Friday, May 24, 2013

Bruxelles, Easter Break: Part 1

It started with a simple "Why not": why not visit Vienna, another country?  Why not use my Easter break to have fun?  Why not travel and treat myself to a short European whirlwind tour?

With that idea, a few hastily discussed suggestions, and a credit card, I booked a flight to Vienna. From Vienna, I would theoretically be shown around by a friend, travel through Poland, Budapest, and Prague.  Then, I would go to Berlin before finishing my time on vacation.

Of course, the best laid plans consistently go to waste.

I arrive at 10pm, and confidently stroll out, my backpack slung onto my back. I'm sure that my friend is going to be there, that I'll meet her parents, and we'll exchange pleasantries.  At the same time, I'm sure that we'll both be ready to fall asleep almost immediately.

Instead, once I stroll out, I end up waiting.  I spend the night in the airport, waiting to hear from my friend.  I spend the next day, waiting and wandering through Vienna.  I spend a good hour, waiting to hear from the police once I've been pick-pocketed.  I spend another hour, waiting to see if I can get a train ticket reissued and to see how many ways I can plead with the bank to give me some money when all I can find is my credit card. I wonder how I am going to enjoy this vacation.

In short, I spend my first 24 hours suspended in a state that Voltaire described as "waiting in the expectation of living."

Afterwards though, I decide to enjoy my vacation.  I still call and message and text my friend, worried since I don't hear from her.

I found a hostel, called Meninger, which made my stay a bit easier to handle: I now had a bed to rest in, a place to stay.  Hip hip hooray!

Over the next few days, I decided to enjoy Vienna.  I took a walking tour. I visited a bar that had a clothesline covered with *a-hem* donated bras.  I ate Viennese violet candies.

Inside the Albertina museum.  It reads: "Wherever man hopes to take the mysteries of nature by surprise, he finds only his own image reflected in the mirror.  No diver knows, before he goes down, what he is going to bring up." The quote is in English and German, courtesy of Max Ernst."

The Manner shop is filled with different things: neopolitan liquer, cookies, chocolates.

This delightful store is where I also tried Viennese violets.

I stared at Gustav Klimt's painting of The Kiss, ate sachertorte in Vienna, sat on the huge spinning Ferris Wheel.  I drink Almdudler (a popular soda), listen to a street-performer play the accordion, and try Wienerwurst.

I walk around the Vienna Central Cemetery.  I go through the Museum Square.  I stop at the House of Music.

Then I leave.  After three days, I leave for Poland, for Krakow, for Warsaw.  I sit on an overnight train and try to sleep as my cot (one of six) rattles against chains that metal frames.  I toss and turn.  And wake up in another country.


  1. Even when plans go awry, travel is also an adventure, isn't it? I'd love to see Poland. Hope you have a wonderful time.

    1. Thanks for reading! I feel like the best stories come from plans that went awry (even if just a bit)!