date: thu 11 jun 15
tags: vienna
Day 5 - Thursday 11th June
Day 5 was not really a full day as we had to check out of the hotel by noon - it was decided the DDSG blue danube boat trip would be ideal for the last afternoon as our overnight train was due to depart from Vienna HBF at about 9.45pm
There is a very modern quay at Scwedenplatz where you can buy tickets and get a beer with a good view of the river - we went for the "half round trip" which was about 3 hours and took in a huge lock.
As we were waiting there was an american tourist talking about the various tour boats and I said I was on the MS Wien but I was not saying it right - he said it's Veen NOT Ween!
The MS Wien was very new and only about a year old - we sat at the back and a waiter brought beers to our table
The boat had a wrap around deck so you could walk all the way round - most tables were at the back but this is the front bit with a few more seats
The huge lock was the best bit of the trip
The whole trip was very industrial but I find this more interesting than just seeing tourist highlights from a boat tour - no annoying commentary as well!
As we only did the half round trip the boat set us down at the main danube channel jetty near vorgartenstrabe where we got the metro back to our hotel to collect our cases and get the tram to the Vienna HBF
The HBF is completely new but the tram stops at the "wrong" end which was deserted! Luckily we found our way to the OBB lounge which all sleeper car passengers can use (even standard class passengers) - this is a handy bonus as they have free beers and free soft drinks and power points for charging phones. We were a bit more used to the sleeper car system, like handing in the breakfast choices (you can have 6 items each- bread rolls, meats, coffee etc)
Another sleeper tip is to get the attendant to pull out the bunks straight away as this pretty much doubles the usable space - they had cartons of sangria which was not too bad, plus pretzels.
Breakfast is served about 7am which leaves about an hour to have breakfast while the train follows the rhine valley to cologne.
It's then the Thalys train to Brussels followed by eurostar to london.
The Eurostar stopped just before the medway crossing as someone was trespassing on the line, a bit annoying but it means a 12.5% rebate on the return fare - luckily we had off peak british rail tickets back to taunton as we missed the train we originally planned on and we normally get advance tickets which are tied to a specific train.