Sept 21, 2019 – Zagreb to Vienna
We had a really early morning train (7.00 am) so we got to the train station by 6.15 am. Mirko, our Airbnb host came by and helped us with the bags again. It was a little nippy in the morning so both of us wore our jackets. The train was starting from Zagreb and was brought to platform 1 by 6.20 am. We boarded the train by 6.30 am and even clicked a few pictures.
We had a young mother with her super active little boy as co-passengers. He didn’t speak much English, but managed to communicate with us while constantly playing with his huge collection of toys. I helped the lady with her oversized bag. The ticket examiner came by and checked our tickets and we were off to Vienna. The lady and the young kid were also going to Vienna. Her husband was working at Bratislava and interestingly had worked with Infosys earlier. So she knew a little about Bangalore and India but had never visited.
We ate some breakfast around 8 am. I had bought the sunflower seed bread from Kunzum yesterday and also some hummus. Krishnan had bought a pack of wafers. We opened the pack and offered it to the young boy, when his mother told us that he should not be eating any sugar at all as he is hyper active. She was ok with him taking a single wafer.
We had another ticket checker come by when we entered Slovenia. He mentioned to us that there was some construction work happening on the railway track and that we had to get off at Maribor, take a bus till Graz and then take another train from there to Vienna.
Krishnan and I were disappointed ! We had booked this train because it was a direct connection to Vienna. We didn’t get any prior information about the construction work otherwise we could have canceled and booked ourselves on a direct bus. The bus takes half the time that the train does. It almost seems as though we were meant to take every form of transport in this trip :(.
We got off at Maribor as they made announcements that the train will go no further. Again I helped the lady with her oversized bag and there was a train executive pointing all passengers towards the bus that was standing outside the railway station. We went over to the bus and like in Zagreb, a gentleman helped me with one of the suitcases even though this time it wasn’t as heavy. We loaded the suitcases and just kept the backpack and the food bag with us. When we got onto the bus, we realised it was almost full. I got a seat in the second row and Krishnan got a seat in the 3rd row. The young mother and her son had to sit next to the driver.
The road was fantastic and the driver was very sweet to the young boy who told him how to drive :):):). It took us about 90 minutes to get to Graz. The interesting thing is, while planning the trip this year, I had looked at making Graz as the base for a few days and visit Croatia and Slovenia from here. Again, guess we were destined to see Graz in this trip.
We got off at the Graz Hbf and for the next ten minutes or so, all the passengers were at sea. There was no one to tell us which train to get into and we were just left to our own devices. I noticed a Rejiojet train on the first platform that was going to Prague via Vienna and we decided to get into it because we had tickets on the OBB train. Rejiojet is part of the OBB company. Seeing us get in, many of the passengers also got in, including the little boy and his mother.
We were hungry again and ate some of the puliyodharai that I had packed for lunch. I called Sirisha and Koka to wish them on their birthday today. While I could speak to Koka easily, Sirisha’s call kept getting cut as we went through several tunnels. The ticket examiner checked our tickets and they were valid for this train.
We reached Vienna by 3 pm instead of 2 pm as we had to do this detour. The young boy’s father had come to pick him up and I asked the parents for permission to take a picture of his.
Wien Hbf felt like home. We went to Spar and bought our favourite fresh orange juice. Since it was a Saturday, we didn’t want to get the weekly ticket that’s valid from Monday to Monday. We got ourselves a 24 hour ticket and got into the U1 to go upto Schwedenplatz station and then changed to U4 going towards Heiligenstadt. We got off at Friedensbrucke and the elevator was not working. So we slowly lifted all the bags one by one using the stairs. Our Airbnb was really close to the metro station so we started to walk towards it using google maps.
As we got close to the Airbnb I stopped at one spot and Krishnan walked around to locate the house. Luckily I was standing just across from where the Airbnb was. We called the Airbnb host and her friend let us into the apartment. Its a beautiful Airbnb.
Since the next day was Sunday, we decided to go shop for some fruits, vegetables and yoghurt as all the shops would be closed tomorrow. We found some fruits and vegetables at the Hannover market, and some yoghurt at another store near the Hannover market. We also managed to get some outstanding butter at the store near the Airbnb that sold products from Bulgaria. We were all set.
Tomorrow we plan to do the Lilliputbahn – the toy train ride :).