An early start, the number one tram to Bratislava Hlavńa station and the novel concept of buying my train ticket to Vienna from one of those human being things.
€14 got me on the 8.38am to Vienna. For some reason I expected something posh. While the train was clean it was just a train. While the countryside between the two cities was green it was also unspectacular. No sign of any border. Arrival in Vienna an hour after setting out was quite exciting and I paid €7.60 for an all day city pass. It was never checked.
I took a wild approach of hop on a tram and see where it takes you. They have a city centre riding school. Mad after all that countryside I’d just seen! I discovered a big Ferris wheel. Miles of impressive buildings too, perhaps on a par with Paris. I hopped off one of my random trams and found a few more impressive buildings including the opera house. Horse drawn carts and associated odour too!
Another enjoyable day, although it’s clear Vienna is a far bigger city than Bratislava. I tried and failed to get three fridge magnets reduced in price from €10.50 to €10. The Austrian sense of humour from the seller put the Germans to shame.
I struggled to get back to the station. A couple of erroneous tram journeys to nowhere before I finally got back on service O. My Bratislava train was waiting and with an enthusiasm of a seven year old headed up the stairs on the double decker train. It was exactly the same upstairs, but it still felt cool.
Despite being Austria, a nation surrounded by efficient Germans and time accurate Swiss, the train left late. It also stopped at a couple of stations I didn’t recall from the morning trip. Well if Manchester to London can stop at Watford once a day these Europeans can do their own thing.
A series of new stations followed. A couple of them had no platform and seemed to be in a town consisting of three houses and a tractor. Beginning to worry a little I googled a station name to discover it’s on a different line heading to Bratislava Petržalka station. South of the Danube and a 45 minute walk away. I’d got the wrong train. Google mentioned an Uber for €5 that appealed to me. Then my phone battery died. No Uber for Dave!
I worried about a ticket check that never came. Stepped off the train and headed up a ridiculously long platform and exited the station. No trams this side of the river. A bus service that might go where I want but I didn’t recognise the place names. So I got into a taxi. Only to realise I didn’t know the address of my apartment as it was saved on my dead phone.
A short while later, having crossed the river, I recognised a spot near my apartment. At this point I realised I was a victim of a tourist rip off. €30 for a trip Uber would have done for €5. Ive subsequently discovered the number 80 bus would have done the job for €1. So I haggled. Without success. And he was a stocky Slovak. I very quickly abandoned my haggle, handed over the cash without tip and exited the cab. Annoyed with myself.
Wrong train. Dead phone. Failure to agree fare or challenge lack of meter. It’s a good job I like to save a few quid here and there. Sometimes it bails me out of a hole of my own making!