and they didn't endear themselves to me at all so that also added to my grumpiness.

Lovers mesmerized by Strauss


My hostel was a converted Monastery.  The dorm room was several flights up the bell tower and I struggled to sleep with the traffic up and down the wooden stairs on the other side of my wall and then at some un-godly hour (which is strange for a monastery) they decided to ring the bell.

I was awoken at first by the movement of the rope.  I'm a very light sleeper and when I first heard it I sprang awake and thought, "what's that?"
Then came the "BONG  BONG  BONG"  -Ahhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think I managed to get much sleep after that and a couple of hours later it was a respectable time to crawl out of bed, down the stairs, complete me ablutions, and down some breakfast.
Bless the pigeons


I wandered out into the city to see all the things that it had to offer.  I though perhaps I would enjoy the place more now that the sun was out.  Sun or no sun it was still cool and gray.  I found that I was desperate to find some local -any local, that seemed happy to meet me, but they were all a bit stand-offish and as cool as this winters day.

I did enjoy the idea of music in this city though.  Very classical feel about the place and I wandered about following the directions of my travel guide book and found many monuments to some great Viennese composers; Strauss and Mozart being two I thoroughly enjoyed except for the fact that the flower beds were sleeping and the only gloss about the memorials was the gold leaf.

I found myself walking through a plaza soon after leaving the hostel and there I saw a man how appeared very happy with life.
Beautiful horns play to violent statues
  He was dressed in flowing white robes and had an entourage of dedicated pigeons.  He wandered about the plaza flicking seed back to the birds and waving to all the people milling about.  I seemed to be the only one interested in the man so I had the impression he was a regular site to the locals.

Further along the road I heard the sound of some beautiful horn music.  I followed my ears and came across two musicians, outside the Hapsburg Palace, blowing away to their hearts content whilst beside them large marble warriors were in the throes of slaughtering beasts.
  The juxtaposition of the music and the slaughter appealed to me and I found my mood improving.

At the end of the day my mood had not improved enough to make me want to spend any more time in Vienna, so i headed out to Salzburg where I was hoping I might have a more successful night's sleep.
Salzburg wall


At the hostel in Salzburg they were showing the film of the "Sound of Music".  I knew it well and had played the role of "Rolf" just a couple of years earlier in our local production.  The hostel was pretty empty and the couple of people I did meet had said they had spent the day touring up to the chateau where the film was set.
  We watched the film and I crawled off to bed.

Next morning I wandered back to the train station to continue my journey out of Austria.  As I walked along the street I was some posters had been pasted up overnight to advertise the band "Six was Nine".  I didn't know them then but I took a photograph of the wall and all it's broadcasts because the colours appealed to me.  The funny thing is I now have an album of "Six was Nine" in my collection.  I would have liked to see them if I knew then what I know now -they're great musicians!

I'd like to return one spring and see if my experiences were just bad timing or the result of sleep deprivation.  I don't like to hold such mean thoughts of a place when I experienced so little.

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New fingers
New fingers
Lovers mesmerized by Strauss
Lovers mesmerized by Strauss
Bless the pigeons
Bless the pigeons
Beautiful horns play to violent st…
Beautiful horns play to violent s…
Salzburg wall
Salzburg wall
Mozart memorial
Mozart memorial
Masks
Masks
Karlsplatz
Karlsplatz
Part of a beautiful memorial
Part of a beautiful memorial
Marc Antony.  Secession
Marc Antony. Secession
Vienna
photo by: EmyG