A retrospective look at Vienna. Die ersten tag.

Day One

We boarded a bus in Budapest (and were highly disturbed by the lack of queuing, the Englishness inside us screamed at those pushing in front and stealing the best seats. Although of course we said nothing aloud, for fear of being lynched by angry, travel hungry Hungarians) and off we set for the 3 hour drive to Vienna. We had cleverly downloaded ‘Mean Girls’ for the journey there and happily watched in whilst, rather slowly, progressing down road after road towards Austria.

We arrived at 14.30, got some euros out of a cash point and walked to the U-Bahn (underground) to get the metro from the bus station to our hostel. Our hostel was near Westbahnhof (West train station) and there was a direct connection. The only problem was the cash machine had given us 50 euro notes which the metro station wouldnt take or change! Cue a tramp around the outskirts of Vienna looking for change, eventually I bought a diet coke (2.5 euros!!!) and got change for my 50.

We annoyed everyone on the metro with our abundance of awkward sized luggage and travelled to Westbahnhof station. We then suddenly remembered that neither of us had looked up the actual address of the hostel! We’d seen it was ‘around the corner’ and a short walk from the station, yet we’d completely forgotten to look up which corner it was around! We had no wi-fi and no way of finding out and were accompanied by a vast amount of heavy luggage and tired brains. It was boiling and we just sat on the road feeling a bit stupid. Eventually we just asked a man in a shop who kindly looked it up on google maps and off we went.

We checked into an 8 bed mixed dorm. It was a nice hostel, had beautiful gardens and a cool bar and chill out area. Our room was fine, bunk beds and en suite clean showers and toilet. The first people that stayed in the room were a bit unsociable but the next day lots of new people arrived. Over the 3 days we shared with 2 Kiwis, some Canadians, a puerto-ricon and some Americans. Most were about our age, doing the whole ‘omg Europe is like sooo awesome’ traveling thing. We never saw any other English people! It was great to chat to such different people and hang out with them.

We then walked up Maria Hilfe Strasse, the main shopping street and straight line to the main sights. We had arranged to meet up with these girls we’d met on CouchSurfing who’d told us about the ‘Lange Nacht der Museen’ which was this really cool thing where you paid a set fee (11 euros) and you got free access to 660 museums across Vienna. There were shuttle buses between them and it ran from 6pm til 1am. It was lucky really ’cause it only runs one night a year and we coincidentally were there that day!

There are, however, only so many museums you can look around before you drop dead. Also turns out these Austrian girls were really unchatty and not that friendly so we made our excuses and left to meet my friend who is a teacher there. We had pizza together and then look around some more museums before getting back at about 1.30am. What was cool though was the ‘Museum Quartier’ which is this main sort of square with loads and loads of grand museums. I also got excited because there were lots of quotes from famous Philosophers next to some of the paintings, including one excerpt from a book about Wittgenstein by my Wittgenstein lecturer from uni! What a celeb!

The Leopold Museum and the Dali exhibition.

Us being Dali.

The museum quartier.

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