Day 317 - Couchsurfing in Vienna

Trip Start Nov 07, 2010
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182
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Trip End Jan 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Honzo's House

Flag of Austria  ,
Monday, September 19, 2011

City to city spins by in a blur - Belgrade to Budapest to Bratislava and onward. It's like a seamless blend of urban expanses and late night trains.  Going to sleep on the rolling rickety clacks of the rails and waking up the next morning in a new place, a new face, a new name.  Our listful love affair with one town gives way to the eager anticipation and exploration of the next.  Constantly on the move, never pausing to take a breath.  This random streak through Europe and beyond has landed us in one of the most historic and beautiful cities this side of the Rhine.  Vienna is a place I’ve always wanted to go, having only seen it for a fleeting moment at an age when it went unappreciated and unloved.  This time we’ve found ourselves immersed in its folds, completely taken in by all that it holds.  Couchsurfing has served us well on our journeys through Europe, and this time was no different.  The man, the myth, the legend himself, Honzo had agreed to put us up for a few nights at his flat in the heart of the city.  Never have I met a more friendly and generous guy, a big bear of a man teaching art to young minds and living in the cluttered book strewn shelves and busy space of a thinker and wandering soul.  We stepped foot into his apartment and were greeted by our fellow travelers, two American siblings from Michigan and an Aussie on a mission.  Everyone immediately clicked, and the next few days were spent exploring this gorgeous city of cafés, museums and monuments.  From the dingy Kafka coffee spot where students smoked and studied the hours away, to the steel blocked building that housed the treasures and trash of "Modern Art," we saw it all and then some.  Each day began with breakfast from our host, a pot of coffee hot off the stove and a map left open and marked with places to go.  The four of us would rally by noon and set off into the wet grey streets of the city to see what she had to offer.  Cold locally brewed beers, pretzels the size of your head, stunning baroque buildings and trams that never end - it was like a wonderland for the wanderlust and we soaked it all up in the rain drenched avenues and bustling metropolitan streets.  I can’t say enough good things about couchsurfing.  We’ve met some of the most amazing and generous people who are willing to bend over backwards in hospitality.  Kitti in Budapest, and Nick in Greece, now Honzo in Vienna, a king among men and a prince among thieves.  He’s given his heart and his home to over two hundred souls wandering the globe, asking nothing in return but the respect and admiration that he so deserves.  The first night we arrived and met our fateful group, he had dinner at the ready and cold beers to boot.  A hookah was shared and stories were told, everyone bonded like friends of old.  It was a magical time because of his kindness, and thanks to him we met another pair of Americans who shared our odd sense of style.  Our time together was spent in a whirl of late nights and long days, touring the city and absorbing the culture and then going out until the dawn to piss it all away.  Fast friends and close ties come easily lately, I don’t know if it’s a result of being in Europe and couchsurfing or a symptom of our imminent return to the states, but we’ve met more like minded people in the last few weeks than our entire journey across the globe.  We revel until the end and part with a smile, keeping in touch over the next few weeks until our paths cross again over steins at Oktoberfest.  It’s taken a while but I think I’ve finally gotten used to the European lifestyle.  All it needed was good people, friendly hosts and a few thousand miles.
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