Sunday, 17 April 2011

51 Vienna, Austria

Tuesday 12th April
We set off from Budapest in search of Tesco’s. Having looked up its location on the internet, we found it just outside town.  It was huge. In fact, it was the biggest Tesco’s in the world.  No really, according to Tesco’s own web site.   
No this is not a picture of a van - this is Karens picture of The biggest Tescos in the World
I was quite excited. I thought home from home, unfortunately, they sold Hungarian food, what is that all about?
After Tesco’s we set off via yet another superstore, this time a German one, Auchan,  (Sometimes I need the patience of a saint).  Welcome to my world, you can never have too many shops!
We had decided to miss out Bratislava, the Slovak Republic capital and visit it on Wallace from Vienna.
At the Austrian border 3 hours later we were hit by an almighty storm and pulled off of the motorway to save the credit on the Austrian spy in the cab thing that we had to buy last year.  (The truck stop offered petrol, food and a massage. Needless to say I didn’t let Ray go out for anything).  It was nice though as it took us through some lovely villages, again, spotless.  The whole place is lovely and clean, and I couldn’t get over the amount of deer, hares and other wildlife that lined the roads literally. (Not as road kill I hasten to add).
We arrived in Vienna during rush hour but it was not too bad and we eventually got to the campsite at 5:45, just after it shut. No problem, we could register the next day anyway.   

Wednesday 13th
We are staying at a campsite in Klosterneuburg, which is about 14 KM’s outside of Vienna.
We woke up to rain and cloudy skies and the forecast was not good.  It was also a lot colder than we have been used too.  At about lunch time, we decided to brave it and go and visit Klosterneuburg Abbey, however we had only got 50 meters outside of the site when Ray spotted an “Schnell imbiss” (quick snack) stall and headed straight for a curry wurst. (German sausage covered in tomato sauce and curry powder) It wasn’t quite what we expected, but it passed the time.  We hit the Abbey, but again, pre season, it was mostly covered in scaffolding but the inner chapel we went into was again very beautiful.  
This side was clear of scaffolding

The inside was amazing

Unfortunately due to the weather, we had to seek shelter in several hostelries in the town and finished off the evening with a Chinese.  Some things are just meant to be.
Tucking into a chinese - luverly

Thursday 14th
Housework, laying plans and pouring down with rain again
Friday 15th
We headed into Vienna today, not really knowing what we would like to see, except I wanted to see the Spanish Riding School training.  These are the beautiful white horses that do displays and are absolutely stunning.  We watched it for a couple of hours and then took a bus tour around the local sites. 
Grand setting for a bunch of horses !

A gee gee pulling a wheelie.

Outside was pretty impressive too.

It was supposed to be just a hour driving around Vienna, seeing the most popular sights and then get off again, we actually ended up spending more time standing in the cold as they kept telling us to get off the bus we were on and wait for the next one. 
The Morova Veza !

Vienna Cathederal

Another impressive cathederal inside

We missed most of the fabulous buildings as well.  We were both bitterly disappointed with it, and it wasn’t until we set off on Wallace to return to the campsite, that we saw far more on our own, than that which we had paid for.

The Vienna university - a bit posher than you average UK polytechnic.
If I was to sum up, Vienna has been my least favourite of all the cities we’ve visited so far.  I’m sure it doesn’t help that neither of us is really into opera or the great composers, but we do appreciate good architecture and we did feel a bit cheated by the tour bus.  Tomorrow is another day.
Saturday 16th
Today we drove from Klosterneuburg to Prague in the Czech Republic.  Austria did not let us down with its beautiful scenery, but on crossing the border into the Czech Republic, we were gobsmacked by how much it looked like a theme park 200 meters over the line.  We drove straight into Excalibur City and signs offering us “open all night”  night clubs with every kind of  “girl” service anyone could want.  It was all so colourful, buildings, signs and people, quite unlike anything I was expecting. 
On ther way there we had a detour along some narrow roads after bad sat nav programming. 
I had a feeling we should not be on this road so I checked the sat nav and I had programmed a 40km error into it - muppet.

We arrived at the campsite, called Sunnycamp, just south east of Prague.  It looked like we weren’t going to get in as there appears to be a Danish caravan convention do going on, but the owner managed to squeeze us in, (no easy feat with the size of Lizzie), and we settled in for the night.

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