In my head, I had big and exciting plans for Vienna. I wanted to do cycle through Wachau Valley while drinking wine as well as take a boat to my next destination – Bratislava. Essentially, the flooding had guaranteed that neither one of these things were going to happen as well anything else I found intriguing unless I wanted to get soaked from head to toe. The forecast was rain for the entire time I was in Vienna and the talk all over town (well between me and the one other person staying at the hostel) was about the floods and its impact on our travels. This left me with me with not a lot of desirable choices to explore the city while it poured cats and dogs. I could hide away in museums day in and day out or rest up in a 5 bed dorm room that I had all to myself but I decided that since this was my first time in Vienna, I was going to brave the elements and get out there.
Taken from my Instagram Account
Sadly, all this talk of the floods had left me slightly flustered so the first thing I did on my big tourist day in the city was leave my camera behind at the hostel. Despite the tourist bus being a bad investment in Vienna on any regular given day, I was advised it might be worthwhile as it would give me the opportunity to explore the city and have shelter arrive every 20 minutes or so. After 10 minutes of trying to walk around the city with my borrowed umbrella blowing away in the wind, I gave up and opted in for the tourist bus. This was neither exciting or in line with what I was looking to do but it gave me the opportunity to explore some of the main destinations in-between the times I spent eating strudel amongst other things in a handful of cafes all throughout Vienna.
Taken from my Instagram account. Unfortunately, the best photos showing the water levels are just in my mind as my iPhone had died at that point of the tour.
When it comes to Vienna on this trip, I felt like nature handed me the short end of the stick. The raised water levels of the Danube River made some things impossible to do while other things were on the not recommended list. The constant rain and my 1 warm outfit in my backpack left things like an Opera performance at the end of day out of reach for me unless I planned to drag my sorry wet self to one despite how uncomfortable it felt. Despite these things, I got a good enough feel for the city to know that it would be worth my while to go back someday in order to explore it the way I had originally intended. Now it’s just a matter of how and when I’ll be able to find the time again…
From my Instagram account – my favourite pic I took of the Opera House
Categories: AUSTRIA, austria: vienna
Tags: Austria, canadians working abroad, canadians working overseas, change of life, Danube, europe, flood, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Vienna, wien, working abroad, working overseas
When we were disembarking from the free Danube River Cruise, My Aussie Mate remarked on how quickly the water was moving. Upon checking it out myself, I realized she was right but didn’t clue in on how the speed and extremely high water levels were about to impact my life in the next few days. Sadly, I just went about my business doing the tourist thing the best I could with my sprain and got ready to be on my own from the moment I jumped on the train to Vienna. Everything was just business as usual until the day I had to get on that train to Vienna. What set that day apart from the ones before it was that My Aussie Mate was leaving at the crack of dawn to catch her flight back to Dublin so she could be at work on time. We bid adieu when she left to catch her taxi and I went back to sleep thinking that she was on her way. What I forgot to calculate into this equation was that she would hop into a cab with a moronic driver who was about to take her out to the middle of nowhere. Without going into all the gory details, her idiot driver had caused her to miss her flight which lead to work screaming at her to get on the next available flight to Dublin – hell or high water! Between the texting, trying to ensure she wasn’t lost in some remote part of Budapest, and looking up flight details in order to help – no sleep was had by yours truly. By mid-morning, we were reunited once again only to say goodbye as it was my time to leave.
Photo of a town close to Vienna taken from a news article from June 2013
I left her as she settled down for a quick nap before attempting to fly back to Dublin once again. As for me, I quickly made my way to the train station and was comfortable seated and contemplating a cat nap as the train was pulling out. As my eyes were getting heavy with sleep – a man started yelling at us and sadly, the only words in English were GET OUT! I had no idea what he was saying and nobody was able to translate. There were only 3 of us that were English speakers and we were baffled as to what was going on as all we knew was the train was nowhere near Vienna. With no idea what the hell was going on, we followed the crowds off the train and across the tracks until a little tiny hut of a train station was visible. Upon entering the hut, I realized that it was nothing but a shell of a building that was just being occupied by what look like the train before us. There were no free walls to lean up again and barely a square inch that I could claim as my own. Christ on a bike!
