On our way to Vienna
Day 15 we drove into Austria. We had a lovely snowball fight at one of our rest stops. Adding to the fun was the fact that hardly anyone else on the bus had ever thrown a snowball, let alone been hit in the face with one. But as usual in a snowball fight, what starts as a little joke turns into a half hour all out battle that involves everyone on the bus and even groups of older Asian women who happened to be walking by and decided to throw some at us. So after we turned our guide into a snowman, we set off for Vienna
. We got to stay at a four star hotel for some reason, no one really cared why though. We went to a schnapps museum and got free samples and then headed back to the sauna at the hotel.
We also found a bowling alley in the hotel which was a bit of a surprise. So between a pool, a sauna and bowling, we were kept busy for the night.
Day 16 we headed into the Hapsburgs castle and spent an hour or so wandering around there and then some christmas markets. We warmed up with some glühwein from the markets and headed into the city to find some ATM's. For some reason it took 19 of us quite a while to figure out how to work bank doors in Austria. And once we had been standing still in the cold breeze for a while, we decided to head somewhere warm for a bit. We had heard about a pub called Einstein so we attempted to find it, which we did. We spent a good 5 or 6 hours there. And then for some strange reason I decided to get on a train back into Italy.
So I said bye to Shawn, Dan, Kylie and maybe Owen and Jodi and a few others on my path to the door and set out on something I perhaps though would be more of an adventure. Now was when I regretted my morning decision of "I'm from Canada, where it's cold, and this is Austria, I wont need a jacket." It was freezing. So I made a quick stop to get a glühwein refill and don't remember too much until a train station. At the train station I was asked for my passport, which I didn't have on me, and that apparently you don't get asked for too much unless your a big and fairly drunk Canadian attempting to speak bits of a sentence in English while other parts are a mess of French, Italian and German. Next thing I know I was walking down a dirty road, asking myself such questions as, "Where am I? Where's Vienna? How did I get out of Vienna? When did I step in an ankle deep puddle?" After a while a nice police officer stopped and asked me where I was going, not remembering what the name of the hotel was, this made things a little difficult.
Finally he asked me to write some stuff down on a pad of paper, except my hands were too cold to push the pen to the paper hard enough. I think he may have given me a ride back to Einstein because I remember going back to look for my friends, who weren't there anymore. So I made my way back to the meeting point and hoped it wasn't past eleven o'clock yet. After a while I remembered I was infact wearing a watch and that it was about 2 a.m. So I began my hour long search for a cab that could take me to a place that I didn't know the name or location of. Most drivers either didn't speak English or gave up trying to help. But then, I found my hero of Vienna. A nice driver from Cyprus who spoke English better than I did at that point, and who was for some reason, determined to get my back to my hotel. It took us quite a while to figure it out though, but eventually we found my hotel and I gave him a good tip for saving me. By then it was about 4 a.m. and the lady at the front desk gave me a cup of coffee to try to warm me up on my way to my room.