Day 25 and 26 – Hong Kong – Sydney – Dubbo

Jeez long haul flights are exhausting, I reckon that even if I could afford Business or First Class, I still doubt I would sleep enough to arrive home really fresh. It’s probably just a more comfortable uncomfortableness. 

We arrive in Hong Kong on time at 6.20am, the pilot must have turned the afterburners on for a short time. We hop off the plane find the track to Transfer to the gate for the Sydney flight, the Chinese officials are quite officious, funny thing isn’t it, to have a pimply faced 22 year old with a frown, pursed lips and eyes rolling at senior “round eyes” struggling a bit after 12 – 13 hours cramped on a metallic missile cruising at about 800 km per hour when you are just trying to work out where you have to go to get the next flight without falling asleep. I wonder if airport officials are taught anything about customer service?

Our gate is not far away thankfully, but another security check by the same juvenile Hitler impersonators getting on to the plane from Hong Kong to Sydney almost feels like overkill. Anyway we get over it because, just maybe, it’s just that we’re tired and overreacting, even after Genelle has her backpack searched in detail and there was a lot of stuff in there but I think in the end they got tired of searching and let her go. There is a little bonus when we get on the plane, we took a punt and changed our seat allocation to the back of the plane, and it pays off, the plane is about 20 short of a full load and we have 2 of us in a 3 seat window side, lots of space as well as we have a steward who is a bit camp and a very friendly and a lot of fun, things feel good again. Another 9 hours before we be to Sydney, a few movies, a bit of music, a few pages of a Jack Reacher novel get me through it.

While the travel is fantastic and I could keep going on forever, the pace has been telling physically and mentally , my legs, lower back and hips are compensating for the crumbling arthritic knees and I need a bit of a break, from the painkillers and the constant walking and climbing. Perhaps I should have skipped a few days of the shopping?

Finally we arrive in Sydney about 8.45 at night, it’s still a fantastic feeling flying into Sydney at night, over the city and the harbour. We walk out of the airport without attracting the attention of  Quarantine or Immigration, the sign said “Australian Border Conroy is filming here today” but we didn’t see them, perhaps they heard Genelle was coming and they chose discretion rather than valor. 

Rydges Hotel over the road is the next stop, a late meal, then try to sleep before an early morning start to get the plane back to Dubbo. We’re home in Dubbo, exhausted, a quick unpack and then rest. Our sleep cycle needs to get into sync again so the next few days are not easy, waking at 3 or 4 am.

Work tomorrow, time to turn the phone on again, check the hundreds of emails, and call the knee surgeon and book in for the serious business of getting some new knees.

Oh, and we need to start planning the next trip pretty shortly as well.

Ciao Pauolo

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Day 24 – Rome and then on the road again – Tuesday 24th October 2017

An early morning breakfast at Obica Cafe on the Campo, we meet some other Australians from Picton but have to leave them to bring our bags down and get ready for the taxi. The Campo is cool, there is an autumn chill in the air, the stall holders are slowly setting up, in their puffer jackets and gloves to keep warm, barrows bringing vegetables, fruit, clothes and lots of other stuff that they set up and pull down every day. Hard work, and some of the older guys do look worn out. The taxi arrives on time after we wrestle the bags done the tiny lift from the 3rd floor. It’s all nearly over, at least until the next trip.

I’m writing this as the Cathay Pacific jet has just crossed the Black seas, the map of the area we’re travelling over on the screen showing magical places that I’d like to see like Isfahan (in Iran and fantastic history to it ), Tashkent on the old Silk Road ( I think?), still 6 hours to go before we land in Hong Kong and Billy Idol, Annie Lennox, and other 70s and 80s music is playing through the beautiful Bose noise cancelling headphones I got for my birthday a few years ago. They shit out the roaring jet noise and make the long haul stuff almost bearable. A good investment, but if you can’t afford them it’s only a first world problem you have.
Time to reflect on a few things before I start to get tired.

