Whoever goes to Vienna…

…must leave their stomach at home. This was true in the days of Martin Krpan and perhaps it is still true. But it is not necessary, in fact, it is outright wrong if you go about things somewhat differently. You travel with the motorhome, in low season, select a stopover with a sensible price, and carry most of the food that you need with you anyway. The result is a beautiful motorhome trip for a few days. In spite of temperatures below freezing, it is pleasantly warm in the motorhome.

We set off on Thursday afternoon. The plan was somewhat different, to start on Friday morning, but it was impossible to wait since the motorhome was parked right under the window. So we said we'll just go and sleep somewhere along the way. The city we picked was Maribor, the stopover at the bus station. It is not the nicest stopover, but was suitable for our needs. The weather was truly nice, sunny, so we took a stroll along the bank of Drava and the city centre. It was quite neat, as we visited this part for the first time. Sun, swans, the famous grape vine, and mulled wine in the centre, satisfied us completely. We woke up into a cold morning and needed quite a bit of time to thaw all windows, then headed off towards Vienna.

The goal was the Reisemobil stopover, which I booked in advance - the right thing to do. It proved to be nearly full in spite of the winter time. They can be found at the website http://www.reisemobilstellplatz-wien.at, the coordinates are GPS: 48°08'13" N   16°18'57" E. We arrived after lunch and everything was the way I expected it to be. The stopover is orderly, the sanitary block is very clean and very warm, the employees very kind. The subway station is about 300 m away and pleasantly surprised us, as the instructions were provided in Slovenian too. Nice.

Of course we immediately headed for the centre, which was festively decorated and in expectation of the new year. The tourists were accordingly numerous. Everything ideal, except for the icy wind, dominating the streets. We walked through a large part of the centre and, of course, did not skip Prater, where we found a Madame Tussauds wax museum. We met quite a few celebrities - in wax, but nonetheless... The only thing one had to pay attention to was if an unknown person moved or not. If they moved, they were not a wax doll, of course.

Incidentally, the word Prater comes from the Latin word "pratum", which means pasture. The beginnings of Prater reach to the year 1766, when it was open by the emperor Joseph II. In 1897, they built Riesenrad – the large wheel that became one of the main sights of Vienna. Of course we rode the wheel, which is beautifully lit at night. Prater also includes a carousel, which would not be anything special, if it did not lift brave souls to a height of 90 meters. It's nothing to sneeze at, and if you ride this carousel at the temperature of -2 degrees Celsius, you are truly brave. Our family has two members who wished for ventilation at 90 metres.

After the ride ended, they were not sure whether they enjoyed or froze more. Supposedly it was worth it. The daughters also went into the haunted house and considering their expressions after they came out, truly horrifying things take place in this house indeed.

Another thing that requires a special mention is the Haus des Meeres, at the same time an aquarium, terrarium and a zoo. 

The house of the see is located in a former anti aircraft tower from World War II. In 11 floors, one can see 10 thousand animals such as fish, rays, monkeys, crocodiles, lizards, snakes... The biggest aquarium has a volume of half a million litres and is the largest one in Austria. We enjoyed each and every floor and watched animals, some through glass, some within an arm's length. Truly worth seeing. Incidentally, that's where we decided to have an aquarium at home once again. The previous one let go of its soul, well, water, so we were without it for a while.

Towards the end of the third day in Vienna, we checked the weather forecast and found out that the snow is approaching faster than promised, so we quickly packed and headed home. Just in time, as the snow was already upon us, so that we enjoyed two hours of driving on snowy roads. But all is well that ends well.

Vienna is a beautiful memory and, should the road take us there in spring or autumn time, we will happily stop for another day or two. Of course, with the motorhome, and we're not leaving our stomach outside that time either.

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