Vienna, Austria (Part Two)
Our beloved Prince was letting us down. The indicator and brakes weren't functioning properly, so we asked the receptionist at the caravan park about mechanics in the area. She informed us that we had to see a mechanic specific to the make of the car, which led to her researching Peugeot mechanics for us. Of the two addresses she wrote down, we tried the closest first. The mechanic informed us (in German) that our van was too big to fit into his workshop and that he had nothing to lift it up with. We then drove across town to the other mechanic, who through an interpreter told us one of his mechanics was sick this week so he couldn't fit us in until next week. Not convenient. We didn't book it in.
After that drama we went to meet Danny's brother Bill and partner Carrie at their hostel. Carrie had bought a few items for lunch and we, being completely unprepared, had to quickly duck to the local store to purchase some food and wine to go with it. Bill and Carried were also thoughtful enough to bring us three tubes of Vegemite. Danny was in heaven. We caught up on five months worth of news from back home over a fantastic lunch, then spent the afternoon strolling around Schönbrunn Palace.
That night we made our way to a bar/restaurant near Bill and Carrie's hostel for dinner. They warned us that the meals would be huge and lacking in vegetables, both of which turned out to be true. I ordered a goulash, which came with a massive doughy dumpling and enough meat to feed four people. Danny chose a farmer's plate with a variety of meat and sauerkraut, which could have fed an entire village. Even after an enormous dinner it didn't stop Danny and Bill getting stuck into the beer. After already downing two pints each, they stepped it up a notch: the one litre stein. Each. Even the waitress couldn't believe it. Surprisingly, they weren't too intoxicated after finishing it.
The next morning we caught up with Bill and Carrie in the middle of the city. First port of call was a café for coffee, particularly for Bill who was fairly hungover after staying out until 4 a.m. with some random people he met the night before. We then took a long walk around the edge of the city, through beautiful gardens and along an ugly canal. A street market appeared on our travels, a never-ending stretch of stalls selling mostly food. It was a perfect spot for lunch: kebabs, filling, topped with a chilli yoghurt that was much better than the regular garlic sauce.
In the afternoon we went our separate ways. Bill went back to the hostel for a nap. Danny headed off in the direction of the Spanish Riding School. Carrie and I made our way to an art museum but discovered it was closed on Tuesdays (we saw the sign seconds after we asked for tickets, making ourselves look quite foolish). Instead we walked around almost the entire city, passing magnificent buildings, climbing 343 steps up the cathedral for views over Vienna, watching various street artists in the main plaza (including a particularly talented spray painter) and stopping at a café for ricotta strudel (I don't recommend it).
We all met up again for dinner at a Pakistani restaurant (as you do in Austria), which provided a buffet of five curries, rice, bread and salad. At the end you pay what you feel it was worth. The curries were rich and flavourful, so we paid a decent amount for them (given the look on the cashier's face, it was probably more than they were used to receiving). Most of the night was spent playing Trivial Pursuit on Danny's phone in the restaurant, which Bill became obsessed with. As Bill is one of the smartest people in the world, this game was not exactly fun for the rest of us. On our way home we stopped at a café for cake, then it was time to say goodbye to Bill and Carrie as they were heading to Istanbul in the morning. Thanks for a fantastic two days together!