A Travellerspoint blog

Austria

Day 04. Bratislava - Hainburg an der Donau - Graz

Pan-European Voyage

snow

From that day on, we were going to travel together until January 30 (that is to say, until our arrival in Budapest). Our initial intention for the day was to first hitchhike to Vienna, then to proceed to Graz. And, well, it went almost that way.

Early in the morning, we went to the Old Town of Bratislava. In many places, they say that Bratislava is not at all European and that no one sane could like it. Actually, I liked Bratislava less than I thought I would after having seen Košice, Prešov and Poprad. But in any case, it is by no means as bad as I feared it could be. Yet another Medieval town with a profound cultural background that I unfortunately didn't get to know too thoroughly.

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Bratislava is situated on the left bank of Danube (and only partly on the right), close to the borders of Austria and Hungary, the former in a walking distance. We thought that the best spot to hitchhike to Vienna was the abandoned border crossing, and we headed there. The first thing we had to do was to go across the Danube.

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We found the motorway going to Vienna. As I had discovered previously, it was forbidden to walk on the motorway in Slovakia for some reason. But we didn't care very much. At some point, we realized that we could take a shortcut, which we did. Quite soon, we noticed that we came to a wrong place. The border crossing was there, unlike the motorway. :/

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The road traffic was scarce, not to say absent. We waited for some half an hour before a car finally appeared out of thin air. It took us to the town of Hainburg an der Donau, the existence of which I was blissfully unaware of until that very moment. But there are worse places in the world, you know. There are better places as well.

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A truck stopped within a minute after we started hitchhiking. The driver only spoke German and Turkish. I hardly speak both. Zdenka knows some German (and I assume, she speaks it rather well) but she hates it as much as I do, so she avoided using it. We ended up telling him we were going to Graz. As far as I understood, the driver was going to take us up to Vienna.

When we entered Vienna, the driver turned south-west. He kept saying something, but I understood only the word 'Graz', so I thought he was going to change the itinerary for us. Ah, I am so naïve. Sometimes.

I only started to suspect something when the driver parked in a kind of a hangar. He said that we had to wait for a moment and left us inside alone without any clue of what was going on. 'The moment', however, lasted some four hours.

Fortunately, to the driver's credit, there was free wi-fi in the truck, which was weird. Moreover, there were thousands of Coca-Cola cans at our disposal. We found out that the hangar was situated in the village of Leopoldsdorf bei Wien, quite close to Vienna itself. But I thought that he would take us to Graz directly, so I put aside the idea to head off to Vienna. We have even observed lots of unusual things in the hangar.

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Finally, it went all dark, the driver came back and we left the place. In five minutes time, he stopped in the village of Perchtoldsdorf and told us it was the best spot ever to hitchhike to Graz. It seemed at least dubious.

Fortunately, an Austrian woman took us to a petrol station right by the Vienna-Graz motorway (and made us accept free coffee), where we instantly got a ride to Gleisdorf (it was a nice ride, the driver was a businessman or somebody like that, and he was highly proficient in Brazilian politics, having visited Brazil several times). It took us some ten minutes (and some 5 EUR :/) to get to Graz from there.

Our host in Graz was a Brazilian student who had lived in Paraguay for most of his youth. We had a nice conversation with him and his cool friends, which made me think a bit better of Austria.

Posted by degoiabeira 23:36 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

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