Some things I’ve learned;

– Italy is great, and anywhere in Italy is fun but in different ways. We love Rome but for different reasons to what we like about time in a Tuscan hill town. The people are busy, friendly mostly, food is simple, fresh and good. A bad coffee is rare. At one stage, for a long time, the Romans ruled the known world, they were smart, cultured, cruel and gave the modern world many things. Italy was a nation born from lots of small areas ruled by different people’s but only really united into the democracy of Italy relatively recently. 

– A week in a Tuscan hill town with a group of friends is fantastic, as with any group some small challenges arise but what a way to share an experience with friends in a beautiful part of the world.

– Football ( soccer) is almost as big as the Catholic Church and makes nearly as much money as the church. 

– Italian, in particular Tuscan wine has much lower levels of preservative and thus is less likely to give an allergic reaction to the preservative – yet to be proved I reckon.

– Berlin is a great city, but different to lots of other European cities, it’s spread out and is more a series of connected communities linked by good transport systems. The Berlin Wall is a memory of most people over 40 and still has an impact on this place.

– Prague is a beautiful city, crowded with tourists but we could have done with a day less there.

– Travelling by air in Europe is cheap but a pain in the bum, if you can travel by train, you leave and arrive really close to the centre of the city, you only need to be at the station 15 minutes before the train leaves. In Britain, France and Italy they are really fast,up to 300+ km/ hour but Eastern European trains are good as well.

– Vienna, interesting history, beautiful city but not sure I really need to visit there again.

More to come when I get some sanity back 

Cheers

Paul

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Day 23 – Vienna to Rome – 23rd October 2017

Farrrrk, 3.30am is early to be getting out of bed, it’s ok it you’re just going to bed and you’re under 30 I suppose.

Genelle has the auto alarm clock on and is out of bed before the alarm proper goes off at 3.30, I try and sneak a few extra minutes while she’s in the shower but it doesn’t help me feel any better. And here’s me with a reputation for early starts!

At 4am we’re out the front door and the black Mercedes taxi is waiting for us. He’s a Bosnian man with little English but enough that we can have a conversation and know that he has relatives in Sydney. The trip to the airport at 4 am takes 1/2 an hour and we’re quickly rid of our bags thanks to the helpful Austrian Airline’s desk and through security after half undressing, luckily the extra kilos I’ve added help keep my jeans up and I don’t have to waddle through the metal detector with my pants around my ankles. A bottle of water, a muffin and coffee make my feel half human.

At 6am, the Eurowings attendant takes the tapes off the boarding gates and the stampede begins, but it’s only downstairs to a bus where we then wait until 6.20 while the stragglers and other dozy buggers how spelt through their alarms wander down the stairs yawning, wiping the sleep from their eyes and no apologetic shrug of the shoulders or tilt of the head  to say sorry for holding you up folks. The bus is finally off, it seems to take forever to get to the plane, we’ve driven half way to Nuremberg by the time we arrive at the plane, dismount the bus and find our seats on the plane. Thankfully it’s only about half full so we don’t have to sit next to some fat German pig farmer smelling of garlic and pig shit. It’s still drizzling and cold as we head south to Rome, daylight sneaking over the horizon on the left side of the plane when we finally get through the clouds.

Rome not far away


We’re tired, a bit grumpy and testy when we get off the plane Fumicino airport in Rome.

