Made it to Vienna

by Janey Canuck in


We have left the Czech Republic and have made it to Austria!  Our train trip was uneventful and we found our way to our first hotel without a problem.  We had two hotels booked for Vienna as originally, we were going to take an overnight train from Prague to Vienna, leaving us with no need to get a hotel room for last night.  But then, we found out the cost of the overnight train was more than we expected (we saw a price and thought that was it - no, turns out, that's just for the sleeper car, you still have to buy your train ticket on top of that...  which made it less economical to do that than to come a bit earlier and get a hotel room.)  We tried to extend our hotel that we were booked at but it was fully booked up so I found another hotel nearby and booked it instead.

Once we found hotel #1, we dropped our bags and asked the hotel clerk for a recommendation on where to eat.  She gave us the name of a place, saying it was cheap several times and sent us on our way with directions.  Well, it wasn't cheap and we weren't appropriately dressed.  I suspect she was getting a cut for everyone she sent over.  We ended up just getting dessert - it was late so I wasn't in the mood for anything heavy and the only non-mushroom vegetarian dish they had was pickled pumpkin.  Kevin wasn't thrilled by the menu either.  Dessert wasn't anything to write home about and we ended up stopping at McDonalds on the way back.

This morning, we got up and walked over to our other hotel to drop our bags off there and meet up with Wayne, Kevin's friend who is currently posted in Germany.  After stowing our luggage, Wayne guided us back to a major subway station where we could buy our 72-hour Vienna cards (unlimited access to transportation and discounts on most major attractions) before we headed down to the Imperial Treasury to check out the crown jewels, jewelry, treasures of the Golden Fleece and more.  It was really neat to see all the robes from the knights and emperors, etc.  And I was really pleased with myself for remembering that Marie Louise from the Hapsburg line was Napolean's second wife.  Yay for podcasts!

After that, we wandered for a bit before sitting down to lunch and then heading back to the hotel to check in and get ready for the Vienna Boys Choir.  It was quite a lovely concert.  The first half was just the choir and a piano.  The second half was the choir and a chamber orchestra.  The music was beautiful and so was the concert hall.

After that, we headed back to the hotel for a drink and dinner.  Our hotel is really quite an odd place - the lobby has disco balls and shelves of books and large stuffed cats and pillows made of something that seem to resemble horse hair.  Our room is pleasant enough but has a weird colour scheme and cubby holes.  But it's spacious and the bed is very comfortable.  And they put out jars of gummi bears in the lobby around 6:30.  All signs are pointing to a great stay but I'll reserve my final review for after tomorrow's shower.

For now, it's off to bed, we're heading to Melk, Krems, and Durnstein tomorrow to check out an abbey and some ruins that are rumoured to be where the Brothers Grimm took their inspirations for their kingdom far, far away.