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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 atNachmarkts, a big deal once a week on Saturdays, apparently for some people!
Gute Nacht aus Wien