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Kate's European Adventures.

Vienna and the search for Wiener - don't be fooled by Wiener World.

AUSTRIA | Sunday, 6 September 2009 | Views [690]

After the massiveness of Italy (and not just the sightseeing), we left Venice (without having to pack up tents, thank God) with its copious amount of drinking and enormous amounts of food about 4kgs heavier and headed to Austria.

Getting into Vienna, we got the tents up just in the nick of time before the thunderstorm hit. Dinner tonight was a venture into the oldest theme park in Europe, complete with wooden Ferris wheel. After a quick wander around in the rain, we found a pub within the theme park with great cheap food and beer, and a few of us holed ourselves up there for the few hours we had to spare. A great way to taste some goulash and sample some Austrian beer while keeping dry – and the best part was the price of it all!

The next day the Contiki cough hit most of the people who had remained unscathed by it, so the walk around Vienna this morning was a little hard work. The weather was great (humid, but warm) but it was hard to get into the spirit of things. We drove the ring of the old walls, visited the Winter Palace and walked through the city to St Stephen’s cathedral. After a Viennese coffee to get things going and a visit to an ‘apotheke’ for some cold and flu drugs (and foot fungus cream for Kat who hadn’t been wearing her thongs in the shower), we went into St Stephen’s Cathedral for a look at the building that dominates the square in the centre of Vienna. Being half way through the trip most of us wanted to get some clean/new clothes to wear, so that mission was accomplished as was buying some ‘NO KANGAROOS IN AUSTRIA’ memorabilia (still making me laugh).

Lunch time took us on a little detour. Since we’d arrived in Vienna, Katarina had wanted to eat some of the local delicacy known as wiener. So we went on a little mission to find her some. Imagine our delight when we came across a restaurant called ‘Wiener World’, they were sure to have the best wieners we could find! Alas, after a little hand gesturing with the waitress we managed to get a menu in English, and not one wiener on the menu. Plenty of smokers sitting in the restaurant, but not a wiener in sight. So much for Wiener World. Unfortunately, Katarina had to go without her Wiener’s for lunch today.

Our tour took us to the Summer Palace just outside the city for a walk through the majestic gardens. The weather had cleared up perfectly – the grounds of the palace are certainly a place you could spend an entire day wandering around in the sunshine. Then it was back on the bus and off to a Schnapps museum.

The man that ran the museum was hilarious. He spoke about his family run business and the ins and outs of the making of schnapps and the different varieties they had on offer. He told us how he had cured thousands of Contiki coughs over the years with his ‘Rocket fuel’. So when the ladies of the tour got the first lot of samples, we headed straight for that one to test it out. This little outing was by far one of the best on the trip - €8 well worth spent. The guy taking us around was entertaining and the samples at the end were a bonus too.

We had to do a mad dash back to camp to get ready for the Mozart concert that some of us were attending that night. Some of the group that weren’t going to that extra excursion had decided they would head out on the town in Vienna instead. The concert was lovely, and a great night to relax really. The music, singing and dancing was lovely. Imagine my surprise when we got back on the bus to find the group of those fellow campers that had been so dead set on a big night out in Vienna. Listening to them recount their story was funny. They had searched the city for a pub, couldn’t get served in a couple so kept moving on, got incredibly lost and then packed it in and decided to head back to the bus in time to meet up with the rest of us.

So back to camp it was, with a quick stop at the servo for some drinks to be had back at the site before we hit the sack. There was some very excited people that night – the following day promised big things for us all and it certainly didn’t’ let down.

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