8.19.2006

Austria Journal: My mini-trip to Vienna

Days spent on trip: 3
Days until I stay in Austria: 15

So today was quite a day. After having breakfast at the youth hostel where we are boarding, we went to the banks of the Danube on the tram (yes, they have trams in Austria. It's quite a good form of transportation). After seeing the Danube, we had 'mineralwasser', and then went to a place where they sold slabs of a baloney-like meat.

After that, we split up. My dad and my sister decided to go back to the hostel and catch up on sleep. My mom and I went to Vienna on the train (a 2-hour trip).

During the trip, we passed a quite a few windmills (the power-generation kind). When we got to the train station my mom needed to get money, so we went to the Bankomat. But when we inserted the card, it said it was out of order and didn't return the card (I guess that's why in New York most ATMs have you insert and quickly remove the card--that way there's no way for the ATM to eat your card.

My mom waited in line at the money-exchanging place to which the Bankomat was attached, and eventually got her card back. Then we headed toward the center of Vienna. We followed one street almost the whole way, and passed many stores selling modern clothing. After a while, we came to the Stadtpark and rested a bit. After walking through it, we came across a tourbus and decided to pay the €13 to go on the tour.

It was a multilingual tourbus, so we all had headphones and picked the right language-channel. Ours was channel 2.

The tour showed us the major landmarks of Vienna, including the Danube, and told us about the lives of Schubert and other composers that lived here, as well as Siegmund Freud.

After the tour was over, we ate pizza and quickly ran back to the Bahnhof (train station), but nevertheless missed our train. So, we called the hostel and told them to leave a message for Dad, then waited fourty-five minutes until the next train. The signs didn't say anything about Linz, where we were stopping, but the many people we asked all said it stopped there.

Then, after a long time trying to figure out where we were supposed to sit (in the front were sleeping-cars and separate compartments that were all taken or reserved. Eventually, we made it to the regular area and sat down.

As a side note: people here smoke a lot. Unlike New York, you are allowed to smoke in all retaurants. As a result, it is almost impossible to bear sitting inside a resaurant--luckily, most have outdoor areas. They even allowed smoking on the train, which created a very uncomfortable invironment for the rest of us nonsmokers. So don't think New Yorkers smoke the most--Austrians do it much more often.

When we got back to the hostel, my dad and sister were playing UNO with regular playing cards whilst listening to classical music. They told us that thay hadn't in fact slept much but actually had gone to a circus, which, they say, was 'pretty good'. One part involved bulldogs playing soccer.

We related our excursion to them, showing them the videos I had taken. After that, I decided to write my journal--and here we are in the present.

Vienna was sure nice, but I'm ready for bed.

2 comments:

Deleted Profile said...

Dude u gotta go to the non smoking part of the train and make sure the next wagon isnt a smoking one

Gavin said...

In this train, though, half of the wagon was smoking and the other half was non smoking and there was no partition. Whatever.