Day 14 – Vienna, Austria

3 Oct

Well I did manage 40 minutes sleep. Made it downstairs after a quick shower to my waiting early taxi driver.  As he explained,  there isn’t a lot of work,  and too many taxis. He was quite chatty – he had worked on the UK railways for 10 years.

Arrived safely at the airport long before any of the check in desks opened. Several people stretched out on the seats trying to catch some sleep. Tempted to join them.

Used my last once I was through security and successfully caught the bus the 5 yards to the plane.  Annoying American complaining loudly about catching a bus for such a short walk.

I don’t remember the flight.  Strapped on my TRTL and woke up on landing.

Vienna however was nice and cool at 6am. The CAT train to the city centre was very empty,  and I managed to successfully navigate to the hotel through a nice park.  I realised pretty quickly that the distances are not very big and that the Inner Stradt district is very walkable.

The hotel was very accommodating in all ways except in providing a room. Not surprising really.  At 7am. They did site me to a toilet to freshen up and the bell boy took the bags away.

Time for breakfast – or so the plan went.  Unfortunately I got distracted with the sights of Vienna and covered most of them in the next two hours walking around.

The cathedral roof was spectacular from the outside although slightly disappointing inside.

The main areas were almost completely empty and there was a stark difference to later on – definitely worth getting there early.

The Rathouse had a large queue of young people all wanting to join a Playstation convention.

Lots of fancy buildings. Discovered that tonight there was the “long night of the museums” where they stayed open until 1am.

Ended up with breakfast in a street cafe on the main street. Ended up people watching.

After a long tiring walk, I headed back to the hotel for 11:30am in the hope that a room might be available. After only 5 minutes of beginning to doze in reception I got a nice room.

Woke up in the late afternoon, after catching up on some well needed sleep.

Heading out again and ended up walking past Filgmüller’s renowned schnitzel restaurant.  The was a huge queue. Wandered around the corner to a completely separate restaurant of the same name and managed to get a reserved table. The schnitzel is indeed fantastic.  The potato salad was fantastic.  The lack of coca-cola was fantastic. It was fantastic.

Heading back to the museum quartee with the intention to make use of the “long night”, I encountered a concert taking place on a temporary stage, entities “Voices for Refugees”. It started with Austria’s answer to Elton John, went through a Nuremburg rally stage where refugees were subjected to ritual torture by making them speak bad English (or presumably bad German).  We then moved on to since modern European music, which wouldn’t make the UK top 40, via the star attraction – Conchita Wurst. She wasn’t the worst.

It finished, after more embarrassing of the refugees, with Austria’s answer to Bruce Springsteen / Runrig. The crowd knew the songs better than he did.

The stage lighting and haze was provided in combination with the chain smokers in the crowd. They all seemed to be standing next to me.

Following the crowd on the way out resulted in me seeing a different part of the city. After helping a fellow tourist know where he was, I made it safely back to the hotel in time for midnight.  A good night’s sleep is required for a long day tomorrow.

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