Travel Journal

Vienna & Danube region

(Saturday 24 April 2010) by Jill's travels
Today we arrived in the Karnten Region of Austria which is in the south close to the Slovenia border. We drove up some seriously steep roads to get here but the views were spectacular, one minute we were in sunshine with temperatures in the 20s the next, we were seeing snow and saw temperatures drop considerably. The car had absolutely no problems pulling the van but as you can imagine the fuel consumption dropped rather a lot! Since leaving Germany 5 days ago, we have chilled and done some cycling around the Danube.

Last Tuesday (20th) we left Germany and stayed on the northern side of the banks of the Danube in the Niederosterreich Region of Austria. This area had a more Eastern European feel which I suppose made sense as the Czech Republic border is just 40 miles or so away. The Danube is very pretty with villages scattered all along the banks of the river however, we were surprised to see part of it really flat and with no mountains. The hilly parts are used for growing grapes and therefore, not as green as we had expected. We had planned staying for 5\6 days so that we could cycle along the Danube and of course visit Vienna and Linz however, we decided to stay only for a couple of days and moved instead to a place just outside Vienna called K!osterneuburg. So, we had Thursday and Friday there and caught the underground into Vienna on the Friday. We were able to buy a transport ticket for 4.80 euros, this enabled us to use the trains, buses, trams, metro for the day. The underground U4 took us right into the centre of the City. There are two trams running around the city nos. 1 and 2 so it was easy to identify them. We were able to get hold of a very useful guide of the tram network which helped us work out which tram goes where. Once we got our head around it, it was so easy and convenient. Whilst we were there, there were one or two demonstrations going on mainly Students from the University. We heard on the radio that Putin from Russia was due to visit. I was impressed with the security measures put in place, police vans were all over the City and the Police Helicopter flying over. Outside the Parliament Building a group of students were permitted to play their instruments and make some kind of protest. That aside, the building was so imposing especially with its flamboyant fountain outside. The memories of the Opera House, the University, St Stephens Cathedral, the Library, the many Churches, Religious Centres, Museums Quarter, and Theatres will stay with me for a very long time. As will the parks, which had statues of famous composers, musicians and of course street entertainers, it is a truly ostentatious City but in a very nice way.

So we have arrived in this beautiful part of Austria with the camp surrounded by mountains with a lake. I think we may stay here for longer than a couple of days and explore Slovenia from here.


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