My experience of Vienna was… Interesting. I adore the city; it’s beautiful, amazingly multicultural and has a great public transport system.
Oh. And they speak German.
I arrived at Wien Westbahnhof, and made my way to a church that I had spotted as I left the station. Unfortunately it was closed when I got there, but I still took pictures of the amazing exterior. I continued my wander down what appeared to be the main shopping street.
I decided to head into McDonald’s for their free wifi in order to get some directions. I went to their McCafé, and discovered that – to my surprise – they serve proper traditional Austrian cakes and tortes. I enjoyed a rather wonderful Marzipantorte, and made my marzipan loving father quite jealous. All for €2,29.
In the end the wifi would not work, but on the bright side I enjoyed some lovely cake. I ended up missing the 15:21 train to Bratislava, arriving at Hauptbahnhof five minutes late.
I then loitered for a bit, including standing outside McDonald’s and using their (functioning, this time) wifi to update this blog. I headed for platform 12 for the 15:59 train to Bratislava. The train ended up being late, so I decided in the end to simply skip Slovakia and head straight for Prague, as the delay would give me about 15 minutes in Bratislava.
I then missed a train to return to Wien Meidling, a different Viennese station. This meant my return to the U-bahn system, using three lines to get to the station. I made it to my train with zero minutes to spare.
This is easier said than done, carrying a large rucksack, a shoulder bag holding a DSLR camera and a small handbag.
Thank The Lord for kind guards.
He saw me running. He said something, which I couldn’t hear, so I tried the nearest door. It opened a fraction, and then closed again as all the doors shut, ready for departure.
He shouted again. I ran towards his door, the one he was holding open for me and practically hurled myself onto the train.
Back home, guards usually shrug and ignore you if you’re late for the train.
The journey to Prague was long. From 16:32 until 21:21, in fact, although we arrived slightly early, at about 21:09. I believe the train would then continue onwards to Berlin and Hamburg, but I’m not sure.
I spent the journey reading, playing games on my iPod, flicking through German Cosmo and listening to music. It was relaxing, although I didn’t permit myself sleep on this journey. I overslept in the morning, and so no sleep for me now.
When I finally arrived in Prague, getting the subway was easy. Using my dad’s google maps directions was less so, when one street appeared not to exist, even when I asked someone about it. Interesting.
However, I found the hostel without too much hassle, and found myself loving it as soon as I went in. Friendly, clean and also having a pool and a sauna. What’s not to like?
I made my way to my room.
And discovered that I was the only girl. In a room of 6 guys.
I was greeted by the sight of two guys in their boxers, who said hello when I came in. When it said ‘mixed’ gender on the booking, I did expect a slightly better mix. A 6:1 ratio was not what I had bargained for. My dearest mother’s advice was for me to sleep with my legs crossed. Djikuji, mum.
Instead of staying in the slightly awkward room, I headed to the bar. I joined a group of English girls (hailing from Warwickshire) who were playing Rummy, and we eventually moved on to Irish Snap. Much more my forte.
It eventually morphed into a drinking game, and the game of ‘pegging’ also came into play when we were joined by some Aussies. Now, pegging is where one is equipped with a clothes peg and had to attach it to another person without the other noticing. Hair and clothing are common targets. In this version, one pegged for more than 5 seconds had to down their drink.
A new acquaintance pegged my sleeve, and so to down my drink it was. This was now about 1/4 litre of dark beer, which wouldn’t be so bad if beer didn’t make me sick in large quantities. I had to go wait in the bathroom for a while before I knew that I wasn’t going to up chuck said beer.
More people were met, including a lovely Irish girl from Dublin. We discussed rugby, including a small argument over whether Wales or Ireland was better in Six Nations terms.
We eventually all were kicked out of the bar and so I’m back in my room overrun with males.
Time for some sleep.
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