martes, 2 de abril de 2013

Binnacle. Part V. Vienna.

I had arrived to the Vienna Bus Station at 5:00, I felt as cold as I had never felt in my entire life. It was -5 degrees, but it was dry cold. The -16 degrees snowstorm I had suffered in the Bavaria was not that cold. At least, it was so dry that it was impossible for the sky to be cloudy. I'm too much of a meteorologist nowadays. Maximum tenmperature was estimated to be around 3 degrees. I managed to find the tube station to take a ride to the city centre, but I lasted for an hour riding the tube, it was too gold to go outside.

I made some time and got off the tube at the city centre, where I'd never felt so grateful of finding an Starbucks in my whole life. I was the first customer, spent around two hours there without falling asleep, new record. I charged all my batteries, connected to WiFi and looked for a hostal. I needed a place to take a shower and leave my backpack. Vienna was somehow big and I only had a day, I needed to be fresh and fast.

Showered, I take on the city. Quick stop at the tourism office to ask which places should I visit. I had then learnt the city map. Vienna was not Munich or Geneva, my knowledge of the city was not overwhelming. I had to visit two palaces that were distant from each other, the UN headquarters and the City Centre. Money restraints kept me away from going to the Opera, I would keep it in mind for my next visit to Vienna.

First stop, Schonbrunn Palace. Then, Belvedere Palace. Now, I recommend to go to Belvedere first and leave Schonbrunn for the end due to the second one's visual impact. Same reason I won't visit the Sixtine Chapell until I've seen the rest of the world. Schonbrunn was the residence of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, spectacular in every single aspect, a visit that takes some time but it's definitely whorty. Second stop, Belvedere palace, which seems ordinary compared to Schonbrunn.

Back to the city centre, until that point I had ridden the Vienna tube three times without paying for it, it was a fine delight, it didn't had any turnstiles. I head out to the UN headquarters, nothing interesting there, except for the Danube River and the Danube Island. The River that allowed Vienna to be the conexion between Eastern and Western Europe, the River that allowed Austria to grow both economically and politically. The Pratter was nearby, one of the oldest theme parks in Europe along with the Tivoli in Copenhagen. Personally, I found the Tivoli much more interesting. Still, my point of view is a bit biased, as I will always rank Denmark as the best place in the entire world, followed by Belgium, the Basque Country, Galicia, Boston (Even though I've never been in Boston) and the German Bavaria. I was realising I had visited two of the three UN's headquarters within days of difference, Geneva and Vienna; I was still missing NYC. I'm sure the day I will eventually visit NYC I will spend less than 24 hours there. I will continue to Philadelphia and then I will spend some very long time at Boston, that's definitely a place that is worth a visit.

It was still dry cold, but with no comparison to the coldness I felt when getting off the bus in the morning. I went back to the centre and entered the Vienna Opera Café, best coffee I've ever had in my short (But fully lived!) life. I walked around Mozart's Opera, Heldenplatz, Rathaus, the University, the Beethoven Monument, Town Hall, Government Palace and St Stephan's Cathedral. Vienna's buildings are just outstanding, with one of them being more amazing than the previous one. It was a wonderful city, its only problem was the awful weather, food was decent (Seafood was shockingly decent as well!) and it had a perfect modern/ancient mixture. Moreover, most environment-friendly city I have ever been in. However, Munich and Zurich are way better German-speaking cities in terms of my strange likeness.

Vienna was missing something, a man's most important necessity: football.  The most popular team in Vienna is Bayern Munich, and it doesn't plays at Vienna, not even in Austria. Austria's national team and Viennese teams were not closely as popular as Bayern. I asked in Vienna if they had a Schwarzeneger statue, as he was the guy who showed the Americans that Austria was not a little island next to Australia. It was more probable to find a statue of Beckenbauer, Lahm, Kroos or Schweinsteiger. Viennese people have a weird fetish over Mozart and Bayern players.

I went back to the bus station. I had ridden the tube around 10 times without paying for it. My bus was delayed, I had 36 hours to arrive to Bergamo and take a plane back to Spain. Everyone was speaking German, it was impossible for me to know why the bus was delayed. A Chilean girl who spoke German finnaly explained the whole situation to me. It is amazing how I complicate myself with simple trifles yet I can deal with snowstorms in the German Bavaria. I was going to Bergamo's nearest significant urban centre, journey time was estimated to be around 12 hours. Destination: Milan (And San Siro!).

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