The bags arrive despite a bit of doubt by one traveller that carousel 11 was where they were going. Out the doors and we see a bloke with our name on it. We assume he’s the bloke we booked on the net but we latter find out the accomodation organised this one and we ended up having to pay the trip into Rome twice – €50 f…k up, I think we were mucked up by the accomodation people assuming we wanted transport. 
Mamas Home Rome in Campo de Fiori is fantastic, in a fantastic piazza, just near Piazza Navona, near the Jewish area. The accomodation has been really modernised and has hand made modern furniture made of brushed stainless steel and glass, the shower and bathroom is all glass and is all seeing unless you pull a curtain for a little modesty. Our room is at the side not overlooking the Campo, but is still a beautiful room. Our initial host is Enrica, a late 30-40 something daughter in law of the “ Mama” who owns the building, “Mama”has 2 sons and we gather both are involved in this enterprise and we think a restaurant downstairs. Enrica is mother to 2 boys of 7 and 11, well dressed, confident, full of knowledge on the building and the area, I think Mama’s son has done pretty well.
Campo de Fiori was once a garden area on the banks of the Tiber River and at some stage hundreds of years ago some of the gardeners started selling flowers (Fiori) in the area and now while the piazza fills with food and clothing markets during the day, the 4 flowers stalls are the main permanent stalls.

Enrica takes over to Obica Cafe for some breakfast and coffee, where the “breakfast” bit of B & B happens. It’s good to get Italian coffee again. There is an easy feel to the cafes and staff when you sit down in an Italian cafe/ restaurant.

Genelle finished her breakfast quickly and immediately buys some clothes and does a recce of the market.

Back in Berlin I lost a cap that I’d bought in Paris, so I bought hats at a market stall in Campo de Fiori last year and decide to replace it at the same stall. A nice line cap is the go and it’s cooler than the woollen ones I was thinking of. It’s a warm sunny day in Rome and I need to cover my head so a necessary purchase. My acquisitions other than food and drink have been 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of work trousers, 4 fridge magnets and a couple of caps. My travelling companion has, as somebody commented, helped the European economy with her purchases, my reply was Europe was doing ok but the Reid’s were facing a serious deficit.

Genelle buys a bag in a laneway beside Mamas Home, a pair of shoes in the Jewish Quarter, scarves, more bags, dunno when it’s going to end and where she’ll fit it all? Probably stuff my bag full of it ( which is what happens. 

We then walk to Piazza Navona, 5 minutes from Campo, sit a while and rest. The crowds are huge, much bigger than when we were in Rome last year ( November). We then walk the next 5 minutes through the crowds via the laneways to The Pantheon, my favourite building of anywhere at this stage. No photo’s do it justice, you have to see it to understand, the ocular in the roof is enormous but how they managed the engineering of the roof over 2,000 years ago is fascinating. There is a bloke that we saw here last year, busking, playing Pink Floyd music on an electric guitar with and amp and speaker connected to a car battery, he’s amazingly good. We then walk the further 15 minutes to Trevi Fountain to do the coin toss ( means you’ll be back) which has worked for us 3 times so far. Our feet are killing us so we limp back towards Campo de Firori for a rest.

After going our own way for an hour or so we meet at a restaurant Osteria Fortunata which is right under our room at ground level, we were told it’s authentic and the pasta is renowned. It’s a bit early so we get straight in, there are 2 female cooks making pasta at a large table in the front window, fast, all sorted of pasta, fetuchinni, spaghetti, gnocchi, macaroni, and other stuff, flour is flying and they talk and laugh with the waiters as they come past. The place is busy, the waiters skid around corners, there is the incessant noise of a busy chatty restaurant with the machine gun patter of Italian added. It’s a fun place and the food when we get it is good, Genelle cleans here plate, and that doesn’t happen often.

Then it’s a final pack ready for planes again tomorrow.

Ciao from Rome

Pauolo.

Our room at Mammas Home Rome in Campo de Fiori

In front f Mammas Home Rome, our room is 2nd top floor near the chimney.



Singers in front of our B&B

Rome Street.

Campo de Fiori markets

Hat purchase in Campo de Fiori


Genelle in Piazza Navona today

2 pasta makers at Osteria Fortunata

Osteria Fortunata after we ate there

Me at Osteria Fortunata

Best building in the world – Pantheon

Genelle at Trevi Fontana – convincing the Gods that we’ll be back

i

Paul in the Jewish Quarter Rome


Street scene in the Jewish Quarter


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Day 22 – Just one more day in Vienna – Sunday 22nd October 2017

In Vienna it’s Sunday, which is a day of rest, hardly anything except some food places, museums, churches and a few other bits and pieces are open. 
The hotel have organised a taxi to the airport for €40, ok value after we do a little check around on the net.

