Vienna was the first stop for our April 2017 AutGerSui Trip; I got a great deal on Egypt Air flight tickets so I quickly booked the Kuwait-Cairo-Vienna flights on 1-Aug-2016 and started the rest of the trip planning. I had read a lot about Vienna and its beauty so was looking forward to visit another European capital and explore it. Even though we had limited time allocated for Vienna but as always we planned to utilize our time to the fullest!
Friday 31-March-2017 | Kuwait – Cairo – Vienna
We flew from Kuwait to Cairo at 4:15 AM and reached on time at 6 AM; then we had a long transit wait of 5 hours at the Cairo International Airport before flying to Vienna. Everything went perfectly without any hiccups. We reached Vienna at 2:30 PM, got through immigration, picked up our luggage and then bought train tickets to reach our Air BnB location.
We had to walk for almost 15-odd minutes to find our Air BnB but the weather was perfect for such a short walk. Our host called us and met us just in time so that we could check-in.
It was our first International Air BnB experience and it started on a great note; our host Jan Eric was an Architect and we had a wonderful conversation with him. He explained us about all the amenities and the local places to hang out as well. I got our lunch and other grocery items from a nearby supermarket and we were all set for Vienna. We enjoyed our lunch in the BnB and then enjoyed a long afternoon siesta which was much needed as we hadn’t slept in the night because of an early flight from Kuwait.
We woke up at 6 PM, had a Coffee & Snakes session before getting ready for our highly-anticipated Austrian Dinner to kick-start our trip. The restaurant was just 10 minutes walking distance away from our BnB and we enjoyed our walk in quite chilly weather.
I had pre-booked a table in the vine-covered courtyard which came in quite handy as the restaurant was nearly full and we got a great table right next to a hall where a local wedding reception was taking place. We enjoyed live local music and the fun scenes right next to us.
We ordered a Wine Glass for Bandita, Fish Orly for Abhay and a Potato-Leek Soup to kick-start our Dinner. Main Course was Chicken breast with vegetable rice and Grilled wels catfish fillet in a spring onion and white wine sauce with herb fettuccine. We ordered a house-special Pistachio ice-cream served with Redberry compote. The food was simply superb and coupled with the gracious service, our experience was absolutely stupendous. We couldn’t have had a better start to our trip. You can get more details at Restaurant Sperl
We walked back to our BnB and had a relaxed sleep. The next day was going to be really hectic as we had to cover the Best of Vienna in just 1 day!
Saturday 1-April-2017 | Chill in Vienna
We woke up early that day, thanks to the bright sunlight gushing into our BnB, had our breakfast, got ready and started our walk towards the Statdpark Train Station to catch our Metro Train to the Vienna Zoo. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and bright sunshine.
The weather was perfect for long walks and that is what we exactly did. The fountain infront of the Belvedere Palace was quite a sight.
The Vienna Zoo was our top agenda item of the day but we didn’t know that we had huge disappointments waiting for us.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn or “Vienna Zoo”, is located on the grounds of the famous Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752, it is the oldest zoo in the Western world. It is one of the few zoos worldwide to house giant pandas.
We bought our tickets from a Kiosk paying quite a steep price – 32 Euros each; thankfully Abhay’s entry was free. I was most excited about watching the Giant Panda, Koala and Kangaroo in the zoo; all of which I was going to watch for the first time. We started with the Panda enclosure where both the Pandas were merrily sleeping and that too inside – I was quite disappointed to say the least. We planned to come back after watching the rest of the animals. Next up were the Koalas, and all of them were sleeping too! This was kind of expected as Koala bears spend almost 90% of their lives sleeping!
We moved on to the Kangaroos, and thankfully they were playing merrily in the sunshine and were quite a sight! Finally some wide awake animals on view.
Next up were the big cats and more disappointment. The Cheetah, Leopard, Siberian Tiger and the pride of Lions; all of whom were sleeping as if there was no tomorrow. I was cursing my luck and the Zoo staff for feeding them so much that they were in no mood to move around and were sleeping royally at 11 AM in the morning! We couldn’t have been unluckier.
The reptile pavilion was always an interesting one as I love watching them up, close and personal.
We moved forward towards the Penguin arena and Abhay was most excited to see them in action. Then we saw a big group of Seals enjoying in the water.
We were finished with all the enclosures we wanted to visit in the Zoo so decided to try our luck and went towards the Giant Panda enclosure before leaving but they were sleeping in the same position we left them earlier in the day and a huge crowd of people were waiting and hoping against hope that they would wake up for some time and give us some excitement. We waited for 15 more minutes but then finally decided to leave.
It would be an understatement when I say that it was the most disappointing visit after all the excitement and anticipation. Our experience at the Prague Zoo during our July 2015 PolCzech Trip was such a fabulous experience and we were hoping for an encore. But then this is part of the game; as they say “you win some and you lose some”. Maybe we picked the wrong day to visit the Zoo plus one doesn’t have any control over animals’ sleeping habits anyway!
We spotted a small roadside kiosk selling Sushi and decided to have a Japanese lunch. It was quite economical and delicious. And probably the best way to get rid of the sadness!
After a hearty lunch, we walked towards the Schönbrunn Palace which is a former imperial summer residence located in Vienna, Austria. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. It is a majestic monument with a huge garden and a fountain at the entrance. It was the time of Easter and a food festival was being held in the garden area. We sat down and relaxed with some local Viennese snacks and drinks. The Easter atmosphere was fun and we loved getting soaked in all the revelry around us.
We took a train and went to the Old Town to explore another important part of the city. We reached the Schwedenplatz station and took the Vienna Ring Tram to take a look at all the important landmarks of the Old Town and part of the Vienna Ring which is an Austrian World Heritage Site. The majestic boulevard was laid out in the mid-19th century around the centre of the city, replacing the old city walls. This tram is the most economical way to enjoy Vienna’s most exquisite highlights riding onboard the yellow sightseeing tram which moves slowly and also has audio guides in multiple languages explaining all the landmarks on view. The 25 minutes journey costed just 18 Euros for the both of us. You can get more information at Vienna Ring Tram
We got off the train and enjoyed a round of Noodles sitting in the Old Town enjoying the hustle-bustle of the area with travellers from all over the World walking around us while Abhay continued with his nap. We enjoyed a round of ice-cream and then bought some stuff from the Billa supermarket before taking couple of trains to reach our BnB.
We were completely drained when we got back so decided to have an early dinner which consisted of MTR ready to eat meals which we always carry on our trips. We called it a day at 10 PM ready for another fun day waiting for us.
Details about our Air BnB Accommodation – Vienna Belvedere Ap-ART-ment
Vienna was definitely a fun experience even though we could not explore it in detail but we kept it a short visit on purpose as we wanted to explore the smaller and non-touristy parts of Austria in detail. Our next stop was a very small village in the Abtenau area of the Salzburg District named “Schorn”; I had booked a beautiful Air BnB which was on a mountain side and we couldn’t wait to gaze at the Austrian Alps from our BnB.
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…