Saturday, August 25, 2012

Salzburg (and Vienna) -- Day 3

   I woke up this morning with much less of a cough and much more chest congestion. I really hope this isn't leading to something really crappy like a sinus and/or lung infection, not only because I'm not even half-way through this trip, but also because I don't want to have to deal with the rigamaroll of a doctor's visit and insurance claims from another country.
   At any rate, today was our last day in Salzburg and though we decided to forego a trip to the salt mine, we did visit the Mozart Birth House and the Mozart Family residence downtown, both of which were pretty good experiences. The Birth House probably had more information, while the family residence had a nice audio tour with lots of accompanying Mozart music. 
   We had lunch at the Mozart cafe across the street. Dad had a goulash soup and I had goulash as well, but mine was more traditional with the chunks of meat, knodel, a gherkin and a fried egg just for the hell of it.
   Afterward we strolled around a drizzly downtown Salzburg until about 3:30, then decided it was time to hop on a train to Vienna. The high-speed line from Salzburg to Vienna is a 3 hour trip and the train itself was really nice, with power outlets at the seats and all that good stuff.
   I'm starting to wonder if my ability to get completely bloody lost is some sort of magical power. When we arrived in Vienna Westbahnhof we proceeded to take the U-Bahn to Meidling station where I *thought* it would be a simple matter of getting on the tram and going three stations to our hotel. Well, sometimes they say that given enough time, you can talk yourself out of anything, and that's what I had done by the time we figured out where the tram station was even located in relation to the U-Bahn.
   We skipped the first tram headed towards our hotel because I wasn't convinced it was the right one, then when I finally deciphered the cryptic tram map and decided it *was* going in the right direction, one station in I was convinced the tram was headed too far north and that we clearly missed some sort of connection. Luckily a couple next to us overheard my frantic babbling and in English explained to me that we were, in fact, going the right way and that the next stop in fact was our station.
   They goodness for cool-headed people.
   The hotel we are staying at was a little bit of a risk on my part. For the 5 nights we are staying in Vienna, it came to a grand total of 350 Euros, which by Vienna standards is damn cheap. It's also very near the train station -- it's across the street in fact -- but I read a lot of reviews of this place and everyone said it was "nicer than it seemed to be" and the train station noise really wasn't bad...and that they had a good organic breakfast in the morning and free wifi.
   So far, they seem to be right on all accounts. The exterior of the hotel isn't much to look at, but the room is fine. It's clean, and pretty quiet, the hotel staff is amicable and there *is* free unlimited wifi. Since the tram station is right next door, everything is close by, too. It's only a few stops to the Opera House and subsequently the Ringstrasse, to where a lot of things worth checking out in Vienna are near.
  Tonight, however, is probably a wash. We'll find a place to eat nearby and take it easy. Dad's tired and I'm trying to fight off this chest thing. Tonight is one of those off-nights on the travel itenary. So be it. If I'm worse tomorrow, we'll probably be forced to go to a doctor and get me an antibiotic script, but we will cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

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