Endeavour to Europe: Vienna

That was my first travel out of my country..!

I started on a rainy July (2012) morning to Mumbai from Nasik. It was my start of journey to Barcelona. My port of entry was Vienna. I got my ticket from Delhi to Vienna, there was no direct flight available from Mumbai. That made my journey longer. I have to fly to Delhi from Mumbai, then to Vienna and after 8 hrs. in Vienna (Austria), I have to fly to Barcelona.

From gorgeous Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport I started to Austria at night 11:00. Flight was around 8 hrs. long and it was my first time for such a huge distance. Cleared all my formality at airport. I was going through puzzling movements during the emigration clearance. Somehow managed it.

After 3 hrs. spending Delhi airport, I reached my flight and surprisingly I got a window seat. After sitting in the seat I was thinking about, how I can complete 8 hrs. of journey? Excitement made me energetic and I started enjoying the night view out there. I was first time in the darkness of earth from the top. It was amazing. I got India Non-vegetarian food, well packed and served by an European beauty. I was told by friends that, you will get beer in the flight. Since it was my flight and there are a lot of chance coming up, I decided to go for a cold drink. My neighbour was a priest, his dress was resembling one. We never had a word. He thought me how to behave in an international flight. I was cleverly eyeing at his actions and followed in my way. In that flight I haven’t gone for urine even, 8 hrs. even startling for me.

After a nap I found darkness is away and light is close. It look like an early morning. Everyone in the flight were fresh and ready to be landed. Flight landed at Vienna International Airport (German: Flughafen Wien-Schwechat)and we all walked out of flight. It was cold outside almost 20°. I started shivering, and my Lee made green jacket fenced me.

The funny thing is going to happen now. I walked to exit with the co-passengers. People in emigration are look like, they just had a bath from sleep. It was a too early morning there. It was summer in Austria, but temperature was around 20° at morning. After emigration I touched almost the entrance of the airport. Where in the reception a lady was there in an orange gown. She was aged but looking pretty blond and fat. She also looked just had a bath after an incomplete sleep. I reached her and shown my ticket, my first interaction with a foreigner in foreign country. She just stared at me and back to my ticket. She smiled awfully and told me, “it’s too early your flight is at 4pm and its just 7:30am.” In her Spanish-English. Even though I confirmed my exit terminal to Barcelona (you know, I got a rabbit with 2 horn) and follow the way out.

It was a last minute change in my itinerary to go through Vienna and having a 8 hrs. delay there. My travel agent told me the trick of going out, seeing the places and keeping and not carrying luggage with me. As travel agent & one of my friend suggested, I kept majority of luggage in cargo and asked to deliver it at Barcelona. With me I had my laptop, documents, camera & green Lee jacket (my favourite). I had even kept towel, perfume, water bottle, 1 soap and a T-shirt for emergency. Even my cabin bag was heavy with all these. I got little time to study and plan my look around in Vienna. I only got an information that, city central is a place commonly all come for shopping, food.

I reached out the airport. An amazing feeling at that morning. Cool breeze just touched my body and asked me to wear my jacket. Slight drizzling was there, it was sensed like a stunning start of the day. People are moving around spreading freshness of the morning. The surrounding are not familiar to me. But, it was marvellous to see a complete different place and people. I was overwhelmed by the thinking of my achievement of being in Europe, which was not all dreamt.

My plan was to head to the city central, just to relax and see some crowd. I started walking without direction. My aim was to come out of airport and get some means to city central. I started walking around where I felt it is the way. In between I corrected my 3 year old fasttrack watch. I see people were coming out form the subway. I read that, to city central we can go by bus. I was I walked near a big parking ground and reached a main road. Like India there was no shops, no bus stops, no taxi stands as expected. I came back hesitantly and found buses standing neer the entrance of airport. I approached one driver and asked about my destination. He guided me toward one bus.

Bus will go after 30 minutes only, I decided to wait outside in the icy breeze. Once the driver entered the bus, I gone to him asking about the stop and taken ticket for 7 Euros. It was little high amount comparing India to a little distance. I was the only one passenger in the bus from airport. People started boarding but stations after airport. Most them are aged people, looks like going to buy daily grocery with bags and all. I remember at home my grandmother sends me to shop for buying daily grocery in my childhood. Since I am a window seat lover, I was able to see the country neatly. After some city circles, bus started running besides a river. On that Wonderful morning, I was travelling through a river side. I was thinking to extend the same journey to some hours and come back. But no options, I need to get down at the city central just after a bridge on the same river.

