First Day In Vienna

Vienna Travel Blog

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Cappuccino, Vienna, Austria
5:08 AM: Here begins our first full day in Europe. We landed in Vienna and bought tickets for the CAT train, which is an express train to the Mitte train station in central Vienna. The price was 9 Euro per ticket, which doesn’t sound like a real bargain I asked the young girl what the difference between the CAT and the U-Bah was and she said the U-Bahn took 40 minutes and the CAT took 15. We were tired and it was around 2:00 so we splurged. In hind site, however, I think we would have been satisfied with the slower trip.

Once we got to the Mitte station we bought 72-hour transportation passes (12 Euro) but decided that since it was such a beautiful day we would walk the 2 miles to the Pension Hargita.
Hapsburg Evening Wear, Vienna, Austria
I had programmed the location of our pension into my Gamin Nuvi 370 (whom we have nicknamed Jack) and let the GPS take us “home.” Jack did an excellent job of leading us through the center of historic Vienna. Finally, at Heroes’ Square we decided that walking in relatively warm weather while pulling our rolling bags behind us was too much so we found a U-Bahn stop and took the U3 train to the stop near the Pension Hargita.

The nice thing about the Pension Hargita is that it is very neat and clean, extremely well located and inexpensive (66 Euros for a room with two twins and its own bathroom with shower.) The only drawback on our room is that it is above a street with traffic and pedestrian noise, though I certainly slept well.

Deb and I got situated and then strolled up the main street just around the corner. We ate cheese pizza at a Buon Juorno pizza place and had gelato at a gelateria. Yes, I know that we should be eating authentic Viennese food but we will try to do that tonight.

We worked hard to stay up until 9:00 but both made it to 8. I was out like a light and slept soundly until 5. Deb was awake when I woke up and said she read for a couple hours during the night but I think she is sleeping now.

5:26 PM
We got up and going by a little after 7 this morning and walked up Mariahilfer Strasse looking for a sidewalk restaurant to buy a coffee and a roll but found nothing open. Not being familiar with Viennese customs, we figured they didn’t start their day very early. So we decided to take the U-Bahn to the Westbahnhoff train station to buy our train tickets for Wednesday’s trip to Budapest and then maybe find something to eat.

We bought our tickets (67 Euros for 2 one-way 2nd class tickets) but found that even at 8:00 AM things seemed very quiet.  We later learned that it is a religious holiday today: Pfingstmontag, which means “fifth Monday,” or something close to that. Very few of the stores and restaurants open on this day. I think this is ironic since some could say that Sunday is a religious day, too, and yet all of the stores and restaurants were open yesterday. Incidentally, Deb and I were in Berlin last year for the same holiday.

Today, here’s what we did

Caught the #2 tram outside the opera house and took the circle tour of inner city. This is a fairly leisurely way to see some of the sights of Vienna. Deb narrated the 45 minutes tour by reading from Rick Steves, who is one of our travel gurus.

•    Visited the Monument Against War and Fascism behind the Opera House.

•    Had a cappuccino at a coffee house called Coffee Now, which seems to be part of a chain here in Vienna.

•    Saw the Hapsburg treasury

•    Visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral

•    Ate lunch at a restaurant called Café Cosmopolitan.

•    Went to see the Hundertwasserhaus. (An architechtural experiment)

•    Took a nap

•    Worked on recharging batteries, which is very hard work since I have 5 things that need periodic recharging. (I’m exhausted!)

