Endurance Trip to Vienna

Karsten took his first solo trip, and it didn’t go as planned, but he still got in plenty of exploring!

Saturday, October 12, 2019 | Written by Karsten

I had a plan to see three new countries today—or so I thought. After the Munich HTS trip, I thought I was going to take a train to go to Rajka, Hungary, walk about two and a half miles to stand on where Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary came together, and then head back to Vienna and spend the day there and then take an overnight train back to Metz. Well, a couple of those stayed true—I’m writing this on the overnight train back to Metz. However, after making a couple of questionable moves, I ended up not going to Rajka.

After the field trip, I hung around Munich for my first train, which left at 8:00 P.M. I grabbed dinner with a couple of guys that were staying in Munich for the weekend, and then headed to the station for my first solo trip. My trains took me through Salzburg, Vienna, and eventually to Parndorf, Austria, where I spent the wee hours (from 1:30 A.M. until 5:30 A.M.) of the morning. I was the only person at this tiny train station in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, I hated that and was creeped out the entire time I was awake. I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep (putting me at 11 hours of sleep in three nights), but it was here that I decided to skip out on Hungary and just head to Bratislava, Slovakia, and then to Vienna. This decision let me get out of Parndorf a few minutes earlier and into Vienna four hours earlier. After spending twenty minutes in the Bratislava train station, I have now been to fourteen countries in my life.

I took the hour-long train back to Vienna and got there at 7:00 A.M.. I decided to walk to all of the major landmarks I had originally planned to see. These included the Rathaus, the Hofburg, the Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Danube Tower. These places weren’t very close to each other, but I had no other plans. I started from the train station to Schönbrunn, then to the Rathaus, then to the Danube Tower, and lastly, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg. My favorites were the Schönbrunn and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

 The Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens were absolutely massive, kind of like the Biltmore in the United States, and it was really cool to see. St. Stephen’s Cathedral was also huge and beautiful. I spent roughly an hour around the cathedral, but I regret not going in. I ended up just eating some ice cream and drinking a coffee outside, as I was exhausted. From here, I made the hour trek to the train station, grabbed dinner, and hopped on this train. I ended up walking over twenty miles throughout Vienna, so I’d say there isn’t too much I didn’t see, except for Eliud Kipchoge breaking the marathon record in Vienna on the same day, but I felt as if I had also completed a marathon. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some sleep on the rest of this train, as I need to catch up.