Saturday, 20 October 2007

Things To Do In Vienna When You're Dead...

With typical German efficiency, my train to Vienna left Berlin on time, and I looked forward to my first night's sleep aboard a train.

Shouldn't have been surprised, then, when I only managed a couple of hours around 3am. This, I believe, was largely due to the unevenness of the track at irregular intervals, as there seemed to be many cross-tracks and a lot of bumping about.

But anyway, I arrived in Vienna tired but optimistic and headed from the Ostbahnhof to the Sudbahnhof to drop off my luggage and go explore Harry Lime's city.

Like Berlin, Vienna has a decent public transport system, and I managed to find my way to the city centre without too much difficulty. My carefully-planned, er, plan called for a bus tour of the city followed by lunch followed by a quick visit to whichever of the local attractions was within my time limit - my train to Rome was due to leave at 7pm.

Sounds easy enough. However, without map or guidebook I found myself totally lost and unable to find where the tours started from. A couple of buses went by, but no luck. The local Hilton Hotel was able to supply a map, however, and using it I eventually found my way to the Vienna State Opera House in Herbert Von Karajan Platz.

As a side note - Herbert Von Karajan is widely regarded as having been one of the leading conductors of the 20th Century, and led the Berlin Philharmonic for decades, both before and after WWII, as well as conducting the Vienna Philharmonic and directing the Viennese State Opera.
But you knew that.


From this point I was able, finally, to take a two-hour tour (at high speed, in some cases) of Vienna and its highlights, even passing the station from where I would leave for Rome later on.

If I had given it more thought I probably would have planned it better, because a day in Vienna doesn't do it justice. The overwhelming impression I came away with was that it was like Cameron Frye's house -

"It's very beautiful and very cold, and you're not allowed to touch anything."

Tired and defeated, I headed for the station, had good pizza and a cold beer, and boarded a train for Rome.

1 comment:

Ray said...

Welcome Home Captain. Enjoying the chronicles.