Monday, May 15, 2006


I think the powers that be are conspiring to make me dislike Vienna. This is my third day here, and I'm not enjoying it nearly as much as Budapest or Prague. Maybe it would be different if I had the money to go to the opera every night and really get into the high-brow culture of the city, but I just haven't had as much fun here as in my previous locations.
The city is GORGEOUS - I noticed that on my first day. But I also arrived on Saturday around five in the afternoon. Apparently everything closes early on Saturday and most don't reopen until Monday. Which made finding something for dinner quite a challenge. While I could have gone to a restaurant, I'm on a budget and have been getting by with grocery stores and kebab stands. I wandered about all evening and finally was able to bum some spaghetti off one of my roommates at the hostel (she had made a whole pot and was sharing with everyone).
Which brings me to the hostel. The last two I stayed at in Budapest were awesome - great people, great locations, and relatively clean. This place is none of the above. I arrived to find a note and a key taped to the door - apparently the owner is only there to collect payment and give you advice on the town from 815 to 1200. What?! And the location could definitely be better. Yes, we are within walking distance of the museums and such in the city center, but I think this is the only inhabited building on this street. I would much rather be in a residential area hanging with a bunch of locals than to be in this limbo. And there are twelve people in the bedroom I'm in ... with only ten beds. I'm sleeping in a loft, the only entrance to which is a creaky metal ladder. Hmmm. But I guess I'm getting what I'm paying for. Still, let me down this time. I want to be back at the aboriginal in Budapest.
I have met a few cool people at the place though. I went to Schoenbrunn palace yesterday with a couple from Quebec and a couple from Argentina. It was beautiful but I had a similar experience to the one I had a Versailles a couple of years ago - sooooo many people trying to see the exact same rooms. I got a bit claustrophobic. But I enjoyed the gardens. Of course, the view from the Gloriette was a bit disappointed, as there were about 12 construction cranes blocking many of the pretty buildings.
I went to the big market today. Lots of fruits and veggies and meat. I bought some really good pesto sauce and homemade raviolli - but the guy charged me 25€! Still haven't figured that one out, but I couldn't argue with him - he didn't speak English and was pissed that I didn't speak German. And I was a bit traumatized when I saw what appeared to be flayed dachsaunds in the meat vendor's case.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. I still haven't had my weiner schnitzel, so that's on the to-do list, and I am going to do the museum thing as well. Then I'm off to Salzburg on Wednesday. Hopefully I won't leave here with too bad of a taste in my mouth.

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