It is raining right now and when we get done journaling, we are going find our umbrella amongst all of our stuff and head out to dinner. Something authentic tonight, perhaps.
genetravelling says:
The deal with the trains from the airport is almost a scam and full of misinformation.
They invested a lot of money and advertising in the CAT, however it is rarely worth it.
The CAT train is 16minutes and the standard train only about 24minutes, but its a THIRD the price!
However, the CAT runs 24hours while the standard train is only every hour in the early hours of the morning.
They prey on people being tired and not caring when they land in Vienna!
Posted on: Jun 13, 2007
genetravelling says:
Looks like you had an interesting time in Vienna. Though no mention of schnitzels....
Posted on: Jun 13, 2007
speterson54 says:
Billy,
The holiday you experienced on Monday in Vienna is Pentecost Monday. 'Pentecost' means '50 days' (not 5th) because the Jews went to Jerusalem to celebrate the small grain harvest which occurred 50 days after Passover. I was in Germany heading to Prague on this holiday in 2000. It is observed religiously though the religious content is ignored. It seems to be Europe's version of the U.S. Memorial Day weekend--a three day weekend to mark the beginning of summer. Dubrovnik looks incredible.
Billy So
Posted on: Jun 09, 2007
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5:08 AM: Here begins our first full day in Europe. We landed in Vienna and bought tickets for the CAT train, which is an express train to the Mitte train station in central Vienna. The price was 9 Euro per ticket, which doesn’t sound like a real bargain I asked the young girl what the difference between the CAT and the U-Bah was and she said the U-Bahn took 40 minutes and the CAT took 15. We were tired and it was around 2:00 so we splurged. In hind site, however, I think we would have been satisfied with the slower trip.

Once we got to the Mitte station we bought 72-hour transportation passes (12 Euro) but decided that since it was such a beautiful day we would walk the 2 miles to the Pension Hargita. I had programmed the location of our pension into my Gamin Nuvi 370 (whom we have nicknamed Jack) and let the GPS take us “home.” Jack did an excellent job of leading us through the center of historic Vienna. Finally, at Heroes’ Square we decided that walking in relatively warm weather while pulling our rolling bags behind us was too much so we found a U-Bahn stop and took the U3 train to the stop near the Pension Hargita.

The nice thing about the Pension Hargita is that it is very neat and clean, extremely well located and inexpensive (66 Euros for a room with two twins and its own bathroom with shower.) The only drawback on our room is that it is above a street with traffic and pedestrian noise, though I certainly slept well.

Deb and I got situated and then strolled up the main street just around the corner. We ate cheese pizza at a Buon Juorno pizza place and had gelato at a gelateria. Yes, I know that we should be eating authentic Viennese food but we will try to do that tonight.

We worked hard to stay up until 9:00 but both made it to 8. I was out like a light and slept soundly until 5. Deb was awake when I woke up and said she read for a couple hours during the night but I think she is sleeping now.

5:26 PM
We got up and going by a little after 7 this morning and walked up Mariahilfer Strasse looking for a sidewalk restaurant to buy a coffee and a roll but found nothing open. Not being familiar with Viennese customs, we figured they didn’t start their day very early. So we decided to take the U-Bahn to the Westbahnhoff train station to buy our train tickets for Wednesday’s trip to Budapest and then maybe find something to eat.

We bought our tickets (67 Euros for 2 one-way 2nd class tickets) but found that even at 8:00 AM things seemed very quiet.  We later learned that it is a religious holiday today: Pfingstmontag, which means “fifth Monday,” or something close to that. Very few of the stores and restaurants open on this day. I think this is ironic since some could say that Sunday is a religious day, too, and yet all of the stores and restaurants were open yesterday. Incidentally, Deb and I were in Berlin last year for the same holiday.

Today, here’s what we did

Caught the #2 tram outside the opera house and took the circle tour of inner city. This is a fairly leisurely way to see some of the sights of Vienna. Deb narrated the 45 minutes tour by reading from Rick Steves, who is one of our travel gurus.

•    Visited the Monument Against War and Fascism behind the Opera House.

•    Had a cappuccino at a coffee house called Coffee Now, which seems to be part of a chain here in Vienna.

•    Saw the Hapsburg treasury

•    Visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral

•    Ate lunch at a restaurant called Café Cosmopolitan.

•    Went to see the Hundertwasserhaus.

•    Took a nap

•    Worked on recharging batteries, which is very hard work since I have 5 things that need periodic recharging. (I’m exhausted!)

It is raining right now and when we get done journaling, we are going find our umbrella amongst all of our stuff and head out to dinner. Something authentic tonight, perhaps.

Cappuccino, Vienna, Austria
Cappuccino, Vienna, Austria
Hapsburg Evening Wear, Vienna, Aus…
Hapsburg Evening Wear, Vienna, Au…
Vienna
photo by: EmyG