We were up at 7 this morning, in the Metro by 8 after saying Bye! Bye! to our hostess and on the train to Vienna at 08.40. Very good facilities again although we were a bit put out that for the whole journey there was no wi-fi available. Still, I got through 2 quite difficult hands of Spider Solitaire while Mary read the entire works of Charles Dickens!

And so we were to have a bonus day in Vienna, the city we crowned the best we visited on our Grand Tour 5 years ago.  When you consider we visited among others Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Rome, Florence and Barcelona then you can understand how impressed we were back then.

The train pulled in to  Vienna as we have come to expect bang on time at 11.25 and immediately we made for the left-luggage and got rid of most of our stuff so we’d be free to walk around the city unencumbered.

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Lady Burton in front of the Vienna Opera House

Diving into the Metro, we bought a day ticket and got off at St. Stephenplatz, the hub of life in Vienna. From there we set off to visit as much as we could remember of this great place, including the many wonderful enormous squares and of course the Spanish Riding School with the Lippizaner horses. Lunch was taken in a park and followed by a wee siesta on the grass in the warm sunshine.

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The National Library

A rude awakening for me however as a freak wind surged through the centre, ensuring that I was awoken by leaves whipping me in the face and crows panicking all around. Honest, I thought I was having a nightmare! All the hundreds of tourists disappeared in a flash and the cafés and restaurants struggled to keep their tables, chairs and parasols from flying away!

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This guy has better buns than me!

We made our way back to the City Shopping Area where we had coffee but I’d noticed a couple of guys with AC Milan scarfs on and I began to wonder if a team from Vienna were playing in the Europa League tonight. Sure enough, as six o’clock struck, we stumbled on a pub advertising the Austria Vienna v AC Milan game live at 7. That would do me fine…. and Lady Burton could read a book! So that’s what we did, chilling out in the depths of a city centre pub, me watching footie with burger and chips and Mary organising our next 2 days over roasted veg and rice. Did I forget to mention the 2 litres of Weißbeer?

At 9 in the evening we set off back to the main train station via the Metro, reclaimed our possessions and settled in a café until it was time to board the night train!

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Mary getting all excited!

Oh, did I not say that we were taking the overnight sleeper from Vienna to Krakow tonight? This was to be an absolute first for Mary and a close second for me (I travelled Paris-Nice on the sleeper at Easter 1974!!). Our own wee cabin was brilliant and we were giddy with excitement. We took a few pics, the train drew out on time (front bit for Berlin, middle bit for Warsaw and the back bit for Krakow) and this is where I’m going to stop for today.

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Our sleeping compartment

Night, night! XX

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