Ok, it’s time to reevaluate our idiocy and work on renewal. MacKay and I have spent the morning trading time on the throne praying to the Shit Gods for mercy. It’s been a few days and we’re over this quiver-butt situation. Fearful to go out in public as even a casual squeaker can be a boxer ruining event. Discomfort levels are high. It sounds blasphemous but we should maybe take a couple days off drinking.
We get checked out of Turnerwirt and the front desk offers to order a taxi to the central train station for us. Sure thing. This worked out to be a decent spot to stay despite it being in the Tractor District.
We cross the street and wait for the taxi. We get in and he takes off and almost immediately plows into an old lady crossing the street on a crosswalk. It’s close and she’s not impressed. Then our cabbie decides to make a U-turn but can’t quite get all the way around on it so now we’re perpendicular to a bus stop as the bus comes barreling around the corner and almost t-bones us coming to a stop before the bus stop that we’re now in the way of. It’s honking the horn at us. “This dude is killing it”, “Yeah, how’s your morning going?” No response. Ironically the bus says ‘Central Train Station’ on it.
We get to the station and check in on trains. The Detectives are splitting paths here. McBurger and I are gonna make our way East to Vienna and then continue in that direction to Bratislava, Slovakia from there to start Plan-B. Oogie is going back North to Prague. He’s got a flight back to California tomorrow and will brief the Agency on our findings in the Baltic, Munich and Austria upon his return.
We’ve got a bit of time to kill in the station. MacKay and I both head to the zloty potties. We’ve contracted a terrible assfliction. Where usually we’d be scanning for exit points and sketch, now all we care about is the closest bathroom. I’m having some serious shit mitt flashbacks.
We get back upstairs and hit a vendor for some supplies. The hydration mission starts now. We get two giant waters and the Austrian equivalent of Gatorade.
Oogie looks at our trajectory, “Wow you guys are tearing it up today”, “I’m over it man. Need to fix this shit. Literally”, “Yeah, we should honestly take it easy for a couple of days”, “Maybe it’s a good day for me to be taking off then. Thanks for allowing me to join you guys on this ridiculous adventure”, “For sure man. It’s been fun. I think you’ll enjoy Prague.” Good firm handshake, “Great to meet you too, James”, “Likewise, man”, “Alright, trains this way”, “Safe trip back, dude”, “Yep, enjoy the rest of this nonsense. Get better”, “Cheers to that.”
And like that Oogie walks off, a tower of tie dye in the crowd. No fireworks or ticker-tape parade, just a swift respectful farewell.
We hop the train and get seats in the cool guy back section of the quiet car. Still feeling pretty wiped out even though we had one of the least action packed nights of the trip last night. I spend the few hours travel time trying to catch some shut-eye but can’t seem to get comfy. I’m basically just mopping the window with my hair as my head falls forward, I wake up, reset at the top, mop the window to the bottom, reset, etc….
There’s a dude on his phone having a facetime chat with his family on speaker. Everyone’s yelling super loud. It’s just us and this douchebag in the quiet car, nice. Unable to sleep through it, I start WebMD-ing some diarrhea advice. Apparently we’ve got to get on the BRAT diet to curb this… shit. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. Alright, we’ll make that happen when we get to Vienna. Lots of trip left, we need to get on the path to recovery.
We get off the train and the hostel I booked on the ride here is about a twenty minute walk. “Just hoof it? See the city a bit along the way”, “Sure, I’m feeling decent at the moment.”
We trek across a mostly residential area of the city towards the Wombats City Hostel. The streets are quiet and clean. not many people out and about for a Saturday. The sky is overcast but not raining. Hoody weather.
We find Wombats in a large 5-story building across from what looks like a giant outdoor market area. Walk in and the lobby is bustling with folks. Nice big open area with cool decor and comfy bean bag seating. Looks like a good spot already.
We get up to check-in and are greeted by a cheery brunette girl at the front desk, “Checking in? Passports please.” We hand her our passports, “Oh, where about in Canada are you guys from?”, “We’re both from Nova Scotia”, “Oh nice! We don’t get many Maritimers around here. Mostly Vancouver and Toronto”, “And where in Canada are you from?”, “I’m from Calgary”, “Yeah, saying ‘Maritimers’ gave you away”, “That was my sly, secret move haha.”
I have to hand her my California driver’s license in exchange for a key card for the room. “Ahhh Canadian and American too. Health care plus Californian weather, must be nice”, “Ha, I wish it worked like that. No free health care but I certainly don’t miss shoveling my driveway.”
The Calgarian gives us the run down on the hostel and hands us a few free drink tickets for the hostel bar which is just around the corner. We can actually hear some people in there having a good time already. Check my watch and it’s only 1pm. Great, we decide to take it easy for a change and get ourselves checked into a party hostel. We’ll see how it goes.
Up to the room and it’s perfect. Modern, minimalist and comfortable with a window and ensuite bathroom and shower. Nailed it on the hostel this time round. The view from our window looks out at that market. We’ll have to go check it out.
We look into some other highlights around the city. Obviously there is a ton of sights around here, Vienna being a world class capital city with a history of badass composers, artists and scientists to back it up. There’s an elegant palace residence thingy, but we may be fancied out after the Residenz in Munich.
“There’s some place called the Kaisergruft. Google says, ‘Crypt beneath the Capuchin Church housing tombs of Hapsburg royalty, including emperors & empresses'”, “Sounds metal as fuck. I’m in for that”, “So market, crypts, and then it looks like there’s a large, open green space and a museum district just right there too”, “Sweet. Sounds perfect.”
We exit Wombats and cross the street into the Naschmarkt. This is apparently the largest market in all of Vienna with over a hundred stalls of various kinds, as well as some restaurants and bars. In complete contrast to Salzburg yesterday, there are a ton of tourists around. Everybody must have left Salzburg and went to Vienna. Those who stayed are all in the Country Saloon. Those who left came to pack this market.
There are two rows of little huts that have vendors on every side of them. This forms three aisles to walk down and it’s a little overwhelming actually. Seems to go on forever. Every type of food and nick knack is on display in here.
It’s slow going through the concentration of people so we cut out towards the road again and fast track it down the side. Amazing market, maybe we’ll take another look on the way back.
We come out of the Naschmarkt and into a little park between roads angling towards an intersection. There’s an art installation showing stills from an old movie set in the WWII era.
After this the buildings start getting more and more epic and grandiose. We pass by the Vienna State Opera built in 1869.
Most city blocks in this area now look like this picture below. Horse drawn carriage, double decker bus, statue of a war general on a horse, columns, busts, old architecture and colorful town houses. Very pretty city.
Directions lead us through a series of streets all under construction to a fairly nondescript church. “This it? Doesn’t look like it”, “Hmm yep. Says Kaisergruft up here”, “Alright let’s find the crypts.”