Heading east across Austria we spent a couple of nights in the capital. There’s a fantastic motorhome Stellplatz just outside the city centre where we paid €19 for parking with 24hr security, full facilities and even a designated dog area.
Knowing Vienna was going be a very busy city and adding to that the fact that Europe was experiencing a heatwave we had kept an eye on the weather forecast and got up early on an overcast Sunday morning hoping to beat the crowds. We took the 8am train from just outside the Stellplatz and used the underground to get into the city centre. The dog regulations state they need their own ticket and must wear a lead and muzzle on public transport, we got Chief a ticket and used his head collar and had no problems.
With a lot of the shops still closed the streets were very quiet which was great for seeing some the main sights, Stephansplatz, the city hall, parliament, Hofburg palace, Burgtheatre, Opera houses, museums……wow what a beautiful city!
As the morning wore on it began to rain, and rain, and rain, that sort of big fat rain that soaks you to the skin. Oh well, we had been hoping it wouldn’t be too hot! With the tourists who had gathered fleeing to coffee shops and huddling under umbrellas we pulled out our raincoats and unperturbed continued our tour with typical British stoicism, we are from Yorkshire after all! We made for a sorry sight when we eventually made our way back to the train, clothes and shoes soaked through and rain dripping from Chiefs nose and ears, but it hadn’t dampened our spirits, we’d had a good day.
We hadn’t been able to visit the famous Schöbrunn palace because dogs weren’t allowed in the gardens but it was somewhere we were keen to see so the following morning we got up early again and ran the 4.5 miles from the Stellplatz to the palace. After spending so long enjoying the fresh air of the countryside running in the city was an assault on the senses and we really noticed the pollution in the air. We were rewarded for our efforts though with amazing views over Vienna, we spent a little time admiring the palace and gardens before heading back to the van.
It was definitely one of those moments to reflect on the reality of what are doing; 8.30 on a Monday morning and we had run to a palace in Vienna, pretty awesome!