A Journey to the Center of Europe - Day 7

Ellen and I went to Austria and Slovakia for a week-long trip. Read about the entire trip, day by day: Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. Day 5. Day 6.

Day 7

Since we spent about 11 hours riding in trains and buses, the trip home was largely uneventful. However, we did manage to find the absolute worst train ever on the connection from Munich to Ulm. It was overflowing with small children, reeked of sauerkraut, and had chairs that felt like we were sitting on wood. Of course, they also had the ability to recline, so the children in front of us put theirs all the way back and then spent about five minutes of the hour and a half-long journey actually sitting in them.

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Oh, and then there was the next train, from Ulm to Friedrichshafen, which broke down in the middle of the ride. I never really expected trains to be perfect, but I’ve extolled the virtues of rail travel before, and gotten in a huff about how America doesn’t have any decent rail travel, and there’s nothing like a train breakdown to really knock one off of that line of thinking. Say what you want about plane delays, at least most of the time you’re inside a terminal and can walk around and poke through books in the gift shop or grab some shite food at the McDonald’s. Even better if they've got a SwankDonald's.

Eventually, the train started working long enough to carry us to the next stop, where we had to get off and stand in the cold and wait for another train to carry us the rest of the way to Friedrichshafen. From there, it was just a short 30 minute bus ride to get back to the little town of Meersburg we call home.

Overall, it was a great trip. There were some definite highs, and perhaps a few lows, but I have to say Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe. It has a timeless kind of quality to it, perhaps because it still has all of its super old buildings since they weren’t bombed in the war like a lot of European cities. Madrid still takes first place in the “Mark’s favorite cities” award, but I lived there for almost six months and I speak the language, so what else could you expect?

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If you haven’t seen already, feel free to the click the pictures below for Vienna and Bratislava photo albums.

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