Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Day 5 - End of Leg 1 (Leaving Vienna, Onward to Zurich)
I don't need to stay when you're away
I don't need to stay when you walked away
I don't need to move when you're in my way
I Don't Care - Rendy Pandugo
Rendy Pandugo is an Indonesian singer songwriter. I found him by chance in YouTube. Maybe he's famous but I have to admit I'm clueless to what are the "in" singers or songs in Indonesia or the world generally most of the time, so for me he's rather unknown. I do kinda like it when I fill my playlist with singers who are rather unknown. That being said, most probably they're just unknown to me, the clueless one. In the real world they're most probably already quite famous. That song above is very nice, I put it on repeat when I first heard it. The accompanying music video
, shot in Japan, was also very nice and simplistically visually beautiful. Seriously sometime I find many creative Indonesians that make me rather embarrassed that I am not that creative and sad that I don't have that much talent. The song is a break up song. Relax I had no one to break up with or anyone who broke up with me and if you think my alone trip is due to some depression after a break up, it's not so. It's just something that I do because I'm perfectly lonely
like the John Mayer's song which is also in my playlist for this trip. Anyways though the song has nothing to do with me or the trip, I decided to just put it to start this post, because it's nice and it's also nice to put an Indonesian singer. We must support local talent really :)
So day 5 was the end of my first leg. I was leaving Vienna to Zurich, but I still had some time in the morning. At first I planned to visit Hofburg palace, but in the end after looking at the map the hotel got me, I decided to go to St. Stephen's Cathedral. It seemed to be an important church and I was thinking it would be free. Well not quite. You can enter for free, but some parts of the church are accessible if you buy a ticket, like the central aisle, towers, and catacombs. Also it seems you need to be guided on some of places to see it. I was definitely not interested to walk up some stairs in the towers so the only thing I did was visiting the catacombs. I thought that would be quite interesting and I had never visited a Catacombs before. You need to follow a guide to do this and I was early, so I had to wait. I took some pictures and then I spent the time playing games while sitting at one of the seat, which I did think it was quite a disrespectful thing to do. It's a church, I should be more proper, but hey we know I'm quite a sinner.
It was quite a big group to the Catacombs and it was quite interesting. It's colder down there as it usually is with underground chambers. The Catacombs actually have a really old area where there were just heaps of skulls and bones and a newer area where there were sarcophagus and such. A lot of important people were buried there, but again since I have no knowledge of Austrian history and very limited in European history, I don't remember who the famous people were. If I'm not mistaken, the newest addition was one of the late Archbishop of Vienna. That made me think if he agreed to that. It is kinda an honor to have a place in the Catacombs I guess, but not to be buried can be an issue for some people. Side tracking here, for me I would like to be cremated because I think we are running out of space, so I don't see the point of getting buried. I haven't decided though on what to do with my ashes because I think if you like throw it in the sea or something, it's kinda polluting the environment and then the wind may cost some remain of me to be stuck to the person throwing me away and then what that person going to do, go home and shower and some part of me just go down the drain? I kinda like the idea of a family member keeping me in an urn. They kinda can always have me around, but as with some ornamental things, they just tend to collect dust. So I still don't know yet what should be done with my ashes. Back to the Catacombs, one of the more interesting and somewhat disturbing thing are these jars that contain organs of the important people. At that time some centuries ago, they chose to have their organs be spread out to different cathedrals and such. So there are jars of these organs in the Catacombs. The whole visit was interesting for me. I didn't feel scared at all, though I do think if it's proper for us to go walk around as tourists into the resting place of these people. I think you can't take picture inside the Catacombs hence I have none. After the tour, the exit led us to the outside of the Cathedral.
The street that I took to get to the Cathedral is quite a shopping area, so after the visit to the Cathedral I walked there again. There were souvenir shops and chocolate shops. I had lunch at Nordsee which I actually quite like the concept. Then I decided to walk to the Hofburg compound before making my way back to the hotel. The thing I note about Vienna is that things seem expensive there. Anyway the Hofburg compound actually has a few different things in there like the Spanish Riding School (where I think you can see horses) and these are ticketed separately. I was thinking if I had gone ahead with my original plan of visiting Hofburg palace, I may get confused on where the entrance is. So anyway I just walked through the compound, looking at buildings and statues. Ended up at Maria-Theresien-Platz where there's a big statue of Empress Maria Theresa, mother of Queen Marie Antoinette (this much I know). Looking at the statue, I can't help thinking of the Queen Victoria statue in front of Buckingham Palace. Both were accomplished ladies and you can't help feeling proud how girls really get things done in this world.
