Vienna, the City of Music… Like a month ago, it was supposed to be a kind of a test but this time the object was the bus company – PolskiBus, which promotes itself with prices starting from 1 PLN for any destination. True story, but it’s extremely hard to buy a ticket to Vienna or Prague for such a little. Still possible though. The best direction I’ve been able to find for 1 PLN is Zakopane, but this time I preferred to go to Vienna – it’s worth so much more.
Having chosen the particular weekend, for a little more than the magical 1 PLN I bought four tickets: one for me, one for Her and two for, well… ones of the best friends of ours. We spent Friday night on the bus, which I found comparable to the one at the airport in Oslo Rygge (or not, the second one was even more convenient) and early on Saturday morning we were already in Vienna. Unlike a month ago, we had a hostel room booked but available no earlier than at 2 p.m. so after using the nearest public toilet and eating (some kind of) breakfast we went sightseeing. We agreed to use public transport as little as possible in order to experience more of the regular life and streets. The first target was Schonbrunn Palace, a former Habsburg summer residence. Even in the rain it was so impressive. And Schonbrunn Garden? Wow. You could have spent the whole day just walking its alleys, but the plan for two days was very ambitious so unfortunately we didn’t have time for it. We went up the hill to see Gloriette and a really nice panoramic view of Vienna, we also took a picture of the Neptune Fountain and the Palm House and moved on to the next target – but ended up eating kebab in a so-called restaurant (which was actually very tasty) as we wanted to take a break after that 10-kilometer walk. You barely feel how far it is from one place to another and how fast time flies when you stroll through such an interesting city.
After we ate and some actual warm blood returned to our brains, we realized we could already use our hostel room. I must say I wasn’t too fond of doing that at the moment, as half the day was already gone and we managed to see only one major attraction by then, but eventually they tied me up and made me turn that way. On the other hand, why would I stand out – it wasn’t the last time I was going to visit Vienna and we still had some time left for the evening. And also, I was tied up. So we got to the Vienna City Hostel at Dampfgasse, had a word with a kind receptionist and went to our common bedroom to… take a nap! But what could I say, I was still tied up. And by the way, I didn’t mention that it rained for several hours and it was quite cold. The same story as in Norway – days before the weekend were sunny, days after as well, but the weekend itself was dull. So as it turned out, it was a good decision to get some rest and most of all – to get warm and dry. But it wasn’t until I got up when I appreciated it (thank you guys… but seriously, you should try sleeping with a rope on).
We were finally ready to go for an evening walk. The main destination was Innere Stadt, which was up to half an hour walk away from the hostel. All the streets looked fabulous, along with St. Charles’s Church, Vienna State Opera, Karntner Strasse and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This walk reminded me of a walk down Florianska street in Krakow, but everything was larger, brighter and more colorful. Still, I like Florianska more. We also bought a hot drink in McCafe (which we did very often, just to warm up) and turned to Prater amusement park. Regarding this area, I was most curious about Wiener Riesenrad (let’s call it Vienna Eye) but it was getting late so we tried only its smaller “counterpart”. Yet, it was also fine. Night city skyline: checked. After a few moments of walking along park’s avenues (and another 10 kilometers before) we started to feel tired, again. But there was one more thing to see that I couldn’t skip and as I knew we wouldn’t go back there the following day, I forced them to do one last walk – to see Danube and set foot on Reichsbrucke (Empire Bridge). I didn’t regret. Then we took a subway and went straight to the hostel. I slept well that night.
In the morning we ate a quick breakfast (included) and left, as we had very much ahead. At first we wanted to visit Narrenturm (Fool’s Tower), which used to be an accommodation for people with mental illness and now is home to the Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum, but unfortunately it was closed on Sundays. So we took a walk across university campus and began to continue visiting Innere Stadt. It was amazing – every building, street or square we came across was monumental. Museum of Art History (which swallowed our two friends for a couple of hours), Museum of Natural History (which has identical exterior as the one before), Hofburg Palace with its spacious gardens (Burggarten and Volksgarten), Votive Church – couldn’t take my eyes off it, Austrian Parliament Building on the Ringstrasse, Rathaus right next to Burgtheater, Der Graben, Kohlmarkt, Stephansplatz, Minoritenplatz, Michaelerplatz… neverending story. Oh, and I didn’t mention what we saved for last – Belvedere. Splendid.
As time passed by, we started to feel tired (again?) but we succeeded in seeing most of the things we wanted to see, so we decided to move toward the bus station – having done more or less 50 kilometers on foot during that weekend, I felt fulfilled anyway. The bus was leaving in two hours so the only thing left (besides coffee at McCafe) was to… um, blow bubbles! Great idea by the way, I didn’t realize how much joy do they bring into life of a pedestrian (or were they smiling because of funny kids on the floor?). Anyway, it was a successful trip. Two hours later, with smiles on our faces, we went to spend another night on these comfortable seats on the bus (I’m not sarcastic, they were relatively comfortable, there’s just no such thing as sleeping well on a bus).
Enjoy the pictures.