We’ve also organised a pickup at Rome airport tomorrow morning, €42 cost, and we’re leaving the hotel in Vienna at 4am for the Wien International Airport, The Super Shopper wants to be in Rome before the shops open. Go figure! In Rome we’re staying in the Campo De Fiori, right in the piazza, in a little boutique place called Mamas Kitchen. We liked the area when we ventured into it by accident on the last day of our trip last year, so we thought let’s give it a burl this year. 

So today, here’s the thing, Genelle went to Museum, the Wien Museum, I figure just to humour me, but non the less she walked in the door, then had a quick look and sat on a bench. It’s raining and cold outside. This Museum focus’s on the history of Vienna, and not a lot of time is needed, plus, there is no shortage of museums in Vienna, so I decide to move on to the DK – the Museum of Applied Art  ( the DAK) Genelle opts to go back to the area where there are people and leave me to the Museum. The DAK is fantastic and it has about 5 levels of stuff from cutting edge tech stuff like solar powered self composting toilets, the future of kitchen designing, recycling anything they can into stuff we use every day, fabrics, fashion items from about 2003-4 that models wore in a big Paris show – what may you ask would that be, well it was thin strips of material that wouldn’t cover much, vented bras made of leather, see through stuff that left nothing to the imagination, all very interesting. It took quite a while, a quick coffee and then back to all the people in Stephenplatz and a rest at the hotel.

Dinner is back at Renthalers again for Wiener snitzel for me and sausage and gravy for Genelle.

Bags packed and ready for Rome tomorrrow.

Ciao from Vienna

Pauolo

Reinthalers Beisl – a good spot for a meal

Stephenplatz from in front of our hotel

Inside the DK – Museum of

Solar powered self composting toilet at the DK

A chair that’s like a show at the DK

Horse and cart – Vienna style

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Day 21 – Vienna, it’s raining and cold – Saturday 21st October 2017

So today is the last day of retail activity by the said Olympic Class shopper, on Sunday Vienna shuts down except for church, food and museum activity. For Genelle this will mean a quiet day, church might be needed after a visit to the Sex Machines Museum but museums ain’t her big thing and shut shops could bring on anxiety and depression, I’ll have to watch her closely. For me, well I’m going to use my Vienna Pass and see a couple of museums by myself. I’ll work out which ones tomorrow.
Once again I think the internet wifi speed will be a problem to load photos up on the blog so as per yesterday check the photos on Facebook.

It’s raining outside when we get up, it’s grey and drizzling, and oddly enough this is the first real rain we’ve had in the 3 weeks we’ve been on the road. So for the first time the Gortex coats come out, scarves around necks and off we trot to Stephenplatz U Bahn station, of to Karlsplatz U Bahn and the Nachmarkt, a  fresh food market during the week and flea markets added on Saturday. Now I pride myself on being pretty good with directions but once again Karlsplatz throws me and I go the wrong way until Genelle’s trusty iPhone Google maps gets me on track, much harumping and hairy eyeball activity from you know who makes me feel a bit small, but I’m used to it and let it all slide over my head.

First thing at the market is breakfast, a serious pastry with coffee and tea. The food area is huge and the food and vegetables area is great and cheap. The Viennese do good coffee, not as good as home but getting close. We wander for ages through all the food and then the flea market area, which has mainly 2 nd hand junk and Chinese scarves with some knock off  Addidas and Jack Wolfskin clothes. Genelle negotiates hard and buys some sweats and some biscuits, but there isn’t anything really that catches her eye, and there is no chance anything is going to tempt me.

We leave the market and get on to the U Bahn and head out to where the big European cruise boats dock in Vienna on the banks of the Danube River proper. There are about 3 boats moored on the main old Vienna side of the river, it’s raining steadily, it’s bleak and we drop some of Tim’s ashes into the Danube. A huge river, and who knows where the waters of the Brown Danube will take him. The river isn’t blue like folklore would lead you to believe.

