Friday 8 August 2014

European Adventure: Day Eleven - Travelling to Vienna, Austria

I felt a tiny bit better in the morning, and was able to pack my stuff and get ready. I ate a little bit for breakfast - the hotel had an amazing selection - and soon it was time to say goodbye to Budapest and Hungary.

We took a cab to the train station, this time going in a different side. Remember when I wrote how the train station was old, run down and nothing special? I was wrong. We must have been at the crappy side, because this side was beautiful. The inside and outside were great. This station had a lounge for first class ticket holders, so we sat in there for the hour. We had free drinks, free wifi and free washrooms available to us. We met a group from Lost Wages aka Las Vegas, and swapped travel stories so far. They had just done Vienna and were off to Prague - sort of like us in reverse, except they were ending in Spain not Italy. 

The train was much nicer then the last. Better seats, more room, airier and wifi for the Austrian portion. There were also servers who would bring you food or drinks from the dining car. I spent the train ride reading and writing some blog posts, Dad was engrossed in Gone Girl and Brian was reading and playing on his tablet. The 4 hours went by quickly and there was much more scenery on this trip. 

There are two train stations in Vienna so we had a tiny bit of confusion over which one to get off at. GoogleMaps helped sort out which station was closer to our hotel. Once off the train we found a cab and took it over to our hotel which was in the main area. This hotel was also booked on points, but I was able to find one listed in the guidebook - the Astoria Trend Hotel. Its central to everything and less then 5 minutes from the Opera House. The location is really all it has going for it though. The lifts fit no more then three people, and all but one member of the staff have been rude. The rooms are closet sized... Dads single room is a bit bigger then our double, but they are really small with hardly anyplace to put luggage let alone move. Despite the actual room, the washrooms are newly renovated and done in beautiful marble so that is nice feature. There also isn't any air conditioning which I knew and is common in Europe, however the rooms are situated on a courtyard which provides no air movement. We have two fans going and the room remains an oven. Sure the location is great, and the hotel is historic and charming, but there are probably much better options in the area.

Opera House

We took a few minutes to get settled then met up to go over the Hop On - Hop Off Bus Map. We talked about what sights we were interested in seeing and made a tentative plan for the next few days. Wanting to escape our super hot rooms, we wandered out and around the streets nearest our hotel. It was one of the main pedestrian streets and had a number of shops, galleries, restaurants lining it. We ate dinner at another Italian place - seriously that's all dad tends to pick! - where I had yet another bad pizza as nothing else was appealing. We walked a little bit after dinner before splitting off and calling it an early night. 

i stayed with Brian as he needed to get a few more clothes. We had thought we would have laundry long before now and were running out. The hotel would do it on Saturday but with a 50% markup on their already insane prices - 3.10 EURO to wash a pair or underwear plus the 50% makes it 4.55 Euro so almost 8.00 Canadian dollars. The prices for jeans and shirts were just as insane and unjustifiable. Dad and I had just enough clothes to last until the next timeshare - which does have laundry facilities - but Brian didn't. We found a department store and some clearance racks and managed to get him sorted out. 

It was an earlier evening then usual, but the rest was much needed. 

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