Saturday, September 11, 2010

11 sep - vienna - see saws and opera

ViennaWe all decided to have a meal out together for the first night in Vienna. As there are so many of us, its good to do it when there is room and as Lana knew a nice restaurant a short walk from the hostel, we took the opportunity.It turned out to be a good night as everyone enjoyed a few drinks, including some kind of coconut flavoured shot poured by Lana. Food was good especially the sausage dumplings which were absolutely massive – so big that even Matt couldn’t help finish them and as you know by now he IS an American!! I also decided to teach a few people how to pop drinking straws, which kept everyone amused for a while, but not the waitress!!Towards the end of the meal the ladies of the group were interested to see why the men kept going to the toilets and coming back with big wide grins and staring at cameras – It turned out that the gents toilets had a special 'Black light', in the cubicle, that meant when it was used your pee glowed green while everything was lit up in the eerie luminous light – The men had even been taking photos of the spectacle!! One or two of the girls headed into the gents to check them out but obviously weren’t as overcome as the fellas as they looked disappointed on their return.

After the meal we all paid and left a healthy tip for the great waitress who had served us all so well and then we headed off to a nearby pub, which turned out to have big painting of Ayers Rock on the wall. We posed for a photo underneath it and promised we would try to re-create the pose when we visit the real thing in 11 and a half weeks time.

Beer and shots flowed for the next few hours and one by one people drifted home to their beds – Some after lighting fire to sambuca in their mouths trying to be dragons and others to be accosted by the local 'ladies of the night' on their way home. Nobody took up any of their offers!

The next morning as we sat in breakfast you could see that everyone was suffering – It wasn’t however due to the booze from the previous night, but to the walking around Prague, travelling, changing beds and snoring and noises from other Ozbussers. We are now beginning to see that we have to take some time off sometimes. We have been up early every morning and eager to see everything before hitting the road and starting again at the next destination. I predict that over the coming days and weeks, there will be times when people are more than happy just to mellow out.

Anyway, back to today and the group all went their separate ways – some went to watch the Lippizaner? horse show, others took a bus tour of the city, while Becky, Laura Frankie and myself took a gentle wander into town, stopping for a bit of shopping on the way and also commenting on what must have been the smelliest tube train ever – To put it mildly it smelt of shit! We got into town and wandered around the volks park, looking at the Parliament building with its Mermen fountain and tall lampposts. We came across the Film Festival arena with its big screen and seating, behind which was a line of top class food stalls with everything from Australian mangos to Mexican and Thai food. Frankie was the only one to buy food – If you can call 'Ben and Jerrys Ice cream', food!! We continued around the park looking at some beautiful roses in the rose garden and stopping off for a few minutes to all have a play on the most uncomfortable see saw we had ever been on. We were all knackered and a little bit underwhelmed – as nice as Vienna is, it wasn’t a good as Prague, especially as there seemed to be marquees and portaloos in front of or next to all the buildings of any note. We stopped for a bit of lunch, where the smallest of our group had the biggest bit of cake – which was so fresh and nice, even though it came from a bakers in an underground station!

The Rosegarden

After lunch we took a ride to see the Danube and take a few photos. When we headed back toward town we were only 20 metres short of getting straight on a train, but we were all so tired we couldn’t be bothered to run, so just waited for the next one.Laura Becky Me and Frankie by the Danube

The last bit of the day saw us visiting the Fun Fair/Theme park just outside the centre of town. We watched as Frankie had a go on the rotating chair ride thing, then realised that she had been on the kids version as the adult one is at the back of the park and is 117 metres high! After a walk around the park and taking a few pictures we headed slowly back to the hostel to relax for a bit and sort out some admin stuff, like money, banking and jobs!

In the evening a few of us got together and decided to head back to the volks park to get a bit of food from one of the stalls in the Volks park and see what was happening. It was a great decision as the food was cheap and really really amazing. The city hall was all lit up too and an opera was showing on the massive screen. People were just milling around listening or watching the opera whilst enjoying good food and drink. It was a really great relaxed, atmosphere and not at all how I had imagined my first experience of opera to be. We all agreed that this is how Vienna would be remembered by us. None of us are opera buffs, but it was a really great experience to spend a couple of hours in such a great setting, even though we didn’t understand what was going on with the story!!A Vienna statue

We finally headed off back to the Hostel as it started to get chilly, but not before we visited the Parliament again to get a few pictures of the mermen fountain all lit up at night.Straws after popping them at dinner

It was then a reasonably early night for most of the bussers, before we leave Vienna tomorrow and head towards another new country – This time tomorrow we will be in Budapest, Hungary. That’s good for me cos I like Goulash!!

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