I woke up at the end of the line, Westbahnhof in Vienna, Austria. It was a quiet Sunday morning as I wandered from the station to my hostel, in the red light district. Vienna is such a nice and conservative place that I wouldn’t have known we were even in the red light district if I hadn’t seen it on Hostelworld.
I dropped my bags at the hostel and talked to the woman behind the counter. She gave me a map and explained that the second largest outdoor festival in the world was going on in Vienna that day and that it was second only to Carnivale. Friday there were 800,000 people there, and Saturday there were over 1 million people attending. Since it started at two, I decided to spend the morning walking around the city center.
I took the metro to Stephensplatz, Vienna’s center, where I wandered amongst churches and museums, dodging people dressed as Mozart trying to hand me fliers. It was a quiet and cloudy morning and aside from the many Mozarts, I was one of the only people in the city center. It was a surreal experience, walking amongst those Mozarts in the mist. I kept expecting to wake up back on the train with my iPod playing Mozart, but it never happened, or perhaps I’m still dreaming.
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I took the metro to an island in the middle of the Danube river, which runs through Vienna, and walked around the festival soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a giant pretzel. It was an awesome festival with many stages playing everything from Folk to House music. The festival had extreme sports going on as well with BMX bikers, and people dressed as spiderman jumping off giant platforms into massive cushions. I was considering this “I’m dreaming” theory more and more. On the way back to the hostel, I stopped in at an Aussie travel bar for a drink before heading to bed.