Vienna, Austria

We arrived in Vienna this morning at six am.  The sleeper car on the train was quite comfortable, but I stayed up too late editing and the result is about four hours sleep. The geniuses at Eurorail printed Wien Westbahnhof Station on our tickets and the train stopped at Wien Meidling Station, a few kilometers away. It's like buying a Via Rail ticket to Union Station in Toronto and being dropped off at Greenwood without being told.

I feel like I shouldn't be complaining, but really! It wouldn't be a big deal if we were in a city we knew, but when you come out to the street in the dark and don't know where the hell you are it is not very pleasant, especially at six am on four hours sleep.  We found a coffee shop near the station, waited for it to open and eventually figured out where we were and where we were going.

We are now about half way to our hotel, and have entered the Twilight Zone. It started to rain so we've stopped at the old restaurant that happened to be next to us when the rain began: The 'Cafe Westend'.

I can only describe this place as vintage. The waiters are in full black suits with bow ties, and the place looks like it hasn't been redecorated since sometime around 1944. There are velvet green banquettes built in with black marble topped tables and large chandeliers overhead.

I'm half expecting Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall to walk in at any moment. The smoking section adds to the ambiance, and poor air quality, by the way I have stopped smoking again, for those of you keeping track.  The Cafe opened in 1859/60. The breakfast of bacon and eggs was mediocre, but my cup of tea is perfect.

I can see the Westbahnhof station out the window. It is being rebuilt which explains our rerouting. Too bad they could't have told someone at Eurorail. You can be sure they will be receiving a very strongly worded letter from me in the near future. 

Update: When we left Vienna, we had to depart from the Westbahnhof station. It is open and I have no idea how Eurorail managed to screw up on our arrival, but we will let them know.

1 comment:

  1. Hey I love love that restaurant - just remember Mark et David if the confusion had not occurred with your rail transport you wouuld not have found this wonderful restaurant. Travel is about taking advantage of these mistakes. Tourists expert perfection in their plans. YOu are both travellers so enjoy ( save your fire for the Green Party and Mayor Ford as you will need it).
    Behind every mistake is something to be discovered trust me. Signed world traveller! lol Jane