Salzburg to Vienna to Berlin

Ich bin in Berlin.

After leaving Salzburg we travelled to Vienna, our last stop on the tour and the only hotel we’d be in for 3 days.

 The day we arrived we travelled from Salzburg via the autobahn to a place called Melk where an old Abbey, conveniently called Melk Abbey was located.  We toured this old, still in use, Dominican Abbey.  They built a huge entire wing for the Hapsburgs when they visited, which was like once.  I’m having issues with the pandering to royalty thing.  We then continued on to Vienna. Driving into Vienna was anticlimactic, the city itself seems dirty with a plethora of graffiti everywhere. Our guide also said that the hotel wasn’t centrally located, not exactly true but it also wasn’t far from a sketchier neighbourhood.

I didn’t really take any pictures in Vienna. Once you’ve seen one gothic style church they all look the same…pointy.

We arrived later in the day so we just checked into the hotel and then proceeded one of the best nights of my entire trip.  I made tour friends, tour friends invite me to have a beer before dinner, actually a Rattler, which is watered down beer (much better).  Upon doing so we discover that the younger tour couple play card games and brought them with!  New discovery leads to the start of a game called Flux.  After a break for the provided dinner, we resume the game playing into the late evening.  It was hugely fun, although the zombies won.

On Saturday we had our ‘city’ tour, which was mostly driving around the main areas of the city we’d visit later and stopping for an extended tour of the Hapsburgs summer palace in Vienna. It’s a UNESCO heritage site, and while lovely, too big for the people who lived there. The gardens were beautiful though.

 After the palace we returned to a place near the city centre (a literal flea market) for a little wandering before those who had an optional excursion left for it.  The market food area was really interesting, lots of spices and fresh things to buy.  I even found a place to have Lederkasse again.  But the ‘shopping’ area was flea-like.  Lots of things that looked like they fell off the back of a truck. In the later afternoon I set out alone to a different shopping street called MarionPlatz. An uneventful shopping excursion later I returned to the hotel for the evening.

On Sunday the Vienna Marathon was going on which meant no driving around!  Yay!  Instead our guide took us on the U-bahn (underground).  This was a helpful introduction sas I used the U-bahn in Berlin already.  He did a bit of a better job orienting us to the city centre and then joined a smaller group of us for lunch.  What an experience (not in a great way).  Because 9 of us were trying to eat together it became difficult to find a restaurant that wasn’t too busy or too small to accommodate the group.  We did pick one but our service was terrible and it took a really long time for everyone to get their food, so we ate in stages.  Regardless, after lunch we stopped at the Manner store near St.Stephen’s Cathedral.  Manner is a Vienese thing , they’re wafers with usually chocolate but also different kind of fillings.  So cookies in a way of speaking. Tasty cookies.

 Later on Sunday the entire group got together to say goodbye as most left early Monday morning to catch flights back home.  There was no official goodbye dinner so after many farewells the same group I’ve happily fallen in with went out for supper to a surprisingly good Italian place.  Huge individual pizzas, authentically Italian.  It was a nice end to the day and the trip. I will miss having the familiarity of Americans and Canadians around me while I travel.

 Monday morning off to Berlin.  Air Berlin is a nice airline and the Vienna airport was super easy and clean. I fall asleep easily on planes and so was mildly surprised by the landing, a few questions about buses later I’ve been guided and found my way to the Hostel I’m now staying at until Thursday morning.

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