Friday 28 July 2017

An earlier start today as our train leaves before 9, so we packed up the night before almost ready to go.  Once again the train not only has our booked party but also a large number of back packers.  My journey is occupied with listening to podcasts and catching up with The Archers.  Not sure if our fellow travellers have managed to catch up with getting podcasts but it seems unlikely.  We are in a “quiet” coach so I can merely sing along to Barwick Green so only Jackie can hear me.

At points we are also rolling along at a decent speed as this on board display makes clear (with apologies for the quality):

In Vienna we arrive at the brand new Hauptbahnhof.  After 15 years of planning and building the railway lines have been connected across Vienna (no doubt at some cost to older buildings) and there are now through services and not just a ring of stations on the various sides of the city.  Our local guide is waiting and leads us down the escalator to the waiting coach as we are straight into a city tour.

Jackie does not get a window seat on the coach and so we decide to return in the morning for some better photographs of the magnificent buildings on Ringstrasse.  The coach then drops us, not far I note from Sacher hotel, and we are taken by foot to the central Cathedral.  At the suggestion of our guide we choose to visit the inside St Peter’s church which is very elegantly and wonderfully decorated.

After a break we walk through the City passing through by Hofburg Palace; we also pass the home of the Spanish Riding School (there are no scheduled training sessions we can attend in our short time here unfortunately); and some hugely impressive architecture.  A mixture of photos can be found here.

Our coach journey also provides some orientation of the entire city as we are also taken over to the newer part of the City on the other side of the Danube.  Our hotel is a little way out of town and we are given some guidance on the local buses and trams as well as how to buy tickets to permit travel as it is only just walking distance.

The dinner tonight for all tour participants is in our hotel and can be best described as a little plain.  The main course of wiener schnitzel is of course typical Viennese fare; however compared with a similar item seen on a plate when passing through central Vienna earlier it seems a little small!  This does not inspire us as far as breakfast is concerned!