Next stop…Vienna with someone else’s luggage


The day before this photograph was taken, my group of 11 travelers and myself took a tram and train from our hotel in Prague to the train station in Vienna.  When I purchased the tickets via the Czech Republic train system online (discovered through the amazing site covering world-wide train travel…The Man in Seat 61), I knew I had to wait until 60 days before the travel date to purchase all 12 of them.  Because I had budgeted a certain amount of money based on the least expensive train tickets, I also was aware that it was necessary for me to be online and ready to secure them as soon as the window opened up.  Although I was poised and ready when the window opened, I was forced to choose two different times for the group to depart, within an hour of each other, splitting us into two groups of six each.  I’m telling you all of this to lead up to my funny (although not at the time) train travel story and in case it helps you with your travels.

While still in Prague, I gave everyone their train ticket and their 72-hr. transport card that I had purchased online and that was mailed to me, for their use while in Vienna for all trains, metro, and buses.  The 72-hr. card is especially handy for travelers so that you don’t have to buy a ticket each time you want to use the metro, a bus or tram, and one only needs to validate it once (which entails sticking it into a machine that places a stamp on it).  When my group of six arrived to the train station in Vienna, we stopped at the ATM to withdraw money with our debit cards, and we found the next train we needed to take that would deposit us within a block of our hotel.  I had verbally told everyone and typed the information on the Itinerary, to remind ourselves to validate the card  once before use, to avoid a hefty fee if discovered without the validation.  So, of course we board the train and before we even sat down I remembered, so I loudly announced for everyone to get off NOW!  You may think that’s not a big deal, but when the trains are crowded and you’re heaving a large suitcase (like me), then it can be a hassle.  We all disembarked and one of the travelers took our tickets to the validation machine, brought them back, and since the train was still there, we all got back on!  But…that’s not the end of the story…

If my memory serves me, this particular train ride was only about 10-15 minutes long and just before getting off, one of the ladies says, “This isn’t my piece of luggage”.  I look at her as the blood is draining from her face and immediately reassured her that everything would be alright.  We emerged from the depths of the train tunnels and walked down the street to our hotel.  As soon as I told them my name at the front desk, the Reservations clerk informed us that the Manager from our last hotel in Prague was on his way driving the three hours to Vienna to pick up the piece of luggage that they had mistakenly given her and replace it with her piece.  Because we had to check out of the hotel in Prague before leaving for the train station, we left our luggage in their storage room and when she went to pick up her’s they gave her the wrong piece!  It all worked out though!  The mystery is…how did the hotel in Prague know where we were going to???

The following day we followed the Itinerary and walked to the Hofburg Palace Complex, which is the official residence of the President of Austria, and where the Spanish Riding School is located.

This photo was taken in the Complex area…

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This is one of the buildings within the Complex.  We began the day by watching the Spanish Riding School riders complete their morning exercises to music.  Most of us found it to be a bit boring.  We also toured the Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum.  I’m not a big museum person and found them to also be a bit boring.  It really depends on the museum.  I tend to enjoy doing outdoor activities such as bicycling or hiking, along with sitting at outdoor cafes, sipping a Latte or Glass of wine, people watching, and taking photographs.

I took lots of photographs on the trip and wished I had brought my wide-angle lens, especially for the architecture in Vienna, and my tripod would have been nice (except for the extra weight).  Everything was so grandiose!

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We strolled along Karntnerstrasse, the main shopping street, where you’ll also find outdoor Cafes dotted here and there.  Unfortunately, one of the ladies got separated from the group and we hooked up with her later, back at the hotel.

This was one of the modern looking buildings along the street…

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You’ll find Muslim women taking selfies…

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and hairless dogs…

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St. Stephens Cathedral was absolutely resplendent!  It’s also located in the same area.

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Vienna was another City that was very “walkable”, but it was nice to have the 72-hr. transport card, in case you didn’t feel like walking and so that you wouldn’t have to buy tickets each time you used a train.  Not to mention the convenience of not having to remember to validate your card each time!

 

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