Night from a railroad car window

Night from a railroad car window Is a great, dark, soft thing Broken across with slashes of light. “Window” by Carl Sandburg, American poet Indeed, it was. Props to Carl Sandburg, a fellow Midwesterner and former Chicago resident. However, I found overnight train travel to be far from completely as romantic as it’s sold to…

Highlights of a hidden gem

If you aren’t sure about visiting Bratislava, here are some reasons why you should: The view from the castle(s) are fantastic. Bratislava Castle looks over the city, and Devin Castle, which I didn’t get a chance to see, looks over the confluence of the Moravia and Danube rivers. 2. The buildings look like they are…

The last coffee shop before the castle

Despite the mishap with the train reservation (and another lesson learned), I figured I would at least make it up to Bratislava Castle for the view over the city. It was later afternoon now, so most of the things inside the castle were closed for the day, but the grounds were still open to walk…

A tale of train tickets

When I arrived in Bratislava, I purchased my ticket for the overnight train to Kraków and a couchette reservation. At the time, that sounded rather nice – and, as the lady had convinced me – cheap. However, while that was the cheapest way to hang out on the sleeper train, I wasn’t excited by sharing…

Appreciating Bratislava by daylight

I only had one full day in Bratislava, and I wanted to make the most of it. To do this, I highly, highly recommend Be Free Tours. They run their English-language tours twice daily – 11 AM and 3 PM – and meet in a perfectly accessible location near the river by Old Town. Just…

Upon arriving in Bratislava

A City Express train from Vienna to Bratislava, capital city of Slovakia, takes just above an hour. For the most part, trains run twice hourly, but one train each hour goes to Bratislava hl. st. (the main station, north of Old Town) and the other one goes to Bratislava-Petrzalka (another station south of Old Town, in…

I just want your extra time and your … Kiss.

Another day, another gorgeous palace to explore … and little tribute to Prince, RIP. The Lonely Planet guide says that if you’re going to visit any place in Vienna, it should be Belvedere. With its combination of beautiful views (Belvedere – beautiful view), gardens galore, and the Upper and Lower parts of the art museums,…

I heard the trailing garments of the Night

Bend low again, night of summer stars/so near you are, sky of summer stars/pick off what he wants in the sky bowl/so near are you, summer stars/so near, strumming, strumming/so lazy and hum-strumming” – “Summer Stars”, Carl Sandburg I began this post with a bit of poetry. Poetry elevates us, really. It was the original text…

Cafes and cakes and coffees

There is no better place in Vienna to relax and refuel from a long day of being a tourist than in one of the ubiquitous Viennese cafes. Whilst I’m as much a fan of Starbucks as the next person, it seemed almost sinful to choose the ‘Bucks over a local café. A good local café should…

The straight line is God less

Hundertwasser. I had never heard of him before, but I was told that I must see the Hundertwasser flats. I noticed an advertisement in the Schwedenplatz metro tunnel, and it was only 10 minutes away from that stop! However, this jaunt required a tram. I’m not good on trams and buses – well, to say…

Let’s go to the Hof!

The Hofburg. Because one palace isn’t enough if you’re a mega-wealthy royal. What does help if you learn how to read a map. I knew at some point on this holiday that I would look at the map and walk in the opposite direction. Well, it happened this morning as I exited the metro and looked…

Because I have four days here

It’s essential to be out and about at night in Vienna, to view the splendid architecture in all of its golden-light glory against a midnight velvet sky. Yes, it is that poetic. I should have gone to my hotel. I was tired. My legs were begging to stop. However, when I visit a place, I…