Second night in Wien, and it seems the rain just stopped. With xGPS installed on my iPhone, I now feel more confident about getting lost, as I now have the maps of the city even without Wifi. Still, let's plan the trip ahead, trying to memorize all the names in my head.
Tonight's challenge: Go see U2. Of course, not the band, Talie would hate me. I'm talking about the U2 line of the underground transportation system U-Bahn. If I'm understanding the map correctly, I just need to enter at Stadtpark station and transfer at Karlsplatz where the U2 line begins. From there, it seems there is a district two stations after with museums and nice buildings. It would make lovely photos.
Now that the trajectory is calculated, let's see where I really went. On the map, indigo is walking, green the U3 and red the U2. Pins are where I was scratching my head trying to find where I was:
Now, walking by Stadtpark, I quickly recognize the big U sign that indicates the U-Bahn entrance. Couple of minutes after, my ticket is bought (1,70€) and I'm waiting on the platform. Surprisingly, this is not an underground station, and you can see the sky from inside.
I only have the time to take a couple of photos and the train arrives with a quiet hum (resembling the Toronto subway). Train stops, and I'm waiting on the platform. Is it normal that the doors are still shut? Looking at them, they do have a door knob. Intrigued, I open one of them. With a simple push, one of the door opens magically. While the doors are automatic, they won't open by themselves. Probably another ingenious energy efficiency feature we just don't use in Canada!
Inside the train, I only have one station to go. 2 minutes later, the train arrives at Karlsplatz. Same trick here, you have to open the door if you want to exit. Looking around, this is a much bigger station. I can connect with two other U lines, but obviously I am only looking for the U2 line. Couple of meters ahead, I'm now on the U2 platform. I quickly enter the waiting train. 2 other stations ahead, I exit the suburban network. Enough public transportation for one night.
Going back to the surface, I realize that I am now completely lost. As usual, I cannot find the street names, and I don't know in which direction to walk. Trying different directions, I then discover where to go. I quickly find the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. With all the lights pointing at these buildings, it makes beautiful night pictures. Continuing my journey (while getting lost again at Karlsplatz), I find the Wiener Staatsoper (or Opera House). Unfortunately, it starts raining again and I must head back to the hotel.
Waiting for the rain to settle down a little, I decide to wait near the tramway stop where stands sell shish kabab and weiners. Near me, the dude behind the counter greets me with a strong "Kalispera". For a unknown reason, I answer back and turn around. The guy now starts to speak with me in Greek. Uh-oh.. let's hope he understands English. He did. However, he was convinced I was greek. Guess it's time to shave then. After a short discussion, I head back to the hotel, grabbing coffee for the run.
Trail is now over, time to upload photos. Since I've seen on the news that they are cutting the Sesame Street staff, let's help education a little. By each day, I'll try to introduce a new German word. So, today's word is: kreditkarten. I'm now able to pay and say thank you. It sure does make some people happy.