Vienna to the border patrol in Hungary

After the 8 minute hike from the last post, we buckled up and headed farther east to our next destination of Vienna. A place I’ve heard beautiful things about and also the location of my next reunion!

We kept looking for “Vienna” signs…turns out they spell it “Wien”.

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Like responsible travelers we are, we take it easy our night in Vienna looking forward to the early rise bike ride. Since we only have half a day before we drive to Budapest, we thought a set of wheels would be our best bet. This decision was agreed upon with our new friend Michael. He’s another smiling, easy to talk to, ready for action traveler from New Zealand.

The bike ride was a little bitter-sweet for me. It was so nice to see everything, however with limited time there wasn’t much room for photos, cafe breaks or small street exploring. I dare not complain though, it’s a gorgeous place with many massive buildings holding rich character. A few pics from the ride.

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This is our first stop, the famous Schönbrunn Palace!
(click here for the details of this magnificent Palace) .
Although the grounds stretch beyond our exploration, the gardens we did see were amazing!

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Handstand pic!

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More through the city on our way to reunite with my friend.

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Last February I was lucky to have met this spirited one named Gypsy. He was one of my haircut clients in the hostel we were staying at. After great conversation, we spoke of meeting again somewhere, someday in the near future. The first pic was in New Zealand with a group of travelers and the following photo is us here in Vienna! So glad I got to see your smile in person, cheers till next time!

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On our path back to the car, we make time to check out the local market. Although we’re in the middle of Austria, it was what seemed like to be a Turkish market. Again with the non complaining as it was still nice to wander through fresh fruit, herbs, spices, clothes, bags and more. The boys didn’t pass up the oppurtunutiy to start off with a doner kabob!

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We got back to the car in time to say farewell to Michael and head on our way to Budapest!

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This is when I would usually end the post and cheers to our next adventure. Not this time.
So were cruising along, jammin to some Beastie Boys…

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…when we come to the border leaving Austria entering Hungary. The patrol officer was just waving everyone through with ease until we approach… His arm holding a wand of authority slams down as he points us to the side of the road. I can only assume he’s not pulling us over to complement our dance moves.

Turns out you need to stop prior to the line we crossed and get a fancy little sticker that says you’ve payed to drive on their highway. It usually runs 12-20 Euros. Well that’s easy:

Marshall- “Sorry sir, we didn’t know. Where can we get a sticker?”
Officer- “Well there are signs everywhere telling you the rules”. (As he points to a bunch of letters smeared on a sign).
Marshall- “Oh, I don’t read German that well. So may we pay back there?”
Officer- “You pay me 120 Euros.”
Marshall- “Uhh, there’s no way to go back and pay?”
Officer- “How long are you staying in Hungary?”
Marshall- “Only 2 nights”.
Officer- “You’ve got two options” (this is when a slight sense of relief comes, I like options!)
Officer continues- “You can pay me 120 Euros in cash or with a card, your choice”.

Here’s our view during this whole conversation.

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All said and done, 120 Euros later and a sense of slight highway robbery we continue on our way.
I will say Marshall and I are fantastic at destroying negative energy with a positive attitude and blasting more road trip tunes! There’s now a different level excitement in the car knowing that we get to reunite with Niki, the adorable girl we connected with in Salzburg. Friends in Hungary, here we come!

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