The technological meltdown

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January 5th 2016
Published: January 5th 2016
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We have made it to Innsbruck, but not without a few mishaps on the way. This will probably be a rather short blog due to two things: we spent most of the day at the airport and it seems that the better the hotel you stay at the more difficult accessing and using the Wifi is.

Well, where shall I begin? We woke to a very white Vienna today. It seemed that overnight the snow had continued to fall, leaving the ground a good 2-3 centimetres thick as you walked. After enjoying our last breakfast at the Zeitgeist Hotel we made our way to the hop on hop off bus.

Our flight wasn't until the afternoon, so we had a few hours to kill and the zoo was the last thing on our list before we would be satisfied that we had covered as much as we could before leaving.

The zoo is located behind Schonbrunn Palace, and with today being one of the coldest yet we weren't convinced that there would be many animals out and about. I was actually wondering what environment they would live in during winter here, considering the only animals that would enjoy this weather would be the polar bears, penguins and the seals.

What was enjoyable about the zoo in Vienna is how close you can get to the animals here. When we entered the hippopotamus enclosure we were standing above a pool in which they were swimming, about a metre away. In the cheetahs and the lions, it was similar.

For the animals that do not enjoy the cold weather they had indoor enclosures which kept them warm and - in my opinion - they were relatively well looked after and cared for, which was nice to see.

I know we didn't get all the way through the zoo, partly because it was cold, partly because of time and partly because we accidentally stumbled upon an exit without realising.

We made our way back to the hotel to collect our luggage and then headed to the airport. It was going to be a long wait, but what else was there to do?

As I have already mentioned flying is not really our thing. If we had been aware previously we might have booked the train. Not only would it have put our minds at ease, but it also would have been beautiful to see the scenery. We are actually considering it for the journey back to Vienna in a week, though the cost will play a role in that decision.

But despite everything, the flight was relatively comfortable. We flew the local airline of Austrian Airlines and it is about 40 minutes from take off to landing, so not long at all.

Our first impression of Innsbruck was a lot better than that of Vienna. Don't get me wrong, Vienna is gorgrous but if you are seeing it for the first time leaving the airport, then for the first ten minutes you are introduced to industrial buildings.

Innsbruck, however, is a real suburban city. The first thing you see are houses and narrow streets. The easiest comparison I can make is Vienna is like Sydney and Innsbruck is like Canberra. We haven't explored Innsbruck yet, but it has that feel of Canberra, where you know you're in a city, but it doesn't really feel like it. To me, that's a good thing, not a bad thing.

So, onto the first mishap of our holiday with bookings. Up until now I had been rather impressed that booking through Expedia had worked. We had had no problems with hotels or flights. On our itinerary for the Hilton Hotel in Insbruck we had booked the standard room. With it was to be a double bed and your basics such as bathroom, etc.

Everything was fine. They had our booking details, and we got the key, excited to see what our room was like. Upon entering we noticed that we had been given a room with two single beds, rather than a double.

Albert went down to ask, and apparently Expedia had just listed the details wrong - so not our fault and not the hotel's fault either. Still, we didn't want to sleep in two separate beds so we got offered an upgrade.

We still had to pay a little extra per night, but they were kind enough to give us more than 50% of a discount on what they would usually charge for an upgrade, so we aren't too bad off.

Wifi is a bit iffy here. We joined something to give us free wifi, but it's not the best, so who knows. But apparently you can access free wifi from the lobby so in the future I'll probably be typing this from there as my tablet is the extra device that claims there is to many now connected.

Funny that, isn't it? The hotel that could afford to offer free wifi to everybody either makes you become a member or pay, but a hotel that isn't a chain offers it free without even a password. And as many devices as you want.

Not that we need it much, but it would be handy to sit from the room to write the blog at night rather than the hotel lobby.

It is also interfering with the pictures. I am typing this in the attempt that I'll be able to attach pictures, but if it ends up with no pictures, you will know why.

Tomorrow is a public holiday here. The Austrians celebrate the epiphany - 12 days after Christmas - so I think tomorrow will be a self-guided tour of the city.

So, I'll end today with a little bit of information regarding food here. Or two, maybe.

1) There are more pizza places than there are schnitzel places

2) A full sit-down meal containing a ginormous pasta dish and a full pizza, plus two bottles of Coke can cost you under 20€ here.

Additional photos below
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View from the zoo

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