Sunday, September 30, 2012

Zoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Vienna

Incredible day zoo yesterday  panda bears 3 no less watching them eat was a blast also koala bears meerkats lemures and several different penguins   Yeehaw watch this space for photos. I took a zillion also walked the had  kebap box for dinner.  I changed B and B today my new place was the Pension Mozart and it was a big welcome change from the apt I had. When I arrived to leave my luggage until check in the time the woman offered me a room with a its own bathroom for an add additional cost of 30 euro for the 3 nights and I took her up on it. I headed out to explore the area going over to Austrian Parliament Building.  Blue skies and sunshine and a beautiful place to take photos of and then I walked some more and found another wonderful area.  I then went back to my B and B and checked in my room was lovely had a nice bed with real pillow and also a television and it worked and a shower that was actually in the middle of the room and then headed off. 

The Schoenbrunn zoo was just wonderful founded in 1752 its the oldest zoo in the world.  The fact that there were all my fave animals in one zoo was amazing, I had the feeding time schedule for the Panda's  2 pm and the Koala at 4 I checked them out before that tine of course.
The Pandas were indoors and 2 were sitting together and one was passed out hanging on a tree. I went to see the koala and came back later to the Pandas to ensure a good spot. 

One by one they must have had some signal to get up and come out to eat as they suddenly got up one at a time and went out. I then headed out too, I had a fair spot but I was patient waiting for a good spot they were partly closed in by glass and to get a good view and photos you had to stand on a wall. I got up finally and shot away, the baby and mama were the closest and I was able to see enjoy. The mother would break the bamboo shoots and the baby would reach to take it from her, it was fun. I could watch this forever I would get down at time so to let others up and watch from the sidelines until I had the chance to climb up again. I so love pandas and they do not look real. Then I headed back out to check out the rest of the zoo the penguins were wild there were four different kinds also saw red panda and other animals, flamingos and then finally to the koala to get a good dinner spot.  They stayed in doors but the zoo keeper picked them off their branch and put them closer to the glass viewing area to eat. Most people who had been waiting for awhile to keep a good spot looked a few moments and moved on but not me.  Photos and video and watching to my hearts content. Then off to rest of the zoo and found the lemurs they were fun to watch one kept putting its head in a plastic cup. I saw golden colored monkeys going from tree to tree but they were all heading in, so my time with them was minutes.

baby panda

Just hanging around

Finally left and decided to walk through the Schoenbrunn Palace ground I visited the palace in 1984 the ground were spectacular and reminded me of The Palace of Versailles, I walked the grounds until almost dark the area was large and then I had to figure my way out like everything else in Vienna it was pretty much find your own way. I did ask a few people and found one who could tell me it was quite a hike to the underground, and I was totally exhausted.  I got off a stop early in search of food and of course being Sunday night hardly any place was open, I found a Kebob place and ordered a Donner Box and sat down on a bench and ate it was too hungry to wait till I got back to my room. 
hmm this looks good

Fountain Schönburg Palace
It's all in the Eyes

Yup think I can make it

Bratislava Slovkia

one disappointing thing was not getting my passport stamped

I did not sleep with worry that I would not wake up in time to catch the tour bus.  I was up at 5.40 and got ready to take the U to the opera house I arrived 40 mins early as I was afraid I'd have a problem not get the U and have to walk.  I had to wait awhile and finally a  van took us to the bus station you go on the local international bus.  Our tour group of 35 and then other people who were going to Bratislava, not part of the tour, I was so beat slept all the way on the bus trip.

We arrived to cloudy skies  not the promised sunshine but getting use to them not knowing the weather and met our guide first off 3 people disappeared and we had to wait for them they were off to a toilet the guide was annoyed so were the rest of us she was taking us to a hotel where we could use clean modern facilities. We looked at the Danube and she told us stuff then the potty stop you should go in and out and most of us did but saw some doing makeup etc. Then we had to wait for about 6 and finally 2 I think they went shopping, this is why I hate tours good to get info but all the waiting and wasted time.

US Embassy

We set off and made stops along the way she gave us quote a history lesson of the town and she was good but too long at times.  We walked all over saw some nice spots and I snapped away it really started to clear up and the sun came out and it warmed up.  Suddenly this band appeared out of nowhere and started playing and everyone was running to the spot  and it was good and after  a few minutes she called us back as we had to continue again bad part of tours. We then walked in an area where they were some stands selling things and I made a quick choice and bought an angel.

We finally made our lunch stop which is called a box lunch which is their name for a set lunch they choose I sat with some Aussies.  We had a very good cheese thing start and it was a big slice rolled over and stuffed with another cheese... yum then the main dish which was 2 balls of rice and then chicken with a sauce and then mushrooms it was good, then a slice of cake with whip cream  it was ok.  The guide she had to call in the amount of people and she asked 4 times any vegetarians and no answer but when we got there were 5 so they had to hurry and make substitute, I have to admit they were quick.

wooden mock-up (scaled down model) of neologue synagogue

ornate buildings

We had an hour 15 to walk around so I checked some shops and explored a bit more I managed to find my way back to the market area and picked up a few more things. I had no one to take a photo of me  so did it myself managed to find a wall to stand near that had Bratislava painted on it and then to the bus back to Vienna where I passed out asleep again.  We were told we would have pickup back to opera house but not true. had to find my way back but it was easy.  I walked around St Stephens again and sat to rest and looked at a map.

