Schwechet, Austria to Bratislava, Slovakia

Day 39, Thursday, October 3, 2019

Our new bnb is in Schwechet, which is a suburb of Vienna. Today we are going to Bratislava, which is in Slovakia, to pick up our car rental.  Doing this saves us over 400 euros, renting the exact same car from the same company.  This is certainly worth a few hours of our time. The train we take to the Vienna airport from Schwechet isn’t very busy. We pass refineries that stretch for more than a kilometre. We find our Flixbus at the airport easily and it is just on hour ride to the airport. After stopping in the town centre of Bratislava we are the only ones left on the bus. We asked the driver to make sure we were on the right bus…it seemed strange that no one else was going to the airport. Our first view of the Danube River. When we get to the airport there were maybe a dozen other people there! The place feels almost abandoned, but we do find an English Time magazine with Justin Trudeau on the cover, so we can catch up on the news. We discover why there are so few people here.  There is only one flight every hour or so departing from here. We pick up our car rental, a nice blue Škoda Octavia, and we take a side road back to Austria.  We see several hilltop castles but no time to stop and explore today. This route takes us through many small towns.  We were hoping to see the Danube as we are driving right along side it, but there just isn’t any place we can find to get down to the riverside. Guess that will have to wait for another day. The road narrows to one lane to go through this town gate.  We stop for groceries on the way home and  find a place to park our car on a side street near our apartment.

Prague to Vienna by Bus

Day 38, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

We take a Flixbus to Vienna today.  We were going to take the train but Bob read reviews and they all said to avoid the trains!  Service is terrible, the bathrooms are filthy, the seats you reserve are often not even on the train, and so on.

We have used Flixbus before and they are affordable, clean, comfortable and efficient.  We take our very first Uber ride ever to the bus station.  Our driver, who was originally from Azerbaijan, had a university education and spoke five languages!  Bob had thought we could walk, pulling our suitcases on the cobbled sidewalks…I am so glad we changed our minds on that.  We drive by the train station we first arrived at in Prague five weeks ago.The National Museum at the top end of Wenceslas Square.  I didn’t recognize it at first from this angle.  I drew one of the corner domes at the Urban Sketcher’s Meetup last week.
Not sure if I have a photo of the trams we used here in Prague so I snapped this one from the bus window.  They run every few minutes and are a fantastic way to get around the city.Soon we are in the countryside.  It always surprises me how quickly cities transition into rural areas in Europe. You are in the city and then suddenly you are not. The views here are quite similar to the countryside around home in Canada.  There are those big round hay bales, and… then something we do not see at home.  We see several huge haystacks of loose hay piled high.  They must have a machine that throws the hay up onto this haystack?
No idea what was planted here but it was the brightest green!

This big double decker bus drives through small villages on narrow roads.  I like being up high as I can see over fences into the yards of the houses we pass and sometimes into windows.  I am always curious and love these little glimpses into people’s lives.

I also do some sketching today, standing outside waiting for our bus and then later on the bus. I forgot to post this page from yesterday so here it is today.  Most of the museums charge a fee to take photos.  That is what the big yellow sticker is about.We pass several fields of pumpkins, all lined up ready for harvest.  Halloween is coming!

When we arrive in Vienna we take an Uber to our new Airbnb.