February 23 – 25, 2018
After leaving Budapest we made our way to Vienna by train, a short two hour trek. Francesca was ill with a fever and runny nose. She wanted to be cuddled and held most of the ride, so she laid in my arms falling in and out of sleep. Once we departed the train we made our way to the Air B&B, a few blocks from the train station. We had chosen the location because we had planned a short visit and wanted easy access to the railway so we weren’t shlepping our stuff far. Our flat was easy to find and only a few blocks from the train station. We were greeted by our host’s mother who showed us around the apartment and gave us instructions on what to do when we left.
The apartment was clean; you could tell they had been working on it, there were some exposed wires where lights were to be hung. When searching for a place on Air B&B you can put in different filter to find exactly what you need. However, sometimes you forget to do so or you don’t even think about setting the filters; I had forgot to apply the filters on this one. Daniel immediately noticed there was no WIFI, this can pose a problem if your trying to plan what to see in the area and are reliant on devices. We had done a bit of research before arriving and had hoped to take Francesca to Europe’s oldest operating zoo while we where in Vienna and take in some other sites in the heart of the city but didn’t know where anything was located. We could have done it all the old fashion way with maps and booklets you acquire from any tourist center or by asking around. However, we would not need any guidance on this part of our trip for our little lady was sick and we would be house bound.
The night we arrived we did go out for dinner to a restaurant a short walk from the house. Francesca fell asleep in my arms after having a bit to eat. Daniel and I shared some garlic soup in hope to avoid getting sick, then finished the rest of our meal quickly in order to get Francesca home. The next morning Daniel made his way to the local pharmacy to pick up some children’s medicine and something to boost our immunity. It would be Daniel’s only outing while in Vienna, besides the walk back to the train station. The remaining of the day he spent cuddling Francesca watching movies we had downloaded to the I-pad. Midway through the day I was going nuts, it is so difficult to be in a city you have never seen and not able to check it out with your family. Daniel could see that I was about to lose my mind, cabin fever seemed to be setting in. He told me to go enjoy myself in the city; he had seen a thrift store down the street that I should check out, he knows I love a good thrift store. As I strolled the streets I noticed that not many stores were open, even though it was only 2:00pm, most of them had closed for the day. Even the the second hand shop I had hoped to peruse. So, I continued onwards toward the city center.
I witnessed some kind of rally happening, I couldn’t read the signs but there was a marching band playing while people were chanting. The police had barricaded the street and were redirecting traffic. City center was filled with people walking along the cobblestone streets slipping in and out of the high-end stores and trinket shops. Beautiful old buildings with magnificent carving intertwined with modern architecture. Large statues and fountains stood in the square. I wished my family was with me, I missed not having them to share the experience. I took photos of the horse drawn carriages to share with Francesca, she would have loved to take a ride around the town on one. It was cold outside and I missed my family so I started making my way back to the flat. As I was walking back I met a young man from Bosnia. He asked me for directions but i could not offer him advise. We walked together for a bit talking about our travels and he offer to take a picture of me in front of one of the beautiful buildings. Afterwards we said goodbye and I return to my family where I shared my days adventure.
For dinner that evening, I walked to the end of the street and purchased schnitzels to take back to my quarantined family. The woman working the counter at the restaurant was Vietnamese, she spoke very little english but I told her how I met my husband while traveling Vietnam and told her we were traveling there later in the year. As I left, I thanked her in her mother tongue. She was surprised and happy to hear someone trying to communicate with her in her own language. The whole encounter felt like a sign that we were on the right path. After dinner we packed our belongings and prepared for the following day.
In the morning we bundled up the baby, loaded up the gear and made our way to the train station. This time our tickets were electronic so we didn’t have the headache we encountered in Budapest. We had reserved seats in a private cabin however they had split us up. This seems to be a common thing when purchasing tickets online and there is no way to choose seats together. So, we were at the mercy of our fellow travelers to kindly switch seats so we could be in the same cabin together. Although the wayward travelers were a bit perturbed by our request they agreed to move. Our first class tickets allowed for us to have free drinks and snacks during our journey. For this part of the trip the price difference in tickets was minimal and worth the upgrade.
One day we will return to Vienna to actually see it’s sites but for now it was just a detour that we encountered while we let our little one recover from being sick. As a traveler you have to roll with the punches and when you have a child in tow they are the supreme dictator in your adventure. Being sick is never fun and when your on the road even less so, but Francesca had been a trooper during the whole experience. She didn’t care that she was quarantined or missed out on the zoo, only Daniel and I would remember the time we spent nursing our child back to health in Vienna.