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Published: January 31st 2020
My overnight train arrived in Vienna around 8 am. I hadn't really slept much on the train and hadn't eaten, so my first port of call was McDonald's for breakfast. 4 euros for a McMuffin and a coffee and no hash brown was a shocking reminder that I was back in Western Europe. While eating my breakfast, I decided what to do. Since I couldn't check into my hostel in Bratislava until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I had quite a lot of time to kill. I had been to Vienna many, many years ago when I lived in Germany. I can't really remember too much about it. All I can remember is going to the 'Bermuda Triangle' area for a drink, I think we were staying in that area, and the cashpoints dispensing 100 euro notes, that didn't happen in Germany, and then using said 100 euro note to buy a 2 euro apple strudel pastry in a bakery. I decided to go for a little walk around to see if that would jog my memory.
Wien Hauptbahnhof (which didn't exist when I visited Vienna years ago) was a short walk away from the Belvedere Palace. The weather
was quite cool and crisp, but the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful shade of blue. I remember going to the grounds of the Belvedere Palace when I visited Vienna before. I even found some photos that are the same as these ones during a recent decluttering sesh, all I can say, is technology has improved and my photos look better, but still not great, now. It is free to walk around the grounds of the palace, but the actual palaces have been turned into museums and you need to pay to enter those, so I didn't bother, but would like to return in the future to do so. Belvedere Palace is made up of two palaces the Upper and Lower palaces. It was built in the 18th century and was home to the ruling Hapsburg family. I entered the gardens near the Upper Belvedere Palace and took a walk through the gardens down to the Lower Belvedere Palace. The gardens were quite busy, not just with tourists, but also with locals out for a morning run. The gardens didn't look the best because it was winter, but the statues and buildings were very beautiful. After doing
a circuit of the lower gardens, i headed up to the other side and around the other side of the Upper Belvedere Palace. The views were better on this side due to the position of the sun.
After the palace, I decided to keep walking. I didn't really know where I was going, just following my feet and trying to remember the way back to the train station. The neighbourhood I walked through was rather quiet, but very beautiful. After a while, I came to a busier area and reached the Vienna State Opera. Maybe if I win the lottery one day, I can return and see an opera there. I continued along the street and came to the Burggarten, so had a walk through there. Then I had a quick wander through the Museum Quarter. I really should return so that I can actually visit the museums instead of just seeing the outsides. I had passed a restaurant earlier that I had quite liked the look of. It was a Greek place, but if course they did Wiener Schnitzel, but the one I wanted didn't come with potato salad, which is what I wanted to have with it.
I ended up ordering lamb souvlaki and a side of tzatziki along with a big glass of fizzy apple juice as I was feeling rather dehydrated. When my food arrived I had a total feat on the table. The portion of tzatziki was large and my lamb souvlaki came with some vegetable, chips and also a big side salad. The food was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I headed back to the train station and bought a ticket from the machine for the train to Bratislava. The ticket was 11,20 euros. The train was pretty empty, I got a set of four seats to myself. The journey lasted about an hour and 15 mins and I was now in Slovakia, the final country of my trip.
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