Vienna and flying in the theme park.
Our last day in Slovakia was here! Bratislava was such a great city and it certainly charmed us. Luckily our transport to Vienna was next door to our botel, so a slightly dodgy hotel breakfast later we were on the boat travelling up the Danube river.
It was so easy to book, it’s around 20Euros for a one way trip that takes about an hour and 15 minutes. On the way we passed Devin Castle, an old fort high atop a rocky crag on the border of Slovakia and Austria.
We waved to a pretty riverside town and mostly passed through forest with lots of little fishermen’s huts lining the banks. It felt fun to speed along on a catamaran with the wind whipping around us. It didn’t feel like much time had passed before we hit the city limits and passed through onto the canal, before arriving between steep walls to the centre of the city.
We disembarked and through my brilliant sense of direction headed towards the hotel I had booked via St Stephen’s cathedral, a huge spectacle towering above a small square surrounding it, with a beautiful spire touching the sky above us.
After passing several cake shops we found our way to the underground, where it was only a short journey up to the museum district and our hotel viennart in the museumsquartier. An easy friendly check in later and we were sorted, with lovely clean rooms and great views out over Vienna.
A quick freshen up and getting our bearings we went out to take our time wandering past tye different museum buildings and parks that lay before us. The weather was again brilliant and it really helped make the holiday.
Vienna is such a grand city, and we were quite happy to explore without going out of the sunshine into the galleries and museums surrounding us, instead preferring to leisurely pass through parks and relax in the sun with a beer. Plus there was enough to see outside without heading in.
We walked through Heldenplarltz and Volksgarten, passing through to the Spanish Riding School, something Peter insisted we must do. We picked up our tickets for the following morning and returned to our trail via some interesting fountains and buildings.
Our path took us past the parliament building and we stopped off in a park a short distance along from there. We wound our way round to Rathausplatz where they hold an outdoor cinema in the summer which looked really fun.
As we found ourselves getting carried away with no purpose to our walking we swung around the Sigmund-freud park, hopped onto an underground, fueled up on huge sandwiches and headed to the Vienna Opera building. I loved the road crossing lights, with the walking man or woman hand in hand with another man or woman. It was a cute little thing but a nice sign with the little heart in the middle.
The sheer amount of culture in Vienna is amazing, with nods to historical figures of all types around every corner as we looped around the city.
We found ourselves walking through another park, with hordes of pokemon go players glued to their phones. It was nice that there were so many people out enjoying the greenery and the hot weather.
After the park we were back on the streets, walking past lovely art shops and clothes stores. Through little arcades and across wide shopping streets with the smell of food and the sound of laughter all around us.
Our plan now was to walk back to the hotel and relax for a bit, ready to go across the city to Vienna’s own theme park: Prater.
We arrived early evening and joined the various groups of all ages heading towards the entrance. It’s free to get in and you pay for the various rides. We had come for the big wheel and hopefully sunset views from the top.
It’s a really vibrant place with an old school feel, lots of bumper cars, food stalls and rides like water rapids, ghost trains and this snake that flipped people up and over again and again.
If we hadn’t been budgeting we would have gone on so many rides but we ended up spotting one which took you high up over the park, and span you round while you sat in a little chair with metal chains securing you to the main pillar. I think we egged each other on a bit to go on it but it was totally worth it.
It went so high! Peter had his eyes closed for a lot of it but I enjoyed looking out over the city and even managed to get a great photo from up there.
I enjoyed the adrenaline thrill and we were buzzing as we walked away. Going round the rest of the park you could see how much fun it would be and I’d definitely go back there.
Our main aim was the big wheel and with the sun getting low in the sky it was time to board. Some people had booked to dine in some of the cars going round and it was funny to watch the waiter go in and fill their wine glasses and deliver their next course while they waited patiently for the next journey round. We even got to see models of a post apocalyptic Vienna!
It was soon our turn and we jumped in, luckily with only a handful of others due to a huge group of Chinese behind us.
The views were as stunning as I had hoped and you could see for what felt like forever.
It was very romantic and you got a good amount of time to go round and soak up the views.
Once we landed it was food time, we decided to just grab something in the park and ended up with traditional pretzels, schnitzel and erm…chicken wings. All washed down with a refreshing fruit beer.
By this point the sun had set and the park too on a whole new look with all it’s neon lights shooting into the sky, the only problem was a sudden influx of midges, hordes of them under every light which made my head itch. Again there were rides we really wanted to go on but hadn’t brought the money to do it.
This one had 5 loops!
All lit up for night time, still with people arriving, we left to go back closer to the hotel and have a drink. It ended up being harder than we thought and we had to walk past our hotel till we found a small pub with outdoor seating jutting out onto the road.
A few beers and some excellent music later it was time to head back and get a good nights sleep. Tomorrow was a full day in Vienna.