vienna, austria

Arriving at the Vienna International Airport with only the street and hostel name of my destination, I found myself less than prepared. I ended up buying a ticket (I had no idea if it was the right ticket) for a tram that went to the city center, hoping that my hostel would be near by.

It wasn’t, no one knew the road it was on, I couldn’t find a map anywhere, and there appeared to be only one tourist information stop. Extremely frustrated, I found much relief walking through the revolving doors of the information center a few hours later. Exhausted, but able to set my bags down, the lady handed me a map, circled my location and told me which metro to take.

Unlike in the rest of the countries, where a 24 hour metro ticket costs about one euro, this ticket machine demanded nearly two euros for a one time ticket! Ouch.

I got on and off the metro, finally walking to my hostel, checking in, showering, and setting out. I went back to the city center where I was greeted by men dressed in white wigs and mozart-esque clothes asking if I would like to go see the Opera. Masses of people walking in and out of stores, sitting in the grass and the plazas, drinking coffee, or eating food. I was startled by the shopping, it seemed the center was made up of stores and restaurants only. This could be alright, if the stores were of great variety and affordable (for me) costs, but instead each block was dominated by Zaras, H&M, Palmers, McCafe, and all sorts of exactly identical souvenir shops.

I watched people. I sat in the grass with my delicious bread bought at Spars, cheese, and tomatoes and watched people pass. I would do this only until people would start approaching me or watching me, before I would relocate. Today- I wanted to watch.

This went on for most of the day and I went back to the hostel pretty early on, making conversation with my roommates as I made my bed. I went out for coffee late into the night, and went to bed ready to check out in the morning to find my new host.

Ruth picked me up at the metro station and we went to her dorm room. Most of the students have single rooms and their own bathrooms, not to mention an incredible location. We spent the next few days walking through town, going out for coffee, drinks, and dinner, and such. One night, her friend who was hosting another couchsurfer from Hawaii, made us all dinner before we went out to a pub quiz which brutally slayed us.

The next night we went to a school function where each different Scandinavian language  class had to get up and sing a song or two, before everyone was provided with free drinks and snacks. We stood in the courtyard talking for a long time, and I was lucky enough to have some really great conversation with a few of Ruth’s friends before we went out to a club to dance. We sat outside while a friend played guitar and sang, and met up with many more students, before 5am somehow arrived, and I found myself without my host. Fortunately, I was with one of her friends who continued calling her until she returned, and the two of us walked home to while watching the sun rise on the city.

The next day we visited a huge flea market with a friend of hers before I headed-AGAIN-to the airport for my evening for the final flight of my three-week-mostly-eastern-europe-solo-backpacking-trip.



June 17, 2010. Uncategorized.

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