Photo of Vienna borrowed from news articles back in June 2013
As I started to wonder what the hell I was going to do, this blonde hurricane of a woman came through screaming that she’d gotten a cab to Vienna and she could take 3 more if we were willing to split the fare with her. I know I always say never let anyone transport you from location A to B as this is how you wind up in a garbage bag but there was a desperation in the air that made me jump up and tell her that I was in. Right after that, a handful of Koreans followed suit and we marched ever so quickly around the corner to where the cab was waiting for us. In my head I was thinking this could be the beginning of a horror movie but proceeded to take a seat and hope for the best. The blonde lady was in the front seat next to the driver talking a mile a minute as if she already knew him – none of which I could understand a word of so I really couldn’t tell what was going on. The Koreans were quiet and waiting on her every word for the next set of instructions. I decided that despite how tired I felt, this was the wrong time to take a nap. Instead, I hatched up a kamikaze dive and roll strategy encase we pulled off the highway and looked to be going somewhere sinister. Luckily for me, I never had to put this plan into action as all the road signs were pointing to Vienna and after about an hour, we pulled into the city.
Photo from a town near Vienna taken from a news article back in June 2013
It may have been a little miracle but I had made it to some random street corner in rainy Vienna. What the blonde lady was able to tell us in the car was that the Danube River was flooding due to the amount of rain and we were lucky ones who got out as she’s spent a few days trapped in that train station in the past. As we parted ways, I looked for the metro sign so I could make my way to the hostel and get myself a wifi connection to figure out what was actually going on and what my plan of action would have to be going forward.
Categories: AUSTRIA, austria: vienna
Tags: Budapest, canadian, canadians working abroad, canadians working overseas, change of life, Danube, Danube River, danube river flooding, europe, flood, SWAP, Train station, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Vienna, working abroad, working overseas
Back in the day when I was young and impressionable, I worked with this lady who was an absolute contest whore. No matter how much she won, she would insist that it was just a numbers game and only possible if you threw your hat in the ring. Everyday she’d be entering everything in sight and after months of careful observation (and no, not of the stalker variety!), I started to think maybe she’s right. Her winnings went from little prizes such as a movie ticket here to a gift certificate there all the way to a rather impressive celebrity studded trip to the Grammys. And somewhere between that and munching on a year’s supply of free bread she won for the office – I became a believer.
Despite the fact that I morphed into a contest whore just like her, she hadn’t crossed my mind in years until I stumbled upon Nomadic Matt‘s latest contest. I saw the headline, Win a 12 Day Trip to Europe! and held my breath as I clicked the link. Yes, I realize that holding my breath is more likely to guarantee me passing out than winning but some habits are hard to break – DON’T JUDGE! Anyway, like her, I had won a lot of little prizes such as a digital frame here to a gift basket there but nothing came close to her Grammy trip. As I read the details of Matt’s contest – it became obvious this was my equivalent to a celebrity studded Grammy trip! I totally understand that on this 12 day trip there wouldn’t be any celebrities or red carpets but what I get is a self customized Budapest, Prague, Vienna trip that allows for all the shits and giggles that an odd little lass like me could handle. That in my eyes is worth just as much as going to the Grammys and being amongst all the a-listers a girl like me could barely handle.
Granted I’ve already relocated to Europe to execute on my mission of no stone unturned which will eventually include visits to Budapest, Prague, and Vienna but what winning this contest affords me the opportunity to put my Tour De Street Art into action a lot quicker than originally anticipated. Even though Europe is full of history, culture, and stunning architecture, what really gets my engine roaring is all that lies just beneath that surface and in my humble opinion, street art is the eye candy of this realm. There are many different ways of approaching my Tour De Street Art but my plan is to have a few must-see items on my agenda and then just go where the winds blows me. The things on my list to date are exploring the old Jewish quarter in Budapest for all its works of art, paying my respects to the John Lennon Wall in Prague, and using and abusing the urban art guide map in Vienna until my little heart’s content.
The winner for the contest will be chosen on October 1, 2012 and until that time, I wait with my fingers and toes crossed. Hopefully lady luck will be on my side and I’ll walk away with my version of a celebrity studded Grammy trip. Wish me luck!