Grand is the word.
Trip Start Sep 12, 2006
100Trip End Sep 08, 2008
Serbia's capital Belgrade was a long was from Opole, and there seemed no better place to break up the journey than in the glorious capital of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna. After 6 hours on the train from Katowice, which included a number of passport checks and even a few hours sleep, we found ourselves in Vienna's sudbahnhof station shortly after 6am
If there is one word to describe Vienna, it surely must be 'grand'. Everywhere we looked there were palaces and churches, museums and residential blocks on a huge scale. For this reason I found it very different from Prague, which was a beautiful city, but more enclosed and with fewer huge monumental edifices. We braved the freezing conditions and spent a few hours wandering around the Ring road, admiring the enormous Hofburg Palace, Natural History and Fine Art museums, Parliament House, the City Hall and the very attractive Roosevelt Church before heading into the centre to get some lunch near the impressive St Stephen's cathedral.
Following lunch we split up, as Jess and Nick investigated accommodation options for our 3am arrival in Belgrade while Chris and I figured out the Vienna metro and found a place where we could buy our bus tickets. This proved a little more difficult than we thought, as we were misinformed about the Eurolines office opening hours which meant we ended up circling the city via metro, train and tram. We managed to get our tickets though, and once we found Jess and Nick we belatedly celebrated Australia Day at a small Aussie pub serving chilled Cooper's sparkling ales
We found ourselves a little short of time as our 5pm departure time approached, and to make matters worse it had started to snow quite heavily. It was a mad scramble back to the bus station which involved another tram ride, but we made it, and brushed the few centimetres of snow off our shoulders before finding a seat on the cramped bus. No sooner had we arrived in Vienna were we off again, this time passing through Hungary on our way to Serbia. Although I was only in Vienna for a short time I'd seen enough to know I had to visit again, and as it was just 7 hours from Opole I knew I'd have that opportunity any weekend I wished, finances providing of course!