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June 27, 2005

Day 21 Wien, Österreich

Pardon my Deutsch, I insist on freshening you all up on some German. So in case you fell asleep in language class, I am in Vienna, Austria.

Today was quite a wickedly stressful day. Train travel can be very fun. Amazing landscapes, interesting people, colorful languages. And then you could travel by train like I do: Budapest to Bratislava then to Vienna. Sounds like fun, right?

Try again. Eastern Europe rocks in many ways. One of the ways it misses is airconditioned trains and a serious lack of English. I couldnt understand a thing! After sweating my shirt through on my way to Bratislava I hit the ground running and started exploring. Lets just say this. I went all over that city, in fact I probably walked a good 10 miles. Ive been to Chicago, New York, and many European metropolises. And by far, this was the nastiest, poorest, city Ive ever laid foot in. I couldnt find a place to stay for the life of me. NO KIDDING! I trekked from one side of the city to the next and back again. All the hostels I checked out were booked up. The last place recommended a place near the train station for me. This almost made me angry. I had just come from the train station. This was another 2 miles back to where I started. So what did I do?

Its pretty obvious, it doesnt take the most inferential reader to realize I skipped town and headed to Vienna. Which I dont regret by any means. Vienna rocks and has tons to see. Bratislava is almost like Eurotrip. Well, not really. Id love to exaggerate its sleaziness. Hehe. But it still was quite awful. So due to circumstance, no patience, and a midday sun killing me, I skipped town.

Vienna is great. I am loving it already. Very cozy and historic. I did manage to grab a crazy bed in a nice hostel. Im not joking, its practically on the ceiling. You use stairs to climb up in an 8 bed room, and this is funny its over the bathroom withing the room. :D This is even better. Its a double bed. Which means I might have to rub elbows with some stranger in this wooden contraption they call a bed. lmao. Sailors have it better than I do!

Great time though. Yesterday I finished my book, David Theoreaux' The Old Patagonian Express. I am extremely impressed with it. Probably the best travel book Ive ever read. It is a great nonfictional story of adventure and the unexpected when the author takes a commuter train from his home in Boston and makes his way entirely by rail all the way to the end of the line. The southernmost tip of Argentina, Patagonia. A very gripping piece. Check it out.

Now I am happy to be catching up on my reading and playing it peaceful. I just started Victory by Joseph Conrad, a free book I picked up in the München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Train Station.) And it is a very well written piece. A classic written in the early 1900s by a former sailor in the British India Company. Merchant Marines seem so fascinating to me. I am seriously considering work on a ship once I get out. It would be a very cool way to see the world. And besides cities and countries are much more fun when they're near water.

I have to retire. Please pardon the long post, however I had much to speak about. Take care and may the force be with you.

Jedi Knight James DiBenedetto I

Posted by Jimmy on June 27, 2005 03:54 PM

Good thinking about skipping Bratislava, backwater E.European city, and venturing into Vienna. Vienna is known for their art, so hopefully you could visit a gallery or two.

Posted by: Jay on June 28, 2005 01:54 AM

sounds like a good time.

Posted by: mike on June 28, 2005 04:59 PM
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