A man sitting near me on the bench asked me where I was looking for and then where I was from and we talked for about 30 minutes we discussed everything from Arnold Schwarzenegger he did not like him (neither do I) and said we could keep him to Nazis to Health Care why do you call it Health Care we call it Ill Care and went on to tell me how wonderful it is to have insurance and what is wrong with Americans not wanting it to
President who he said your wonderful president to why would any one vote for the Idiot running against him I said you tell me, he then walked me to street I needed to take to reach my next destination and said don't worry you have a good man as President he will win. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hungarian goulash in Sopron

getting my passport stamped in Sopron

Up early first thing I did was hike to the tourist place near state opera house wanted to book  my tour to Bratislava for the morning it was bright and sunny yea. I got my trip booked but the bad part is I do not get hotel pickup as my hotel was not on the list and I have to be back there at 7.30 am tomorrow but I got the route and should be able to catch the tram and be there if not its about a 40 min walk.

I then hopped a tram to Wien Meidling  train station to book a ticket to Sopron Hungry just walked up and managed to get a ticket just like that no thinking should I just do it. I love being spontaneous and not planning.  I did not have to wait long and I was on the train I was all happy because I was finally getting to a new country.  Trains are so quick here the US is so backwards on high speed train and I was there in an hour 10 mins. I was positively beaming when I walked into the station and out in the streets and sunshine yee haw.

cant beat the inside of churches in Europe

I walked to the main church and it was beautiful inside, I sat in a pew and admired and then took some photos. I then headed out to explore. I looked in windows, found the old town walls and just plain enjoyed.  I was getting hungry (in Hungry) so I looked for a place to eat I wanted a nice treat local food. I found this place that the menu sounded so familiar I wondered if it was a spot I found on line (looked it up and yes it was) and forgot to copy.  They had the menu in English and 3 other languages and I spotted what  I wanted leg of goose, and cabbage and onion potatoes perfect.  I went in and ordered it was a cute place and I was outside under a huge umbrella canopy. I ordered, I wanted wine but decided against it not wanting to get tipsy believe me I am a cheap date. I had no idea what it cost.  It was a lovely meal to say the least I so enjoyed eating it.

Afterwards it was exploring the town for a few hours finding more churches, I found the little train I read about it was too late to take it though I wish I had ran across it earlier.  I found a shop and went into buy wine to take to my cousin as I read it was a popular Sopron wine.

I rested a bit and then looked around the streets for awhile and then decided I  should head back to the train or go look for the clock that I had read about well went to look for the clock I could not find it and then headed back I then made the mistake of looking at the town walls again and as I walked away ouch I got stung by a bee? wasp?  man oh man it hurt like the blazes and I could not do anything no ice anyplace even walked in a shop in search, I picked up a bag of frozen veggies to try that, in place of ice. Oh man oh man never saw what attacked me.

where the wasp attacked me

I headed back to the train and just missed one I stood in line at the ticket window and the woman told me I had to go to information area I waited there while the woman just ignored me for awhile and the other woman was on the phone she finally decided to ask what I wanted and I told her and she told me 7 mins for the train and she wrote the next train time 6.15 and crossed the other 5.15 out, so I headed out to the track and it was gone I realized  she meant I missed the first one so I headed for  track  7 like she told me and the train listed was not going to Vienna and I went back to ask and she insisted that was the one I wanted 
she was pointing to something on the wall and making her hands go up and down. well not being stupid as she thought I read schedules (in German which I do not know) and finally found a train at 6.13 track 5 for Vienna so I asked a train employee to be sure he I was right he even walked me to the track.

The train was a bit late but finally showed I wonder where the heck I would have wound up if I listened to the lady as it was if she had took me the time arrived I would have been on my way an hour earlier. I was a bit hungry despite my Hungarian lunch so I had a small order of the noodles for dinner but this time I went veggie it was lovely.

  • Views around Sopron

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good morning vienna

Inside St Stephens

This will be an adventure found  my way to my apt I saw  the hotel near it from the bus I was let in by a young man he said he was a guest too but helping out. My apt is more of a large room I have a tv not working a small bed, more of a day bed a couch and a cupboard for clothes. The toilet is shared with 3 rooms there is a kitchen with the usual and a computer on the table.

I went out to eat had a donor kebab luckily I love eating that I hardly see any eating places except for McDonald's all over as if that is what I would want to eat.I got some cereal for breki grains and the  what possessed me like ugh and some sort of sweet bread thing looked better than it tasted. I was up early so I showered while I had the chance not sure when again altho if am up early each day might be the best.

