We left the hotel without eating (we couldn’t justify spending €20 of our precious budget on a hotel breakfast) and eventually found a supermarket after wandering around the local area getting increasingly desperate – Oli without food is not a good start to the day! We then hopped on the metro once again with the intention of getting a tram around the Ringstrasse road which encircles the city centre, as recommended in our guide book. And here started our tram adventure! The number 2 (which LP said would follow this route) did a bit of the circuit, and then took us off into the outskirts of the city before we quite realised what was happening. At this point we had to hop off and eat some emergency chocolate rations! We got back into the city on the number 2 and then spotted a tram called a Ringtram. ‘Ah, this must be it!’ we thought. We hopped on, only to discover it wasn’t public transport and we had no intention of buying tourist tickets on top of our travel cards. So that didn’t work out either! We then got onto the number 1 tram (another LP recommendation), which took us around the other half of the Ringstrasse but then also veered off. Finally, we hopped on a number 62 to get back to the centre, convincing ourselves we’d done it all on purpose to see the ‘real’ Vienna!
We then had our packed lunch in the Hofburg Palace Gardens and after completing a full lap of the building, we finally found the entrance. It was at this point that we decided that although we liked Vienna, Vienna didn’t like us! We bought our tickets to the Hofburg and commenced the most boring audio tour we have ever been on! The first exhibit was an hour-long tour of the Imperial silver collection, which was basically endless place settings for different state occasions. We’ve never seen so much crockery! Our need for completeness had struck again – we realised afterwards that we could have skipped that exhibit and moved straight onto the Sissi museum, which was the main attraction. This was about a famous Empress who appeared to suffer from undiagnosed depression and became a recluse, surrounded by luxury. It was really sad but totally fascinating. We also toured the Imperial apartments, which were great. We left blinking in the sunlight feeling like we’d been back in time and were now back in the real world.
Next, we visited a Lonely Planet-recommended coffee house. LP was back in our good books because this was great, not at all touristy but just as you would imagine an old-fashioned Viennese coffee house. Oli accidentally ordered an espresso instead of his usual mocha, but really enjoyed it. Meanwhile, Sara busily ate the entire contents of the bowl of sugar lumps.
We then walked back through the centre to an outside noodle bar we’d seen whilst on our tram adventure and had a really yummy, cheap dinner. We fancied stopping for a drink but found that the prices were high and the staff were not very welcoming in the fancy central area, and then Sara got a stomach ache so we went home to bed instead.