Sunday, January 30, 2011
after saying our goodbyes on the train at innsbruck (well, sarah managed to wave at the wrong bag), I stayed onboard for another 5+1/2 hrs, finally arriving in vienna.
accommodation was pretty easy to sort out. information desk. map. multiple options.
I went with the first choice, which was closest, as you can expect when thinking about the temperature.
1st night's accom = 16 euero = awesome...
up at 0900 to sort out transport to paris, and get my washing done.
reception will take care of washing for a pretty tidy sum (starting to see the cheap bed as a necessity)
find out the costs of train-vs-flying to paris.
train takes 14 hrs and is around 200 euro and done over night with a transfer in munich
flying takes around 2 hrs and is around 170 euro. can be done at early evening
decide to book the flight later, and hit the town for some photos.
here's the thing about vienna in the winter, on a sunday. It's really cold, grey, and empty...
was starting to think that i'd done my usual thing where I get myself lost in a city on the first day (usually in some industrial area), and then have to dig my way out; which means a lot of walking.
sure, I still got lost - but I managed to take some nice photos, visit the modern art museum, the haus der musik, and the opera.
like most of my city-bound walking adventures, I tend to forget to eat...
once my body reminded me at 1800 that i'd only had a coffee and pretzel for breakfast, i sought out the austrian equivelent of a hot dog - the schnitzel box...
I also managed to get lost on the way home (wrong tram + wrong direction), but that was easily fixed and I made it back to the accommodation in time to upgrade my room (solo with ensuite for 39euro)
even with the cold; the 8+hrs of non-stop walking; the 2 hrs standing to get tickets, and then standing while watching the opera (only 3euro to stand unreserved) - I still managed to fall in love with this city.
the architecture is interesting to me *(well, different), there are pretty women everywhere (all dressed immaculately i might add), and it has a good vibe.
note to self, must come back to vienna.
there's one in almost every city... I held out pretty long too, not until I was walking home after 7+hrs of solid footwork did I fall prey to the grande mocha goodness
see - pretty all over the place
they sure do like their statues here in vienna
sign posting your arrival into the museum quarter (quite touristy, but a good place to start)
some statues and a big old building, just across the way from the museum quarter, before I got to what looked like a palace (but was probably just a parliament building)
another angle on the big old building
tourists flock around
statue of that fraz joseph guy again
pretty church spire that I was kind of using as a landmark to navigatge
another angle on the man known as franz
doggies playing in the park
at the base of the church? (which was closed) was a massive ice-skating rink filled to the brim with happy vieneese
more of the winter festival ice-skating rink
now this is what I think of when you say traditional european architecture
just like this
one of the many churches around
everything here is named after a composer, freud, einstein, or that franz joseph guy
local taxi (horse and carriage rides for the tourists)
fancy shopping areas
I guess he told a lie
yup no kangaroos here in austria, though I did see a kangaruh in st antons
where the "ultra real" exhibit was
it's not performance art, in case you were wondering. it's a life size statue.
looks like a photo = an ultra-real painting
who's brad? probably not that guy
interesting to see people looking at people who are looking...
yup, it's a naked chick riding a hippo
painting of the venus, updated for the new millenium
aparently it haunts her revierie
awesome floating rock thing. it was actually floating, and I couldn't discern how it was held there....
the haus der musik (music museum) has a fairly large section devoted to the classical vienese composers, here's a shot of one of beethovens' notepads
the vienna state opera house
standing tickets are only 3 euro, as long as you don't mind waiting in the cold up to 2 hrs before show time, to ensure you actually get a ticket (first come first served), and then wrestling for a position to watch from... (normally reserved with a scarf) once the show starts, be sure to defend your position from the rude elderly french couple...
night time in vienna
ok, off to hit the town for some more coffe-fuelled tourism, before an early evening flight into paris.
auf widersein vienna, you rock
Saturday, January 29, 2011
...a day can make
Day 2 was still cold, but with a light dusting of snow, the ski-area magically transformed into something utterly amazing...
the whole area becomes a playground, with off-piste (ie: next to the run) powder the reward for a little extra work.
It started snowing on monday, and continued through tuesday; So wednesday (26th) had what could only be described as the best snow conditions I've ever experienced.
At times I was floating through powder up to my hip, with most runs still covered in the freshly packed light stuff.
Sure, there were still the occasional patches of ice, but nowhere near as bad as the past two days.
Thursdays adventures centered around a 45min bus trip to the local area Lech (leck) which is also skiiable on our passes.
Apres ski is quite litterally a sport over here; most evenings revolve around heavy drinking, and partying... makes it a little more difficult to get the group together in the mornings, but things usually sort themselves out by lunch.
Thursday night was toboganing (ultra-dangerous-fun-times).
Friday was cold, windy and icy.
Katharina damaged her knee mid-morning, Russell was still dealing with his dodgy neck from the last few days.
I was feeling sick at lunch, and decided to call it quits while still in one piece. I straped on the head-cam, and shot some video on the last few runs - then headed down to meet the group for some apres at the moosewirt.
after a few drinks, I still had to return my ski-gear, refund my pass, and grab some dinner.
I managed 2 of those 3 things.
It's "traditional" in Austria to take a shot of some VERY strange and potent liquer when returning your skis... combined with the apres, it did not sit well with me, and from what I've been told; things got a little weird.
To those who were woken up at ridiculous hours of the morning, to check on my sanity and health... all is good, and I can't thank you enough.
looking back at st antons from the galzig gondola
australia-day celebrations at the KRAZY KANGARUH
lifts crossing over each other on st antons
kevin has a koffee
looking at the rendl gondola while waiting for a bus to lech
apparently busses have coffee breaks
(don't worry B, I didn't go heli-skiing, this is just what i could see from the bus)
helicopter making it's run
picking up the high-flyers
just flying around
village of Leck/Lech
is it gliding/parasailing? whatever it is, it looks fun
the alexander sisters carving up the heavy-powder
wanna drive down?
another lift at Lech
sun sets, directly behind a mountain - making it EVEN colder
Halina, Ollie and Sarah on the chair
these massive steel structures are all over the mountains... basically they retain the snow on the hill, preventing avalanches closing the roads underneath
another self portrait
on the bus again
view from restaurant at the top of Galzig gondola
Russell on the run
now that's what I call a gondola
sarah carving up the lumpy powder
weird statue 2/3rds the way up a chairlift (when covered with snow, and in low visibility it actually looks like a stranded person from a distance)
looking into the village
main street St Antons am arlberg
details of the lights in the main street
And now for a few photos from Russell
sarah's going to lead us WHERE?
waiting at base
chillin' in the gondola
updated 29th Jan 1430
Currently on a train to Wien (vienna) for a few days.
Not much else to add to the above posting, other than to say that I am indeed safe and not injured as might have been thought for a little while there... Very strange evening on 28th, not something I'm looking to talk about, but all is well.