Thursday, September 27, 2012

Train Trip Munich to Vienna

Climbing aboard the last car of a ten car OBB Rail Jet train 60 seconds before departure carried its own special thrill.  For starters, you can always count on OBB to depart on time whether passengers are safely seated or not.  There is no such thing as checked baggage.  We were responsible for getting it all safely to our seats and stowing it securely.  For a two month trip from Texas to Maine to DC to Munich to Vienna to Ljubljana to Rovinj Croatia and back to Texas through Munich - three roller bags, a picnic basket and a back pack seemed a perfectly reasonable amount of luggage, but it seemed totally excessive as we dragged it all the full length of the train.  Our first-class tickets were for the first car right behind the engine.  Before we got all that luggage stowed, I was wishing at least half of it was back in Texas.

As we staggered up the narrow aisle, I only caught glimpses of Munich sliding by faster and faster as the train reached for a speed worthy of its name:  Rail Jet.  Once safely seated the rural scenery was magnificent.  A canopy of clouds sheltered the green fields, wide rivers, castles, quaint villages, and vineyards.  Speeding along at 120 km/hr with occasional bursts of up to 200 km/hr, the idyllic countryside almost flew by.

Here are a few of my favorite photos.

All too soon signs of urban life appeared on both sides of the train.  We had arrived in Vienna.  

Finding someone who could give us directions in English was no problem.  Out the door of the train station, to the left, down the escalator -oops not so fast, have to buy a ticket first - now down the escalator, a few minutes standing by the track and with a final push and a brief quickening of the heart, both of us and our roller bags and assorted carry-on baggage were all on the trolley.  What's this?  We have to change trollies?  Oh, my!  

I'll spare you the details.  I think you have the idea.  Finally, we arrived at the Opern Stop.  We were just two blocks away from our Vienna hotel.  All we had to do was determine which direction we should go.  Straight ahead, left, right, or  was it possible the hotel was behind us?  With a combination of instinct and good luck we chose to go straight ahead and to the right.  Pension Suzanne was right there.  It couldn't have been in more perfect location, but I want to make sure I remember to limit my luggage a bit more stridently next time.  Writing it down may help!

The elevator was out of service and we still had all that luggage.  Thankfully, we were only on the third floor, but the ceilings were very tall and there were a great many steps.  I refused to count them for fear that deep depression might set in.  Even with someone to help, it was quite the ordeal.

It was almost worth it when we finally got to our room.  Spacious, comfortable and as Viennese as I could have asked for.  We were 'home' for the next few days.