Day 234: To Sopron via BratislavaOctober 6, 2017 in Hungary
Back on the road! Checked out of our room in Vienna with nary a backward glance - it's been a disappointing place and we definitely won't miss it. Short walk up to Westbahnhof to the underground where we caught the train right across to the far east of Vienna, end of the line at Semmering. Short wait before we hopped on a train heading across the border to Bratislava - probably the closest pair of capital cities anywhere in the world!
Off the train in Bratislava within about 45 minutes of leaving Vienna, noting how much poorer Slovakia seems than either Austria or Slovenia. More beggars about etc. Waited about 20 minutes for a bus out to the airport where we picked up our car for the next month, a small Skoda Flavia about the size of a VW Polo. Nothing too fancy, but it's got a surprisingly large boot, air-con, cruise control, USB charging and in-built navigation which ticks basically all our boxes!
First step was to drive immediately back into Austria! We'd rented the car from Slovakia since the rates are much cheaper; this rental was costing us about 15 euros per day! So we headed south into Austria (via a Slovakian McDonalds for lunch) towards the last world heritage site we haven't seen, the Neusiedlersee. This is a large closed lake (ie not fed/drained by a river) that covers a huge area on the Austrian-Hungarian border. It's about 30km long and 6-12km wide in various points, though it's entirely less than 6 feet deep!
Drove to a few different points of interest on the eastern side, including the visitor centre at Illmitz and the seaside town of Podersdorf. Lots of windsurfers and kite-surfers out on the lake since it was very flat but extremely windy! Very difficult for filming but we managed. Not much information about though which was a bit frustrating, so I couldn't really add much insight to my video beyond what was on the UNESCO website, and Wikipedia!
Eventually we headed across the border into Hungary to our home for the next couple of nights, Sopron. Checked into our guest-house (via the supermarket) which was sort of a B&B type place, but the owners were out of town for the weekend and the other room was unoccupied - so we had it to ourselves. Nice.
Got settled in, then headed into town for some dinner. Some nice looking places around, though we ended up having drinks at a fancy bar (a wine and a large beer was about 3 euros), then a traditional local restaurant on the main square. Again the food was very cheap - Hungary in general tends to be cheap, from what I remember. Seems like a nice little town as well!Read more