Eurotrip 2012- Vienna

Vienna and I didn’t start off on the right foot. Noooope, nope, nope.
This is the reality of travel- it’s not all puppies and rainbows. It’s SO bloody stressful and every city isn’t going to wow you or even make you feel comfortable. I think a lot of it boils down to personal taste/opinion but as this was one of the places I was most excited for, I likely disappointed my own self. I ended up loving places I’d never even heard of more than some of the ones that when planning this trip were circled with love hearts.

When planning we tried to be as cost effective as humanly possible and at times this meant grabbing a cheap hotel way, way, off the beaten path and sometimes that resulted in some really awesome experiences ie. Bruges or Berlin- but in this case I wish I’d booked some place else. Goooood grief.

We arrived late into Vienna and we’d decided to book ourselves a walking tour/dinner combo on the bus- in an attempt to try the whole guide thing out again and see if like Bruges, we’d feel it’s benefits. (We only had two full days for quite a large city). It didn’t take us long to realize that our hotel was so far out of the city it was on an exit from the highway by a petrol station. This would have been fine if it wasn’t for the 5-8 prostitutes that brazenly littered the carpark at all times the entire time of our stay. (Not to mention the car in the lot burnt to a crisp.) Just… doesn’t… gahhh you don’t feel cozy pulling up to a place like that. To be fair, the hotel was clean and lovely and the wee fella at reception was really nice but his kindness didn’t really band-aid the situation.

We were running super late for our tour so we only had time to drop our bags, call a cab and run out the door again. There was bus service from the hotel to the last stop of the tube line to get into town, slightly sporadic but we planned to use it to get home.

Luckily our Busabout guide was in the Wombat hostel bar and accompanied us through town so we could catch up with our tour. This initial wander took us through the Naschmarkt which we took note to visit the next day as everything was closing at the time. We met up with our tour guide outside of Secession Hall. I can’t believe I’ve forgotten his name, but he was a lovely guide- clearly passionate about his city and telling people about it. The tour was a couple of hours he explained and pointed out many of the main sights- most of which we went back to the following day to get a closer look so I’ll not chat too much about them here- but they are tagged in this post.

He did make sure to tell us about Sachertorte outside of Hotel Sacher from that moment on acquiring a slice of this treat became priority A for me.

I particularly loved his explanation of the meaning behind the Pestaule (Plague Column) and when he pointed out the architecture of Looshaus in Michaelerplatz. I think the most interesting thing about Vienna is the history of the Habsburgs and I loved getting to see the Hofburg Palace.

Our tour ended in the Museumsquartier (Museum Quarter) and then we went for a dinner of weiner schnitzel at a local restaurant. I kinda wish we would have fended for ourselves from this point on as clearly this was not the finest dining experience we could have had. The meal was included with the price of our tour ticket so when asked if we wanted a beer Roisin and I said yes thinking it couldn’t be much more than a couple euros. They came out with these massive wine carafes filled with lager (the most difficult thing to drink out of ever- they never provided glasses) and then charged us 8 euros each for them. I wish I’d have been given a heads up of what I was agreeing to by asking for a pint. Just… ridiculous. We could have had an amazing meal for the 16 euros those beers cost us surely elsewhere. The schnitzel was dry and horrible. Such a shame and a waste because the tour had lifted our spirits for this meal to make us feel like we were being ripped off again. “Meal included” pfff – “we charge so much for drinks that you might as well buy your meal”.

We did however get to chat to Tim and Erin who were a fellow couple traveling on Busabout and they’re awesome. So this also leveled the playing field a bit.

So finally we were on our way home- took the tube all the way to the end of the line to realize I was bursting on a pee (fucking liter of beer…) – found the sketchiest washroom I’ve ever, ever, seen in my life in the tube station to get the fright of my life. Roisin and I went into the ladies loo – pulled on a couple door handles and all were locked to try the last one and hear a man’s voice shout… I’ve never run out of a place so fast in my life. So scary… almost midnight in a foreign country and there’s some dude in your loo. No. Not cool. So we stood and waited until he left and then ran back in. Our misfortune didn’t really end there. One of our buses never turned up so we ended up having to wait til nearly 1am to make it home to the hotel- absolutely knackered.

I was not entirely sure that Vienna and I were going to be friends. Feeling like it was slightly on the enemy spectrum.

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