Having ‘done’ Bratislava quicker than I imagined I decided to take a day return to Vienna as it was only an hour away for just nine euro’s return on the train. Hugo was being a miserable git and decided to stay put in Slovakia as he wanted to just sit around reading a newspaper or something. A waste of time in my opinion but I guess the beauty of travelling is that you just do whatever you wanna do.
Consequently, I went alone and got off to an awful start but I wasn’t the only one! When the platform for our train was announced 10 minutes before its departure a small cluster of people went to platform 1 where a train was waiting. One guy opened the door and got on and about eight more of us followed suit but as soon as we stepped onto the train we were shocked as it started moving very slowly ending up at the depot five minutes away where we then had to run back along the track resulting in all of us missing our intended 11am train and so we then had to wait nearly an hour for the next one!
Didn’t bother with any tram or train tickets once in Vienna as I headed first for Schönnbrun Palace on the outskirts which featured in the James Bond film ‘The Living Daylights’. My initial bad impressions (due to the seemingly ever-present scaffolding on such places) were thankfully soon to be found wide of the mark when I went round the back and saw the beautiful sunny sight of the Gloriette structure in the distance from the Palace which would provide great views across the city as well as of the Palace.
After that I went to Stephansplatz in the city to see the humungous Stephansdom and walked on over through the picturesque Hofberg Imperial Palace area avoiding purchase of most things which seemed so expensive now I was back in Western Europe. After about four hours looking round Vienna it was time to head back to Bratislava which I did but not before I’d made another (slight) mistake as I got on a train which took me to a station on the other side of Bratislava. Without a map I just got on a bus which many locals were getting on and hoped for all hell that it was heading back over the river to the part of the city I recognised. Luckily it did just that and I had a few hours left before Hugo and I would take the overnight train out of Slovakia.