Last nights sleeping arrangements didn’t end up too bad. Chase and Morgan kept our host’s bed while our host, the other couch surfer, and myself ended up in sleeping bags on the floor. By that point we were so exhausted it really didn’t matter. Waking up in the morning felt like waking the dead because I just did not want to get up. But you have to. So I got out of bed, headed toward the kitchen and started breakfast. Luckily I had begun preparing it last night (i grated potatoes and cut up onions and cooked them all together with some meet, eggs, and cheese in a breakfast scramble invention) so getting it done wasn’t too bad. I thought that we would possibly have the company of the other couch surfer, Martin, but he had left at 3am to assist with the arrival of the Dali Lama in Salzburg. I’m glad I wasn’t up that early, but it would have been cool to see the Dali Lama.
After packing and saying our goodbyes, we left our host a. Thank you note and headed for the train station. The people that Chase and Morgan had finagled a free ride to Vienna with wanted to leave around 9:30am, so we were there around 9. The train for me to take to Vienna didn’t leave until 10:01am, so I waited with them until I had to go or their ride showed up. When I left them at 9:45am their ride had still not shown up. Weird. Not much I could do, so I went off to my train.
From what I have gathered from them, their guy was there for a good 45 minutes sitting in his car ( and this included the time I was waiting with them) but no one recognized each other. They made it to Vienna around 1:30pm, but we’re dropped off in the center of the city and have to navigate their way back and find the hostel. They didn’t arrive at the hostel until 3pm.
My train was perfectly on time and was a smooth clean ride. The night before, we had looked up the directions they posted online for getting there and compared it to google maps so I would know what I was doing. I had no problems in my travel. Everything was on time and this was one of those high speed trains that went 200 KM/H- so, we were booking it. I arrived to the station a little past quarter till, and was at the hostel by 1pm. When I arrived at the hostel, Chase and Morgan were not there- and the reservation was in Chases name. When I explained that I was waiting for them, the woman at the front desk escorted me to this little kitchen area to wait for them, and I say and read until they finally showed up. I’m gonna be honest, it was a little bit scary to be apart from each other without any means of communication. And not knowing why they were late, i think my reading was more for distracting myself than enjoyment. But fingers crossed and prayers answered- it all worked out! We arrived in Vienna safely.
The plan for today was to arrive at Vienna and the go to the embassy and sort of it passport Dilemma. However, when we went to inquire the hours of operation for the embassy we learned that the operating hours are from 8am-11 am. Wow, those work hours must be great- you get EVERY afternoon off. Ugh. Of course this isn’t going to be easy, so we are planning on getting up early to go tomorrow. Oh this is gonna be good when it’s all done.
By the time we had checked in, settled in, and figured out what we wanted to see and do in Vienna- you have to remember this city was a complete surprise to us. According to our original plan we should be in Florence, but we are adapting. I mean we have to, potentially Chase and Morgan could be denied entry into Italy. I feel like fugitives. Anyway, when we had figured it all out, it was 4pm and it had started sprinkling rain, so we asked where a grocery store was and set out.
The current struggle is always finding a place that will accept our American cards because Chase and Morgan had their cash stolen With their passports. So, we had a chance to roam around Vienna. You know, at first glance I wasn’t crazy for it. Maybe it’s the district we are in, or maybe it’s because we art staying with a host you knows where everything is and is excited to show us around, but I just don’t like it. It’s dirty and not as “old world” as the other cities we have seen- but you know, I’ll. Have to really hold my opinions until we have gone into more of the historic districts tomorrow.
We walked for quite a bit, and saw a lot, before we decided that the direction we had gone did not have a grocery store. After turing around multiple times, back tracking, and finally being humbled enough to ASk someone where one would be (novel idea), we learned that there was a huge one in the train station. Wow, it was right there the entire time. Such is life.
As we trekked back to the hostel carrying our groceries, I saw this kid carrying what I perceived to be a box full of pastries ( I know these things) and I decided to strike a conversation whit him. He was extremely cordial. He began by telling me his box contained a cake for his sites birthday, and them he unleashed a slew of questions he had about the United States. I laughed and provided as many answers as I could, and he ended up walking with me all the way to our hostel door. As we ended our conversation he said, “I wold have never known you were American until you spoke.” I smiled and dodged into the door way.
Dinner was another glorious creation brought to you by Morgan and Brock. We have mastered the concept of “take what you have and make it work!” it’s fun working in the kitchen together because we bounce off of each other well, and end up getting it all done rather quickly. And there is just something comforting about eating something you made yourself. It just makes the day end well.
We have been through a lot in the last bit, so the evening was really relax oriented. Chase and Morgan stayed in, but I went for a stroll of the district we are living in, paying special attention to where I was headed so I could make it back. The chance to just stroll through the city alone and think and enjoy was extremely welcomed. The night settled in and I enjoyed the warm air imagining what it would be like to live here. As I got further away from where we are staying the buildings and people began to change. The architecture began to shine through, old churched emerged, and the people filled the outdoor seats of cafe’s chatting and enjoying each others company. Occasionally in life we have to step back and watch so that we too can see the happiness of others. Knowing they were happy made me happy as well. I love how it’s infectious.
I returned after a while and now it’s time to get ready to do it all over again. Tomorrow we get to learn how to have a passport reissued as well as stop by and see all of the unique things that are strictly Vienna. Perhaps I was too harsh upon arrival, maybe this will turn out to be an unexpected gem.