Monday, July 5, 2004

Austria - The Vienna Oddesey

OK, so after a few days in the Tatras, we have to start heading back west. Since we were so short on time we decided to skip Bratislava (will definately have to come back and see that) and head straight toVienna. On our last day in the Tatras, we decided to take the train to thewesternmost town of the Tatras, Strbske Pleso. From here we could lookover the magnificient lake, with the mountains in the background.

It was quite simple (and cheap!) to get a ticket to get usall the way from Stary Smokavec to Poprad, to Bratislava and Vienna.Thank God for the European railways! :)

The ride across Slovakia was amazing. There was just heaps of forest, butquite a lot of pasture / fields and pretty little postcard towns. And ofcourse there were castles everywhere! Only problem was that they zippedby so quick I couldn't get a picture of them. Anther thing noted downto do on the next trip to Slovakia.

We managed to change trains and arrive in Vienna without any problems..but we had some issues when we got there. All the accomodation was booked.And I mean ALL. Everything upto and including the 90 euro per night hotels!We finally managed to locate a HI type hostel out in the burbs of Vienna,which involved a train and a bus trip. After some difficulty finding the hostelwe were getting quite sick of Vienna.

This hostel was our first experience with the huge corporate-stylehostels in Austria and Germany. No more cute little places run bywierd locals - welcome to capitalist western Europe! Anyways, aftera pretty shabby dinner at the local "Wiener World" around the corner(where the dude serving us was quite surprised to see "Australians"), wedecided to skip Vienna and head straight to Saltzburg.

So, it was back on the train the next morning, headed for the "Sound of Music"city. Boy, was I excited!

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