The afternoon is spent walking, resting, walking and resting. It’s hard to do too much in this weather.

Dinner tonight is at Reinthalers Beisel Restaurant, where we ate last night – I think ai had the wrong name last night. As before the food is really good and well priced. A Viennese man sits beside us and we strike up a conversation, he says this place is well renowned by the locals for the Viennese style food, the price and the quality, and we’ll vouch for that, €8.90 gets me a beautiful Wiener Snitzel pork with salad. He’s been to Australia 4 times and has friends who live in Canberra and has travelled all over Australia. As he’s getting ready to leave a young American couple sit beside us on the other side, they are from Minnesota, she’s a HR recruiter for a big international law firm and he works for Target ( different to the Australian one) as manager of their “Intimates” section – the women’s underwear, lingerie etc etc. We learn how they book accomodation and ideas for travelling, food and site seeing etc. by their use of Rick Steve’s book. A lovely young couple and they suggest that we see Alaska and Delouth in Minnesota if we ever go to America.

We leave and head for the streets, to see what is happening. The city is alive, people everywhere, no sign of drunks or trouble UNTIL as we wander back past St Stepehens and a brawl has just broken out between what looks like 2 groups of about 6-10 people of what looks like middle eastern decent, the language sounds like Arabic, there is pushing, shoving, punches and screaming, there are girls involved and possible knives, by then we’ve moved well away. About 6 police cars with sirens roar in, their are police dogs, lots of people with guns appear and the noise goes on for a while. Bit scary but we’re about 70 metres away by the time it got really scary. 

Tomorrow is our last day in Vienna, a quiet day I feel.

Gute Nacht aus Wien

Paul

Nacho Markt today, wet and lots of people

On the U Bahn Train Station at Stephenplatz today

Some of Tim’s ashes go into the Danube River today

Out the front of our hotel – Pension Nossek tonight

Genelle on Stephenplatz, Vienna today


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Day 20 – A Day in Vienna – Friday 20th October 2017

( There are problems loading photos again- check the ones out I added to Facebook earlier)

It’s a late wake up, again, but we’ve been going pretty hard with the travelling and sleeping in strange beds and I guess we’re getting a little weary. 

We wander out the front of Pension Nossek, turn right, 3 short blocks down, turn right into Dorothee gasse and a little way up we see a funny looking place and try our hand, it’s Leopoldo Hawelka Cafe, a bloke in his 60’s waves us in, almost like a John Cleese sort of character, a serious look on his face and asks us German what we want (at least that’s what we assume he’s asking?), Genelle says “breakfast “,he says “eggs?” So I end up with a cheese omelette and she ends up with bacon and eggs scrambled in a dish, she with a tea and me with a nice cappuccino. The place is full of locals reading newspapers on sticks, and except for us only German is being spoken. Our waiter does speak English, but he uses it sparingly, I think it’s a ploy to make us feel a bit like wanker tourists in a place reserved for the Viennese. Anyway the food is good, we pay and wander off into Stepehanplatz trying to work out a destination to start exploring. 

Like Dubbo golf course, the greens run downhill to the river, well, so the hill runs down towards the Danube River, or at least a fork of it, the main Danube is about 100 metres away.  We wander into the colossal St Stephens church, it’s huge and spectacular enough to be another collection point for church fundraising, so we pay €0.75 for a candle and light it up, one of the little rituals we do in big churches because the poor buggers are so broke.

We wander down the hill past the shops, the cafes, the theatres, the shops and more f….g shops, I hope the river turns up soon so I can jump into it. We check out the annabranch of the Danube, then wander into another street going back up the hill. Vienna appears to be a place of serious money, very tidy, very opulent, very clean and pretty polite relaxed people. 

