Austria: The Gates of Europe


The journey from Krakow to Vienna was a largely uneventful one and the day was spent either in train stations or trains that crawled across Poland, the Czech Republic and eventually Austria. We arrived pretty late and once we had checked in headed to the nearest restaurant for any kind of food. Just around the corner from our hostel was a small, homely place where we were met by a middle-aged drunk American who introduced himself as Gary. We enjoyed a hearty sausage and chips while he talked about his love of snooker, the blues and a cruise around the UK he would be doing in a couple of weeks. Shortly after eating we returned to the hostel and crashed after another long day on the go.

Happy Hostel

The next morning we awoke with time for breakfast, which to our surprise was served in the same restaurant we had been in the previous night; no sign of Gary at this early hour though. After a simple but filling start, we headed down the Viennese high street towards the city centre, counting the number of times we passed a Zara or H&M. We strolled past the Museum Quarter and into what was once the Hapsburg’s winter palace.

We then pushed on into what was apparently the oldest part of the city, but with the exception of St. Steven’s Cathedral didn’t look more than 40 years old. We decided to cross the Danube Canal but found little of interest outside the centre and came to the conclusion we would have to find out whether or not a Viennese coffee house lived up to the hype.

We ended up in Kleine’s Cafe and enjoyed some impressive lattes before deciding to see some more of the city’s sights. On our way we found a supermarket and decided it would be wise to take on some fruit after some of our more questionable dining choices in Krakow and we enjoyed this in Sigmund Freud park over discussions of the psychoanalyst’s theories and how little we knew of them. We then continued our walk past the Rathaus and the parliamentary buildings before taking a detour into a small record store which we explored extensively before continuing on back to the hostel.

After cleaning up we found a large bar-restaurant where we enjoyed some authentic Austrian dishes and a few beers and we decided it would be a good idea to find somewhere to enjoy a few more drinks. We found our way to the Travellers Shack and after quickly becoming friends with the bar-man began our next journey to party town. We enjoyed a local classic “Vienna Blood”, a flaming shot, a “snuff-shot”, beer bong, and several other pints knowing that we’d definitely have to get up early the next day and spend several hours on a train to Bratislava, but that didn’t stop us.

Travelshack Dave & Chris

By the end of the night, several new-friends later and covered in face paint we stumbled back to the hostel and passed out after a fantastic night in Vienna.

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