Win, a friend of the family, lives in Vienna and was more than willing to put me up while I was visiting the city. I’d been before, but this was my first time alone. The previous visit had been just before I was about to graduate uni and ended up with some impressive sunburn as I fell asleep at a swimming pool just outside the city. With that in mind, I was quite glad to see it was generally overcast.
He had been out of town to play bike polo and so wasn’t due in until late in the evening. I’d assumed that I’d go and find a place to entertain myself, but things never work out like that. I’d forgotten my trousers back when staying with Heinz. Thankfully his friend from school works in Vienna and so I arranged to pick them up from her at her office. I got there just as she was finishing, and when she heard that I had nowhere to go she invited me over to her place to watch the finale of Game of Thrones. It’s massively popular, but I’d only seen two episodes previously – both in Montevideo with a previous host – so wasn’t really aware of what was going on. That shouldn’t be a reason to turn down an invitation, and of course it wasn’t so we rode back to her place. She had thought a couple of friends would come over, but it just ended up being her boyfriend, her and myself. That worked well because it meant there were fewer people to get annoyed as I got the whole 5 seasons explained to me while we chomped away at the delicious Viennese cuisine.
Win was very busy with work, so I was alone to wander the streets of Vienna. Other big cities of Europe have Free Walking Tours, but Vienna doesn’t, possibly down to a law to protect the tourist industry. Thankfully I had recently heard of Rick Steves back in the Czech Republic and he had things for Vienna too to provide some context to what I was seeing. How else would I have known that the Habsburg Imperial Eagle on the top of Stephansdom was two headed so he could look across the whole empire? Outside of it’s awful bike infrastructure (how there are so many cars in Vienna is beyond me, public transport is great, go use it) Vienna is a quite lovely place and I can understand why C worked here for a while, although seriously the biking would drive me insane after a while.