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Vladimir in Vienna

Holiday is over! I am back home to my sweet city: Bucharest. I was on a trip to Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. It was not quite a restful trip because we ran a lot to see all the wonders of these beautiful cities. This will not be a post about how bad and dirty Romania is compared to these more civilized countries but rather about the things that really impressed me in my journey.

Great things in VIENNA

 

You can live the history

It is great to live in a city full of history as Vienna. Every statue has its own story… everywhere there is a palace to admire. But this doesn’t mean that the city is a museum. No No…. You can stay on the grass in front of the Hofburg palace and read a book, you can jog in the gardens of Schönbrunn or eat dinner inside the Art History Museum. And the best part is that most of them are free. Or not very expensive. For example to have a bath at Schönbrunn pool, which I did, will cost you between 3.5 and 10 euros.

Life style

People seem to have such an easy life. Maybe it is just an illusion but after 6 pm the streets looked deserted and there was pretty much no traffic. The parks are always filled with people reading or working on their laptops (mostly Macs).

Traffic

..or should I say the lack of traffic. In Vienna bikes rule. There are special bicycle tracks almost everywhere and if you don’t have a bike you can easily rent one for 2 euros/day. There are almost 60 bicycle stations all over Vienna and you can get a bike with a special card or you regular VISA card. Subways are also very well designed…. they don’t cross the center for every destination (as they do in Romania).

 

Interesting things in BRATISLAVA

 

Excuse me …. do you speak English?

I asked this question 1000 times in Bratislava and most of the times people looked almost scared and moved away from me. And I am speaking about 15-30 years old people. I was so amazed not to find a single English speaker (except for two hostel administrators…that was probably their job…). I could barely get a ticket to Budapest at the train station because nobody there spoke English. But with a lot of hand gestures and drawing I managed to make an old lady understand me.

Prices

The prices… especially on clothes….. were so great I wish I wouldn’t have spent all my money in Vienna. If you’re looking to shop, Bratislava is a very good choice.

 

Odd things in BUDAPEST

 

Prices

If the prices seemed pretty high in Vienna wait until you go to Budapest. Here you will pay 1 euro for one subway ticket, and almost 8 euros for a full day ticket. Taxi prices are almost robbery if you want to go the airport …even compared to Romania.

Lack of marketing

Budapest is such a beautiful city that I am amazed that they don’t promote it better. It has the most amazing view and some of the most impressive buildings. But there is much dirt all around them, there are no English indicators, no gardens etc…. In Vienna, a town very similar, architecturally speaking, there was a system to make the most (money) out of every building. For example if you visit the Hudertwasser house you can use a toilet that has the same architecture and design as the house (it is even called the Toilet of Modern Arts). Of course you have to pay to use it but you feel like visiting a museum not using a damn toilet.

 

But …. the holiday is gone. I am pretty tired but at Metromind things look great. We have a lot of work to do and some great projects to unveil. Stay tunned.