Following a wonderful few days in Budapest, I left the city on a sour note. For those that don’t know how a lot of european public transport works, you purchase a ticket, but it doesn’t become valid until you stick it in a little box that ‘validates’ the ticket by stamping it with the date and time. A lot of the times you’re able to travel without validating your ticket, and you can roll the dice on having a transportation officer stopping you and asking for your ticket. I purchased a metro ticket on my way out of Budapest, and whilst in a rush did not see a validator box, so I gambled and lost. Upon arrival at my metro stop, I made my way up the stairs and saw a number of women waiting at the exit’s checking tickets, I knew I was screwed, but I put my head down and hoped that I could slip by them. That obviously didn’t happen, and I got stopped by a woman who looked at my ticket and had no sympathy whatsoever for my case. Why would I try to skimp out on a $1 fare if I showed her a ticket? The cost? $40 fine on the spot, payable in cash. I gave her some snarky remarks in English after the fact, but unfortunately I don’t think she understood. With a salty taste in my mouth I eventually found my way to the bus for my journey west to Bratislava and then Vienna.
I was supposed to have ~5-6 hours in Bratislava, and then 2 nights in Vienna, followed by 4 nights in Prague. Unfortunately I realized I made an error in my booking, and would only have 1 night in Vienna. This was of course realized in Bratislava after I had gotten on a tram into the city. I hopped right back on the tram and made my way back to the bus station, spending a grand total of maybe 2 hours in Bratislava, 1.5 of which was spent in the bus station. I did get to see the castle on my way out of the city though, which I’ve heard is just about the only thing worth seeing there.
From there it was a one hour bus ride to Vienna, where I had roughly 24 hours to tour the city. The city itself is quite beautiful, very old and historic, with grandiose, ornate buildings. It’s a city that is good for those that like to explore museums, appreciate architecture, and of course those that appreciate classical music and the opera. Vienna for a day was enough for me, I’m sure I could’ve spent another day or two there, but 24 hours in Vienna left me satiated.
(And o yes, the big image up top, that’s wiener schnitzel with crushed garlic.)