Folks kept on saying we should visit the capital city, and at last we made the attempt along with our daughter who also bombed a lot of my shots, so she’ll have to put up with being on the blog!
We travelled from Unzmarkt and dumped the car at the station. Here you just leave the vehicle and collect it, no barriers or bills. We discovered the Austria Sparshiene, which is on the OBB website, and it really made a lot of difference, only costing us each 14 euro each way. We travelled on the day the day that the formula One was in Knittelfeld, so there was a lot of excited men wearing baseball caps on the way! I was of course, transfixed out the window, and was rewarded with glimpses of the river Mur and cornfields filled with poppies and cornflowers. We changed at Bruck and der Mur and the scenery changed and we went on one of the wiggly ways through the hills. The train even had a Tomtom on the info screen, and we slowed right down to about 40km per hour! The scenery was amazing with deep gullies and a couple of castles on mountain tops. But once down on the flat, we hit fields and woods and the flatland around Vienna.
We arrived at a clean station, but someone (!) had read the underground plan wrong and we got on the wrong line. So we turned back and got the right one, arriving after our daughter at the Hotel. It wasn’t the inner area 17, a street of high buildings, with shops underneath, the road was Hernalshauptstrasse (why I say this will become apparent why later). We walked up through groups of tourists,muslims, locals, all sorts of things. We were hot and tired and the road wasnt a good introduction, Stef had come from the airport in a taxi and had noted we were right on the edge of the red light district…..
This goes to show how booking a hotel in an unknown city is fraught with dangers, But I had been looking for somewhere cheap, and read how it was only ten minutes from the centre, and it really was on the tube. Of course, this is the Austria scale of things, I think the centre of Vienna is about the same size as that of Southampton but with much bigger suburbs. To walkers, all is possible.
So we found Hotel in Hernals and our rooms. EEEYUK! The bed linen had holes in it, the bathroom had lumps of plaster falling off, shower was dirty, it was dusty, no TV remote (though they did sort it). Stef was in a different corridor and floor to us, after our booking said we were in adjacent rooms. On asking we were told this would be quieter. We let it rest as we didn’t expect the Savoy and we didn’t intend on being there that much. The beds were ok , but with the window open, although we didn’t hear the street, we could hear all the workers and deliveries in the mornings.
So we headed back to the tube station where we had spotted a MacDonalds – do remember we live in Austria and they are only found in the bigger cities! We decided to do the Art bit, and took off to the Belvedere gallery. Stef took over navigating, and I was quite happy. Having for years been the organiser of trips, it was nice to be told what to do, AND she is a Londoner, so reading the underground map was second nature, doesn’t mean I didn’t argue with here about it though -typical mother!!!!!!