I reached city central, I am not sure about that place’s name whether it is Garben or Kamtnerstrassa or Hafnersteig which confirmed as Hafnersteig later when I googled. It was like a big market street, a lot of big buildings, shops of various items and brand, ATMs, internet cafes, hotels etc. There were only some shops opened at the early morning, like small coffee shops. I entered a coffee shop, actually it was a bakery. I bought a donut, which I am confident that I can eat and a coffee. It was really tasty. I sat on a bench there and started having it, superb coffee at the cold morning. I am now ready to remove my jacket.

During my breakfast there, I was thinking why this street of Hafnersteig is blank of tourists? Only localities where there, they were in hurry to office, school or market. I wondered around the street without understanding any importance of the embodiments I am seeing at that point of time. I was simply clicking everything came across me. I see cars, bikes, skyline buildings, market, old wien street ways. All are a new expression for my eye and mind.

After some hours, it started to be get hot and sunny. I was able to groups of tourists walking around. It’s almost noon, I want to have some food. I went inside a Chinese shop. The person shown me the combo menu, for 10 Euros, I was getting a cold drink, soup and some chicken rice. I liked it and ordered. He given a bucket of soup, which was boring. Rice with some fried chicken and souse around it. Frankly I couldn’t eat. From that I stopped buying food from local shops (Only food chains like Subway, McDonald etc.).
I would like to tell you about some of the significant clicks by me at Vienna.
I will start with one of my final photographs just before I left city central of Vienna. It was just behind the bus station of Hafnersteig

//Monument memorializing the victims of the Gestapo. Vienna, Austria.

NIEMALS VERGESSEN – “NEVER FORGET”

“Here stood the house of the Gestapo. It was hell for the confessors of Austria. It was for many of them the forecourt of death. It has fallen into ruins as the millennial kingdom. But Austria has been reborn and with it our dead. The immortal victims” – Google Translation of the words scripted on the Monument memorializing the victims of the Gestapo

This was one of the touching memorials. Gestapo was the name of Adolf Hitler’s secret state Police. Gestapo was in control of different deeds in Nazi Germany & Germany occupied Europe. Undertakings of a Nazi concentration camps was also taken care by Gestapo. I troubled by Adolf Hitler heavily when I seen Ann Frank house at Amsterdam (later during this trip) the home was really an expression of grief. But, here also I was able feel the outrage what people went over the past (apart from India) all over the world.

The next one click was an artistic wall art, which I clicked on my way through Hafnersteig. It is a 750th anniversary art on marble by Martina Funder

\\750 Jahre Wiener Hafner (750 years Vienna Hafner)

Hanfner is the designation for the profession of oven or stove manufacturer. The Henfer was mentioned in records since 13th century in Vienna. To be precise it recorded in 1234 in the Vienna craft mine as profession. In 1984, for the 750th anniversary this memorial tablet made at a retaining wall in Vienna.

Now let me tell you about an interesting character of Vienna, who is Marx Augustin or Der liebe Augustin. He was a ballad singer, bagpipers and extempore poet lived in Vienna. In his unsecured life he became a relief to people with his ribald songs, when Vienna was suffering from the attack of plague in 16s. Which is why he was known only as “Dear Augustin” in the vernacular.

\\Der liebe Augustin Memorial

Dear Augustin’s story is funny and natural. During the plague once Augustin dead drunk and fell asleep somewhere in the gutter of his intoxication. Servants who had to collect the victims of the epidemic at the time, found him, thought he was dead and brought the liquor body together with the plague-corpses on their collective cart. There they threw their whole charge in an open mass grave. The next day Dear Augustin recovered from the alcoholic intoxication and played his bagpipes until rescuers pulled him out of the pit.

The lines of the folk song “O du lieber Augustin” was precise expressive like. (Only a part mentioned here)

O du lieber Augustin, Augustin, Augustin,
O du lieber Augustin, everything is gone.

Every day was a festival
Now what? Plague, the plague!
Just a big ‘funeral feast,
Is the radical

Augustin, Augustin,
Leg ‘only toward the grave you!
O du lieber Augustin,
Everything is gone!

The second stance is really awesome and my favourite from the song, which is partially identified as written by Dear Augustin.

\\IWAN FRANKO STATUE

      Iwan Yakovych Franko was a Ukrainian poet and genius. Genius in handling various dimensions as a poet, writer, converted creations of Shakespeare, Victor Hugo etc., journalist, interpreter, economist, etc., etc. He lived some time in Vienna for his studies and other purposes. The end of his life is of poverty.

When I am concluding about Vienna, I am not sure I can conclude on it after just an eight hrs. visit to Hafnersteig. But the overall feeling is great about my first foreign country. A country with a lot of legacy, culture and art. I will not forget Dear Augetin and the ‘Never Forget’ memorial. Both of them had a great impact on Austrian people’s life and culture. I am proud to see these Monuments and click those for you friends.

Vaisakh..!

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