We get our Vienna cards organised and head to the U Bahn at Stephanplatz to get a train to Karlsplatz where we are doing a Segway tour after lunch. It’s all pretty easy, we get out at Karlsplatz, and try to find Bosentrasse, I get us lost, not good when Genelle is stressed about how she’s going to handle the Segway, I take my medicine and we find the place early, so we decide to walk on a little further and have a coffee before we start. There is a group of Germans outside the Segway place, they leave no space to walk past so I quietly shoulder one bloke to make space for me, Genelle politely walks through a garage to avoid them ( does something sound wrong here?), I get the evil eye and we walk on. 

The coffee is good, it washes down an apple strudel, we have a little chat to a Sydney couple who are in Vienna on a big cruise boat then hard back to the Segway place, thankfully the Chermans are gone and I won’t have to defend my rash behaviour  half an hour before. Our co tourists are an Austrian Retired fireman and Helga his wife, a Retired  New York gynaecologist and his wife who is an artist, and our leader is a nice bloke named Horst Harriet, divorced for 21 years and a former banker. Horst gets the training going, Helga struggles, Genelle picks it up easy, the fireman is ok, I’m ok, the 2 New Yorkers have done it before ( and let us know!), so we hit the road. It feels really weird first up at pace in pedestrian and push bike traffic as well as trams and cars as we tear along in the bicycle lane single file with Horst leading. Within 200 metres I feel like I’m going to come off backwards and like a good bronc rider I dismount the Segway, land on my feet, the Segway hits the bitumen. How embarrassing, just like dropping the bike while it was stopped in Charleville last year, I try to pick the Segway and get going but something is not right, the centrifugal thingy that keeps it balanced has switched off. Horst gets me sorted, we leave again but this time my face is red and Genelle is sniggering (I can tell she is even if she doesn’t let on) . Anyway the rest of it does go swimmingly, we see right around Vienna in 4 hours, dodging horses, pedestrians, trams, the odd cop, cars who get a little impatient, we go to the Danube where they had a Texan woman run up the back of her husband ( too close behind him) who had crashed into a wall, she speared off into the Danube with the Segway as a sinker, Anyway after the ambulance took her to hospital, and they decided they would change the track and not go so close to the river. 

We return to the Segway base tired with sore feet and legs after an great day. Genelle had really got the hang of it, I think I did too but let’s not too carried away -I was the only accident in our group and it was a small one. The funny thing is that the Chermans on the footpath, the group before us, had 2 major bingles, there is a God !

We stroll back to Stephenplatz, rest the feet and then back to another little restaurant/ cafe called Kein Ruhetag in Dorotheegasse for a great dinner of chicken and pork schnitzel, washed down with a .5 ltr of bier. 

The we walk the streets exploring until 10 pm, until my knees are dusted and Genelle can’t read any prices in windows. Time for bed and blog writing.

Tomorrow it’s the flea  markets at Nachmarkts, a big deal once a week on Saturdays, apparently for some people!

Gute Nacht aus Wien
Paul

Vienna today – from Stephenplatz down a laneway

Vienna this morning – looking down Stephenplatz towards our Hotel

Breakfast today at the Leopold Hawelka Cafe


Segway tour around Vienna today

Dinner tonight at this place. Great food at a good price


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Day 19 – Prague morning then to Vienna for the evening.

It’s a late start again this morning. Breakfast is the usual healthy start, then Genelle makes a couple of phone calls back home using the free wifi. Free wifi is almost a must these days, you hardly need a mobile phone to call home, what you a smart phone for is the data so that you can use Google maps to get you places, the 2 hotels that we’ve stayed in that have the “Handy “phones in the rooms and you can use them locally for data like Google maps while you are walking the streets or working out public transport! as well as international calls are certainly on to a winner for travellers in an unfamiliar city.

We head out and go our own ways, Genelle to look at some other options for shopping and me to walk up towards the castle and the plan is to meet again at the hotel at 12 midday and check out then go again prior to our taxi arriving at 1.45pm at the hotel.

