Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Got to love the Chinese

MP3 Track of the Day: Loose yourself - Eminem



Having had a late night last night I woke up around 8:15 and got out around 9 ish; my first destination of the day was the famous giant wheel of Vienna. Buying a take-away breakfast (2x pan-o-choclate and a bottle of coke) at a shop in the tube station, I then boarded my train, I'm now a complete natural to this Austria public transport lark. I got to the park and it wasn't hard to miss the wheel.

I went in and looked at the prices ... €8.50! Still the way I look at it is this; its world famous and I may never come back to Vienna, so I reluctantly handed across my money and went into a small 'museum'. I use the word 'museum' in the vaguest possible sense; it was eight carriages arranged in a circle. In each carriage were some poorly painted, and designed, models showing the history of the area. Now I'm not bad with history but when I saw a carriage about life in Vienna in the Roman times situated between one about WW2 and another about 18th Vienna I got quite worried. Giving the museum the time it was worth (about 2 minutes 37 seconds) I went to get on the wheel ... but wait!

Next was one of those annoying camera things where you peer through a fake window looking stupid, and then a PC changes it so it's looks like you are peering out one of the carriages of the wheel. I could have one of these fake pictures, in a rubbish cardboard booklet, for €9.50 ... I don't think I would of bothered even if it was free; it wouldn't of been worth the extra weight.

So finally I got on the wheel and there was only me and one other person... great. I got my camera out and started taking pictures; being behind a lens all the time sometimes mean you miss the most important aspect of travelling ... the experience. So after a while of shooting I put down my camera and just stared out of the window trying to soak it all it. It was an okay sight with .... what; we are coming down already!. 15 minutes is all I had on the wheel (I know this because the carriages were numbered and I timed it once I was down) with about 4 minutes at the top. Slightly annoyed I got out and, oh look a shop selling you wheel tea-towels, wheel models etc ... I got out of there as quick as I could.

Next I went into the park, I found a bench and looked back at the wheel sadly. Here is one of Vienna's most well known monuments and it had been destroyed by commercialism ... I felt the wheel was an annoyance to the owners and all they wanted to do was sell you cheap objects and fake photos ... there was no experience. Would I do it again? No I would not; however if I knew this was what it was like beforehand would I of bothered ... yeah probably.

As I sat in the park eating my pan-o-chocolate and drinking my coke (reminds me of a mates breakfast, except he has a Mars bar) conkers were falling from the trees and groups of infant school children were going around picking them up ... the leaves were falling to the ground and the whole area seemed perfect. I could of stayed there longer but I had to get to my next attraction ... the Imperial Summer Palace of Schonbrunn.

Just when you thought you'd seen it all, Vienna gives you another all inspiring sight. The Imperial Palace was beautiful, and so where it's gardens. Just before going in, I stopped at a bench to re-apply my suncream ... again the weather has been beautiful, at least in the high 20's and I was worried about being burnt (like at the Yorkshire three peaks ... actually I was getting really good at making sure I applied my suncream every few hours); anyway as I applied my suncream a bus load (they always arrive in big buses don't they) of Chinese tourists were leaving ... one saw me, smiled and pointed at the sun and then took a picture of me applying sun cream to my arm. These Chinese will take photos of everything, do they not get sun burnt ... a European and I looked at each other with utter confusion. I bet you didn't know I was the latest Vienna tourist attraction.

Anyway I didn't go into the palace as I'm not really that bothered looking at cups, tables and paintings ... no I wanted to look at the gardens; the fountains, the trees, the flowers and the monuments. Another bonus was that the gardens were free (well I think they were free ... put it this way, I didn't buy a ticket) and so beautiful. It's hard to describe so I've put a load of pictures on Flickr; the fountain of Neptune and the summer house thing were lovely. It's difficult to describe the size of the palace ... It took me a good 15 minutes to walk half way (I reckon you could put Derby City Centre in the grounds. When spending time in one of the wooded areas (as I did allot to get some shade) you would eventually find a bench; some had people lying on reading a book ... I though to myself that this most be the best way to spend a day, chilling in the shade, with all this beauty around, reading a book.

I had only planned on being there 2 hours at most but 4 hours later I was ready to leave. 4 hours and all I had spent was €2.50 on a bottle of Pepsi ... bargain (not the Pepsi, that's quite expensive, what I mean is the cost for a days entertainment).

When I arrived back in the city centre I had one more area to visit. This area was the Jewish area; this was dominated by a monument for the Austrian Jewish community through the holocaust (this was located on the Vienna Ghetto site). 64,000 Austrian Jews died under Nazi rule ... 64,000! I think it was a very good memorial ... its a stone box, with a locked door at one end (I didn't take any photos as I didn't think it was right).

Afterwards it was around 4:30pm and I decided to head back to my hostel. I know it's early but I want to upload my photos to Flickr, write this blog and do abit of washing before 8ish. Then I plan to go back out ... I missed seeing Berlin at night (probably because I was so far out of the city centre) and I want to see the Holfburg Illuminated. I won't be taking my camera ... too much time already behind lens and I want to soak up the experience.

I have €18 left; I don't want to withdraw anymore Euro's as Hungary and Romania don't use Euros (a slight oversight on my part). I will need at least €4.50 to get to the train station tomorrow, €2.50 for breakfast, so that leaves me around €11.00 ... umm take-away pizza it's looking like.

Toodle Pip

P.S. It looks like I have 'man cold' ... I'm bearing up okay (eat a whole banana today to get my fruit count up). However, some women believe men make a big deal of, what they call a 'common cold'. There is nothing common about the cold men get love ... it's totally different to what you women have to put up with (a little sniffle) and I have evidence to prove it. Click here and it will explain all (sound needed).

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