We woke up in the morning and boarded our bus to Vienna. This time we had booked using Eurolines and the bus quality was equally good. It was a big day back in India as Lok Sabha election results were to be declared which in turn were to decide the next Indian Prime Minister. The Wifi in the bus turned out to be useful and we were able to watch the telecast over various news channel websites. For the first time on my trip, I was not watching the surroundings. I was missing my family and friends and was just imagining how the atmosphere would be back home where every one would be glued to the TV screens. Luckily I was with my friend and we were enjoying the excitement with each partial declaration. I am sure our other bus mates would be wondering what so much important we have to watch on our mobile screen for hours in an early morning. By the time we reached Vienna, final results were out, fate of India had been written for next 5 years and we could now return back to Vienna :).
Rain had accompanied us to Vienna as well and we boarded the metro in the hope that by the time we reach hostel, it would stop. Unfortunately it didn’t and we had to miss our free walking tour that we had planned in the morning. This is where I realized that booking a good hostel is very important. I stayed in Wombat’s City Hostels hostel which was an excellent one. A very comfortable seating arrangement in lobby area so that even if I had to wait till check in time, I had a place to relax along with a fast WiFi. I would highly recommend this hostel for its value for money. They charge 23 Euros/person per day and the breakfast costs 4 euros. The hostel is located just next to metro station and thus have excellent location and the rooms are neat and clean.
After relaxing for some time we visited Hofburg palace which is known for the art and history museum along with the gardens. It was still drizzling so we could not visit the gardens. The museum is huge and takes around 2 hours to walk through.
Crockery from Older Times on Display
Since, we were present in the city of music and concerts it was a good idea to attend a concert. There were lot of things which I did first time in life on this European tour and attending a concert was one more example. I knew in advance that I would not be understanding the music that will be played there but also knew the experience would be unique not to be missed. There are tickets with different rates up to 60 Euros but the cheapest one was 5 Euros where we could see the concert standing. In audience we met an old gentleman who had worked in-house for many years and knew a lot of details about designing of concert halls. He explained about how halls are designed to give great sound effects and even talked about some physics concepts which I had read in school and don’t remember now. It was nice to have a quick chat with him.
The concert was a wonderful experience witnessing around 100 artists playing various instruments in synch. We stayed there entire show because even if we were not understanding of music, it was very pleasant to ears.
Our day ended on a musical note and we returned to hostel after having dinner. Next day we had planned to visit the royal palace of Vienna and the Cathedral.
We had bought a two days pass for metro which costs only 12 Euros. It is a great money-saving card as otherwise a single visit costs 2 Euros. We took the metro to reach Schönbrunn Palace. It is a very big complex which has a palace with built-in museum. There are long stretches of gardens and parks behind the palace and also a lake. This is one of the best attraction in Vienna to visit.
After spending couple of hours in palace, we moved to St. Stephens´s Cathedral which is simply beautiful from inside. There is facility to go to top with two distinct towers North and South which costs around 5 Euros. The top offers fantastic views of Vienna city, though because of strong wind it was very cold at the top.
Cathedral from Inside
It was our last day in Vienna and we wanted to make most of it. After having dinner we walked on the streets of Vienna for hours and Vienna is beautiful in night as well. There is a metro stop at almost every square so you do not need to worry if you get tired. Just walk to next square and board a metro back to hotel.
Vienna at Night
Next morning I waved good-bye to my friend. My tour was finally coming to an end but there was one last event remaining. Since my flight was in afternoon, I took the timings lightly. I missed the metro to airport which I had planned initially to catch. Then it took me some time to figure out to find the connecting metro to airport so I reached airport around 1 and half hours before departure time. Vienna airport was extremely crowded that day and when I located check in counters, I saw really long queues in front of my eyes. I was cursing myself for being late as I was at risk of missing my flight. Time was clicking away and I had a lot of passengers in front of me. In that moment of panic I forgot that I could let airport staff know that I am getting late so that they can find a way if possible. I was losing hopes and suddenly there were 8 new counters opened and unbelievably in next 10 minutes I got my boarding pass. It was a moment of relief and I promised myself I wouldn’t be careless in future specially in case of international flight where a missed flight may cost me loss of thousands of rupees. I boarded the flight thinking about the sequence of events in past few hours.As they say all well that ends well, the tour was completed gracefully 🙂
I had read a quote few months back – “Die With Memories, Not Dream”. At least one of my dream “Central Europe Tour” had finally been converted into a memory.
This concludes my Central Europe Travelogue and I hope you found it useful and interesting.See you later with a different story. Happy Travels<- Previous