Just as it was the case in going to Kraków with mom, I combined the conference trip with a little family time. Stayng at my auntie and uncle, I wanted to spend some additional days with their family, making up ages of not seeing each other.
But first things first: as it was during the day, I decided to take public transport to reach the airport (is there any international airport with no public transport brfore 7 AM and after 20 PM?). The bus ride turned out to be a wonderful chance to explore every pothole along the way on a big zig-zag course through Ljubljana. Add traffic jams, curves and the Slovene driving habbits, it can only end in nausea and headache. By the time I arrived at the check-in, I was about to puke, not to mention that the trip from Ljubljana city center to LJU airport took me longer than the entire LJU-VIE flight, including check-in and security check. Oh well...
Being a little early, I could get enough fresh air to calm my stomach and brain, and do a little amateur planespotting on the visitors terrace. Busy skies above LJU airport
I had the chance to see the afternoon rush-hour with well known visitors, which regularly catch my attention during their afternoon approach over Ljubljana. Especially the guys of IranAir are usually flying pretty low in comparison to others, much to my delight :)
And then, of course, the airport's top dog Adria Airways
My baby for the day however was an A319.
I'm not into technical details and comparisons, but flying with it from Brussels in July, I had the feeling it was much louder than the CRJ900, even giving me a little headache. Explains the little disappointed that set in when I saw it would replace the scheduled aircraft type a cuple of days before leaving for Vienna. However, the journey turned out to be just fine - no noise and no headache - except of the fact it was over way too soon.
Off we go: climbing, a sharp turn and - mount Triglav is sneaking from the cloud cover.
Unfortunately, the trip was too short to climb over the big cloud layer. Still, there was a trace of blue sky.
No sunset like one seen from above...Touchdown
Once in Vienna, you'll soon be embraced by its well-known charm (smell the sarcasm).
Ask anything and you'll probably get the meanest look you can get, alongside with a useless answer. To be fair, one has to say Vienna has its beautiful sides, too. Above all: the best ice cream in town.
Walking through the city, you may want to watch out for all kinds of fascinating facades and decorations. Among them, a gigantic owl guarding the Library of the University of Technology, with a number of baby-owls on the rooftop. Absolutely adorable, and yet a little scary.
Former Vienna Stadtbahn Station, now museum resp. café. Gotta love the golden sunflowers.
More to love about Vienna: the super efficient public transport - fast, on time, clean and above, featuring tube stations in dfferent styles and colours. And bus drivers who turn out to be a friendly exception ;)
Eye-catching entrance to the Institute of Chemistry
But of course it wasn't all about facades. Rather, it was an interesting session of lectures featuring transition of paediatric cancer survivors to adult care and follow-ups. Sure something I'll want to hear about again some time in the near future.
And one day, who knows, it will be time for the really big conference :)
Another must-see when in Vienna - the Cathedral of St. Stephen with its colourful roof. I didn't spent much time discovering its interior, but I think I'll stick with Belgian churches when it comes to gothic ;)
A fountain in the Archbishop's Palace
Belvedere palace: Lower Belvedere
Huge Soviet War Memorial at the Schwarzenbergplatz with probably the hugest fountain I've seen (except of Geneve's Jet d'Eau).
Blue skies and sun, a pleasant sight after a week of cold wind and rain
Sunset above Ottakring
Time to go home on the wings of Adria's baby CRJ200
Taxi towards the runway, with airport lights in the background
Is it Vienna by night or are the stars upside down?
There has been another part of Vienna, too. The part around the new main train station. A part featuring tents built up literally next to the roadside, children breathing fumes day and night, people sleeping on the street, waiting for what the future will bring.
Do I have the right to complain about the wind and rain that catches me on my way home?
Or feel cold when I rush to my department in the morning, covered with gloves and a scarf?
And winter hasn't even started yet.
I haven't quite understood the world when I was a child, but the more I grow up, the stranger it seems alltogether. How could one possibly blame people for seeking peace, and a little security for their loved ones?