Austria – Vienna to Klagenfurt, 20 June 2004

A neat summary of my day:


  • Drinking Vienese coffee with Christine and chatting
  • The scenic rail journey from Vienna to Klagenfurt
  • The nice room to myself in Hotel Palais Porcia
  • Catching up with friends and family via the internet


  • Buying the wrong train ticket, and ending up paying for another
  • Paying EUR77 for a room in Hotel Palais Porcia
  • Having no dinner whatsoever
  • Finding out that one of my library books wasn’t returned
  • All alone in a room in Hotel Palais Porcia
  • The rain

What can I say? This is the only leg of my journey that wasn’t planned right down to the last detail, and how sorry I was for not doing so. Firstly, I landed up in Klagenfurt with no accomodation whatsoever, and being totally clueless about the orientation of the whole town. Wandering around town without any clue is bad enough, wandering around town with a 15kg bag, two wooden crossbows, wet sandles with the relentless drizzle is worse! How bad can things get? They can get so bad that you speak German to some people only for them to tell you that they are Italians; going to the nearest hotel you find, only to find out that the room costs EUR77 per night; taking the room anyway, only to be spooked (think thick heavy red curtains, an ornate chandlerlier, a mirror by your bedside, tapestry, heavy carved wooden wardrobe).

But well, when things reach a pit, they’ll always pick up. I like the serenity of Klagenfurt, the cheap internet, and of course, the mystery mountain that just appeared in the background of Klagenfurt when the rain finally passed. If only it weren’t rainy, I believe Klagenfurt is a pretty place, especially at night.

Town of Klagenfurt with a mountain in the background

Room in Hotel Palais Porcia


Austria – Vienna, 19 June 2004

Today is a lazy day. I woke up with aches all over my body, and vowed to cycle through Vienna instead, though I was eventually detered by the EUR13 charge. Instead, I got myself a 24hr transport card, and bussed around Vienna with their public transport system.

Initially, I inteded to visit their 21km park, but when I got out of the station and saw what I thought looked like a huge construction yard, I changed my mind, and went back to the city centre, falling asleep on the tram that went round the city centre.

In the afternoon, I visited the gardens of the Belvedere for lunch. As it was a little way out, there were fewer people, and hence, I enjoyed a peaceful lunch on a bench. After lunch, I walked through a side gate. I really wasn’t prepared for what was to unfold before my eyes– a HUGE landscaped garden with sculptures just presented itself before my very stunned eyes!

Post-Belverdere was more like a journey to make myself hungry for “Centimeter” restaurant. I viewed the photographic exhibition near the Museum Quarter, visited the Natural History Museum (by mistake; now I know “kunst” is the german word for art) before making my way to the legendary “Centimeter” restaurant. (legendary for its huge portions of food) There, I was served a plate 30cm in diameter, totally filled with fries, topped with two huge slabs of schnitzel! I almost exploded from all the food, that when Christine, my roommate, ate in front of my, I just felt like puking!

But well, my gluttony did not end there. I actually went to the coffee house near my hostel, and ate a cake (which I mistook for baked Alaska) and had a cup of Cappuccino!

The night was quietly spent with Christine, who was sick. As she wanted water, I volunteered to get it for her. This is the first time I experienced a difference in culture. As it was Saturday, most shops were closed. Therefore I had to walk to the train station before I could get any provisions. Lazy Germanic weekends.

Gardens of Belvedere

Town Centre of Vienna

Falungong outside St. Stephen’s

Czech Republic – Prague to Austria – Vienna, 18 June 2004

I’m now on the train to Vienna (I think). This is really a very adventurous ride for a first train ride. This is one of those trains that split towards two different directions at one point, and in this case, part of the train will be heading to Vienna (where I intend to go), while the other part of the train will be heading towards Budapest.

Firstly, standing on the platform that wrote “WIEN”, I naturally assumed that this is where my train was heading towards. However, when I saw the sign “PRAHA-BUDAPEST”, my alarm bells started ringing!

And indeed, after asking a nice local, it turns out that I am indeed in the wrong carriage! Well, great that I found out early, or I’ll be in Budapest, deported, and summarily packed by to Singapore with love.

Today, I intend to visit the Museum of Fine Arts. Looks like I might just have only two days in Vienna afterall, since I will have to catch a flight at Klagenfurt. Oh well, I guess it’s nice to be away from the crowds for once.

Walking towards my hostel (Wombats City) made me think I would rather die than walk again. However, I was greeted with an EXCELLENT room, and when I got to the RING, a gorgeous view awaited me! Just when I thought the ornate museums were all Vienna was about, I turned round to see a gorgeous palace inviting me to walk further.

Nightfall, it’s the first time I enjoyed so much privacy in my life.

Train in Prague Train Station

One of the several ornate buildings of Vienna

Another ornate building in the ring in Vienna

Western Europe, 14 June 2004 – 11 July 2004


14 June 2004: London

15 June 2004: London – Prague (Plane)

16 June 2004: Prague

17 June 2004: Prague

18 June 2004: Prague – Vienna (Train)

19 June 2004: Vienna

20 June 2004: Vienna – Klagenfurt (Train)

21 June 2004: Klagenfurt – Rome (Plane)

22 June 2004: Rome

23 June 2004: Rome

24 June 2004: Rome – London (Plane)

25 June 2004: London – Paris (Overnight Bus)

26 June 2004: Paris

27 June 2004: Paris – Versailles – Paris

28 June 2004: Paris

29 June 2004: Frankfurt

30 June 2004: Frankfurt

01 July 2004: Frankfurt – Wurzburg – Augsburg (Train)

02 July 2004: Augsburg – Munich (Train)

03 July 2004: Munich – Fussen (Schwangau) – Munich (Train)

04 July 2004: Munic – Dachau – Munich (Train)

05 July 2004: Munich – Antwerp (Train)

06 July 2004: Antwerp – London (Overnight bus)

07 July 2004: London

08 July 2004: London

09 July 2004: London – Oxford – London

10 July 2004: London

11 July 2004: London