It was still early enough that I made my way to Karlskirche (St. Charles's Church). I didn't go in though because it's ticketed. Gosh, I don't quite like a place of worship which charge ticket for entry, but I guess they do have to make money for maintenance and such. While St. Stephen's Cathedral is in a gothic style, St. Charles's Church is in the baroque style. I'm not knowledgeable enough to explain this. Anyways so I just walked around the area a bit. There's a small park and apparently there's a university nearby. Took a picture of this kinda cute statue from the park.
Then I collected my luggage from the hotel, took the underground train to Wien Mitte and decided to take the more expensive direct CAT train to the airport. For pictures of Vienna from the last 2 days there, you can go here
. I took Austrian airline to Zurich. I thought Austrian airline is a budget airline, apparently it's not so. Since it's a short flight, there's not much to offer in the flight. I kinda like the fact that they asked you if you'd like sweet or salty snack. It's unlike KLM who just gave you sandwich, though their sandwich were perhaps more substantial than Austrian's snack. You know, whenever I go to these Western countries, I just get so bored with sandwich. By the way, I didn't write this before, but on my KLM flight from Singapore to Amsterdam, they didn't give an option for the meal. They just gave you some roll wrap. I was thinking if it's some cost cutting measure they're doing. Thankfully on the flight back to Singapore, there was an option.
So arriving in Zurich, I knew I had to take the train. One of my credit card didn't work. I just couldn't get it to work even back in Vienna. The Visa payWave worked though, so I was glad. Then I got really stupid. Perhaps it's because it's been a long time since I've been to Europe that I kinda forgot how things work. When I got the ticket, it didn't say which train and which timing so I was rather confused. Tried to ask a random lady, but that lady didn't speak English. I was seriously surprised because I thought Zurich being a rich city, everyone would speak English. I had googled about the trains before so I knew the 2 train numbers that would take me to city center and I did see they're listed on the schedule, but I wasn't sure if I could just take it. Do I need to validate my ticket or something. In the end I asked another person, an Asian gentleman, who upon me asking if he spoke English, he said of course. He confirmed that the train would go to the city Center so me, him, and many other people got in. No one checked the ticket so I guess that's how it works people. Just make sure you have
a ticket, just in case someone checks. There's a date on my ticket, so I think I really didn't have to get it validated. By the way, going back to Vienna, there's no gate or any machine to tap / insert your ticket when you take the underground train. I read there sometime can be a random check by officers who wear plain clothes, so just make sure to have a ticket and it's validated. If not, you can get fined. However when I was there, there's no check happening to me or anyone. I guess when your citizens are trustworthy enough or perhaps the country is rich enough to not have to worry about making profit from their public transports, they can be easy going and don't really have to make sure people pay when using public transport.
Back to Zurich. Arriving in the city center train station, it's quite big and complex and I got disoriented on where to go. Finally found a lift up and I thought I just need to go to the street level. A guy in the lift pressed the correct floor for me when I told him I wanted to go to the street level. From there I kinda figured out where my hotel was. In the next few days, it took me some attempts to figure out the nearest station entrance / exit to my hotel. Luckily I did figure it out when I was leaving Zurich in a rainy day. Anyways, hotel room was small because I was poor :P However, there's a good breakfast included in the price so perhaps that kinda balanced it out. I didn't go out much after I arrived, except to get food, in which I lazily settled with Burger King. I was stunned when they charged me for ketchup. At first I thought I heard wrongly and it was a joke, it wasn't. It made me think of each time I go to McDonald's here in Singapore and ask for 5 packs of ketchup. Oh well, these differences in countries, cities, and cultures do amuse you.
:) eKa @ 9:07:00 PM •