The day is gray, not too cold, not raining, a light fog over the river and the city, the tourists are treating across Charles Bridge to the castle and lots of school kids mixed , on excursions I guess. Not a bad spot for an excursion!

We reconvene at Pod Vezi Hotel at 1.45, our taxi is on time. The hotel organise a taxi to the train station for 350 Kr’s (Czech Crowns) which is about $16,pretty reasonable we think and the price is locked in and we don’t have to negotiate with taxi drivers, we know the rate is ok. Our man gets us to Pragaue Hlavni Train Station in about 20 minutes, in plenty of time as our train doesn’t leave until 2.52pm. The trick is working out which platform, there are 6 platforms with options a,b, s, and f. As out Tain eventually comes on the board, 4 S, we make our way to Platform 4, an old bloke is very helpful and gives us directions but he seems a bit too helpful really, hanging around like a bad smell, and then it falls into place when the train arrives and he rushes to help Genelle on with her bag then asks for €2, which I give him so he’ll piss off. I suppose he was helpful and gave us a bit of confidence we were in the right area and getting on the right train.

We’re on Train 79, travelling from Graz to Vienna, or maybe its to Graz via Prague and Vienna, dunno really but I know it’s going to Vienna and we’re on the right train. We’e going via Brno where they make the rifles’ that’s the only other name that rings a bell on the rail line we’re going on. Other names of the towns we are stopping at are Ceska Trbova, Havlickuv, Breclav, Sessenbrunn, Erzherzon head South East out of Prague through rolling hills, corn being harvested, ploughed paddocks, small villages, it’s green and looks like it’s productive country. It looks like the maximum speed is about 120 to 140 km per hour.

Travelling by rail is easy, and it’s relaxing once you have the right platform and train identified and are actually on the way with bags stowed. There is plenty of space to move around, you always arrive right in the centre of the place you want to go to and in Europe they are fast, go just about everywhere, and are comfortable and readable priced. Although saying that, we find out our train is running 33 minutes late when we get to Brno. Line problems is what we think we heard in Czech and hard to understand English. The carriage is full of locals and I don’t hear a word of English spoken the whole trip except for the conductors fractured English telling us the train is behind time. Mostly it’s Eastern European languages being spoken, not sure what ones but I guess Czech, Russian, and all have a distinctly Russian ring to them, not like the exactness of German or the machine gun sound of Italian. 

We come into Vienna, it’s modern looking but as with any entry into a city via the train lines it’s hard to tell really what it’s like.

Off the train at Wien (Vienna) Hauptbahnof, our taxi we booked in Prague is there to meet us, a black Mercedes van, sort of MI6 or CIA look about it, and for €21 it’s worth every Euro, we would never have found Pension Nossek our funky little hotel right in the middle of the name brand area of town. I can tell Genelle doesn’t like it when she says “Well, I would never have picked this place!”, but the young guy on the desk is great, it’s an old building but a nice big room, good bathroom and in the centre of the old part of the city, hopefully after a good sleep and she’ll see it differently, I think she’s a bit weary.

 We drop our bags in the room and go walking, a) for something to eat, b) some fresh air, c) let Genelle see some shops, it might lift her spirits. We find a little French cafe and have a nice meal, a coffee and hot chocolate and then walk the streets of Vienna reconoitering the shops – but this area is mostly Hugo Boss, Versace, Tag and Rolex watches so I figure I might be on a loser with that too. In future I’ll let her do all the accomodation.

Time to get some sleep, tomorrow morning is a late breakfast then after lunch we’re doing a Segway tour of Vienna. It will be interesting to see if Genelle can get the Segway airborne like her car in our driveway at home in Dubbo.

Gute Nacht aus Wien

Paul

( photos are proving hard to upload so will add them when the wifi is behaving itself)

Wedding photos in a Prague lane way today

Prague Hlavni Train Station today

Prague local specialty dessert

Mounted coppers on Charles Bridge today


Praha Hlavni Train Station – waiting to go to Vienna

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