St Stephens too big to get in a photo

Church near my Apartment

I will go to the Ring the main tourist area  I see no sign of the woman who runs this place. I hope to find a place to get information for buses etc also need to book a tour or two cloudy now now where all the great promised weather went is beyond me. The Z and Y are mixed up on the  keyboard. This is a mess but I am not used to no mouse and have no idea where the delete button is.

Yes after a breakfast of cereal and a sweet bread I was ready to head out but then the woman who runs the place showed up made me coffee and told me how to get places she was nice but she talked too fast so hard to understand sometimes but she us very sweet. Her husband knew of Buffalo because they visited her uncle in Rochester small world.
Fountain I remember from 1984

I headed to the main ring area taking photos on the way and then I saw a fountain one of many and I knew it was the one I saw on my trip to Vienna in 1984, I recognized still in my memory , yup guess there is one meg left someplace got someone to take a photo of me there. I visited various churches like St Stephen famous church of Vienna it was nice but so dark I looked awhile I also visited other churches one St Peter that I found very beautiful. I also went by the Hapsburg Palace but did not visit today I way got distracted trying to find where the info place was I thought of booking Budapest but could not decide plus the tour goes so early, as in leaves at 7.15 am but the hotel pickups are much earlier.
Outside St Stephens

Inside St Peter

I walked so much more but in the wrong direction and wound up quite away from where I wanted to be as I saw this huge fountain and a odd piece of art  "piece" is the wrong word as it was humongous.

I think realized I was lost so I saw a hotel and went in and got directions to get back to the main train station near my apt. It was my first experience on the   U I managed to figure the line and go the right area and then change for the rest of my trip.  Some man was walking around the train and would kneel and say something I have no idea what, altho almost as if he was praying.

Came back to my room around 4 dropped stuff off and then went to find dinner I had a very nice Asian noddle dish with chicken and garlic sauce (that was fun ordering as I had to try and figure out what meat was chicken and the size) I sat at  a table outside and enjoyed and watched as the world walked by. It was a  very yummy meal then I walked a bit more and treated myself to  Gelata chocolate of course and went in early as I was pretty exhausted.
My apartment
first try at chopsticks

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Walked my fool head off in London

Well it wasn't raining so I hit the road early they said it would start raining by 10 am. I first walked to the Battersea bridge took some shots and then walked a bit of the Thames path I was walking towards another bridge think its Albert bridge it was pretty. I sat on a bench across from Battersea park and rested awhile and took some photos of the pagoda I was across the Thames from there. I walked some more and then turned and walked back to my hotel it was about 3 miles round trip and I did it just over an hour with stops.

After I dropped some stuff off and changed it was off to the underground decided to see if the roses were still in bloom at Regent park when I was there in May they had not begun to bloom I was happy the skies were still blue and I was happy to see the roses were still there is sat for a while to take it all in and then took photos and walked around the garden and then I explored other spots and then back to the roses. I needed a potty break so stopped at the garden cafe. I then walked around more of the park happy so far the skies were blue I explored parts that I had not seen in years.
Fountain Regent Park

After that I decided to continue through the park towards the London zoo going off the route here and there as I got closer it really clouded up and I was ready for the rain but nothing. I walked past the Zoo and then over the bridge toward regents canal I started to walk along side it but changed my mind as the dark clouds were closing in.

I then realized I was closer to St Johns wood underground than any other so started that way  was as rain drops began. I was so lucky as the very light rain and lasted about 5 mins and then stopped. I walked up the High street was in search of my whippy ice cream but to no avail stopped in a couple second hand shops in search of a book by one of my brit authors but no success. 

I then headed towards the underground when I thought wait lets see where the buses go and found I could take the bus towards Trafalgar square so jumped aboard and ran up top for my front row paradise view. The traffic was heavy so it took awhile and I was happy.  I got off and then went in search of a fish and chips place but could not find it stopped at Covent garden and asked a worker and he pointed out the way to a fish and Chip shop so I headed down and over and found a place not the one I was looking for but it would do. I ordered it to go and then headed back to Covent garden and sat on some steps I saw a pigeon so though I'd throw him an overdone chip big mistake as about 20 came in. I did share more overdone bits  with them but not my cod fish no way. Then I watched a bit of a street show where someone got people to don the hats of the Village People and sing  YMCA song and watched guys make fools of their self.

Regent Street at Piccadilly Circus

 I walked in circles unable to find the internet place from last night but finally found it I walked in and was getting my money to hand the woman and someone jumped in line in front of me.  I waited patiently as he went and took my seat, the woman said do not sit there it does not work and he said yes it does and plopped down and she said I was saving it for the old lady, that would be me.  Oh well I guess it is time to pack it in although how many old ladies can keep up with me. I decided to walk back to my hotel and walked through St James Park just as it was getting dark.  All in all been a good  day esp with no rain I am off to Vienna in the morning.