FROM EASTERN TO WESTERN EUROPE

Trip Start Sep 14, 2012
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Trip End Oct 15, 2012


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Where I stayed
What I did
Dubrovnik and VIenna airports

Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slept in until about 0610. After a shower and some packing, off at 0715. The old town was fairly empty, a bonus for sure. Took 'flat' pix this time.

Went to St Ignatius Church where again stymied re interior time, some chaps starting to pray as I entered so a few more 'through the looking glass' shots [not bad].

Buza Bar pix, Roddy! I meandered the alleys, largely in a zig zag pattern, just looking for photo ops. Took a set of '4 directions' ie standing at an intersection and taking one for each cardinal point of the compass.

The old town of Dubrovnik is on more of a grid pattern than Kotor so it is easier to wander about in full recognition it is well nigh impossible to get lost. The cobblestones are slippery, especially wearing dress shoes, the useless Walmart running shoes staying behind.

It's early enough waiters are on their cell phones to pass the time, waiting for customers. Shots of lines of empty tables can be pretty effective.

Returned to the Cafe Festival [where Nathalie and I had a coffee yesterday] for brekkie. It was going to be a continental brekkie with 'black Americano' but there was apparently no bread. I asked for an omelette and skip any bread plus a cafe latte. Toasted bread magically appeared. Menus here are often in several languages 82 CK.

By 0830, small hordes of Japanese tourists were heading down the Stradun from the West Gate whereas larger throngs of 'boat people' were heading the other way.

Up the alley behind where I sat is a great view of the Fort Minceta, catching the eye of the observant walkers. I am sure I am thereby in many a tourists' photograph.

More walkabout. There was a store called 'Bikini concept': certainly the idea of Rose in a bikini is a concept only.

There are a handful of signs re the damage down to Dubrovnik during the Balkan War by the Yugoslav army, the Serbs and the Montenegrins. Another artist has a display of the damage done to his shop. Things are in many ways still pretty raw here.

It is overcast which is better for walking but less so for crispness in pix. Over near the Restaurant Orhan for a shot of Fort Lawrence. The money exchange outside the old town was closed.
Back inside the old town. The door to the Franciscan Monastery was open. Within a minute, a service started so just some cheeky at the back shots before exiting. An open foreign exchange did not do the transactions from kunas to euros. Another one was yet again closed. I'll take my chances at the airport.

Back by 1000 for a quick shower. I was uploading pix when the world's worst housekeeper wanted to clean the room so I vacated by 1045 to the garden table to make some notes about the Czech Republic and Slovakia from my guide book since the lighting was bad to consider the start of a round of deletions.

The Czech Republic took me an hour, probably in part to some reminiscing as I went. Light rain started at 1145; nice timing. Got through Bratislava before taking a slash and heading down to the pick up point.

Taxi chap by at 1230 for the less than 20M trip to the airport on highway 8. He said usually the season is pretty much over now but it has been a busy year and people are tired. I told him you can't have both rest and more money 200 CK.

Check in was fine, Chinese tourists repacking their main luggage doing God knows what. After checking in--and getting Aeroplan points for the flight--up to security and then passport control, seated near Gate 3 around 1325. Updated the diary. Cheap DVB has no complimentary wifi so selected the pix for the blog over the last two days should my Vienna hotel not be so cheesy. Been having a few of Arjan's figs for lunch to tide me over. Not sure there is any dinner option in the town my hotel is in tonight.

1406 and just waiting to board. There are 2 domestic and 4 international gates. The airport looks pretty new.

By 1423 I was in seat A6 on an Airbus A321. While a seemingly newer plane, it has no headphone jacks that I could find. Austrian Airlines has the same magazine for 2 months so nil new to read.

Only one other plane is on the tarmac. It's a pretty quiet time flight-wise to Dubrovnik but the cruise ships continue to arrive.

You must be bored on a flight to listen to the safety instructions. In the air at 1453, way ahead of the scheduled departure time. On this trip in the cramped quarters especially in buses would cause trip fatigue to roll in. Having a glass of white wine probably did not help. The flight attendants were surely happy they would only have to deal with the raft of Chinese tourists aboard for a short time, the concept of an apple or something chocolate not getting through to them all that well.

Looking at a map of Europe, perhaps another trip might be deeper into the former eastern Europe, from the Baltic countries down to Bulgaria or Romania; hmm.

Writing down some questions for the deputy judges' dinner in November to pass the time on the descent to Vienna. Yup, yours truly as a deputy Small Claims Court judge as of October 22nd. I did see the Gasometer buildings, our subway stop, as we flew into Vienna.

Touched down at 1557 at Flughafen Wien [Vienna airport] but it took awhile to get around to gate F16. An incoming stamp from an indifferent customs official. Waltz music played for impatient passengers at the baggage carousel.

In a cab by 1629 and on to the A4, the driver putting in my address into his GPS. For a shorter journey, I paid more than 6x what I paid to train/subway it deep into Vienna the first time.

Efficient check-in and arrangements made for a taxi at 0800. The place has wifi [whee!] so checking up on things before 1700. Quick news check before a run through new emails.

As fate would have it, I was in Austria at the time Austrian Felix Baumgartner was doing his record fall from space so it was carried live. No seeming interest in NFL action here which was disappointing. Some emails back and forth with a lawyer friend about each others' dumb choices in sport teams. Got a couple of days of blog published so another thing off the list.

Polished off the figs for dinner, not ultimately feeling like going out for dinner. By after 2130 I didn't even feel like completing yesterday's diary so organized the alarm clock and bagged out.

 
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