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London - St Goer - Prague - Vienne PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Sunday, 23 September 2007 00:00
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London - St Goer
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Day 4: Wednesday 26th September 07 - Prague - Vienna


Thank goodness the rain had not returned during the night but there was not enough sun to dry things out: everything was wet and damp except our spirits. The breakfast crew had the food on the table and cleared away in 30 minutes. I had to run from the toilet to get on the bus for Vienna as the engine hummed for take off. Leighton's remonstrations about lateness made every body conscious about being late.

The journey started with one of Leighton's usual morning briefings.

'Today is a short journey, passports out in five seconds'.

He starts the countdown immediately but everyone has them in the air in no time at all except Anne and myself.

'All things are what?' he shouts

Coach in chorus.

'subject to change'

Finally he informs us that four new members arrived late last night. He announces the family is now complete and invites each in turn to introduce themselves as we have all had to do. Along with our names each had to give reasons for picking Ozbuz, favourite mythical creature, place most looking forward to seeing and finally plans after Sydney?

The first up was Fergal a 26 year old doctor heading to take up an appointment in Melbourne. He was the first one to get an applause for his occupation but I can't help feeling it was out of relief. It's always good to have a doc on board even if so young. He's followed by Paul a construction worker who gets a loud cheer from Leighton who sees the potential if we need to dig the coach out. Next to take the mic is big Geoff a farmer from Ireland who delayed his start to the trip to play in the final of a Gaelic football competition. Unfortunately for him they drew which means he will have to fly home for the replay. He must be good because the club is paying for his flight from Turkey and back. Last up but by no means least, is Andrew an Australian who's been working for an advertising company in the Big Apple. He arrived in London with sufficient time to catch the bus but overslept in his hotel and by the time he got to the Embankment the bus had gone. He's returning home to Sydney to get the necessary qualifications to become a lawyer. We have something in common he's also looking forward to seeing India.

After a short drive the coach pulls in to a small supermarket to stock up with food for lunch. Panic sets in when it becomes apparent there are no toilets. Sue finds a corner behind the shop, the young party group head down the road to the next supermarket. Anne notices a sign for a restaurant with parking and toilet symbols and a large group of us make towards it. We all feel guilty at using the clean free toilets and so a mass order is given for soup and beer. The garlic soup was memorable and will take some beating especially for the princely sum of 15 koruna or 40 pence. We arrived in Vienna at about 2.00pm.

After an excellent lunch of salad, sliced meat loaf and chicken followed by a fruit salad we headed off into the capital for some high culture. As we congregated outside the entrance to the Natural History Museum Das and Barry climb onto the back of a bronze statue of an elephant. Some much for culture. After a good hour in the natural history museum we headed towards the opera house and St Stephens church. Lastly we dropped into an Australian bar recommended by Leighton to find Scooby, now firmly established as the leader of the lets get drunk brigade, and the rest of the gang downstairs going at it as though they were entering dry Iran tomorrow. It was obvious they had been there since leaving the coach three hours earlier. I finished up having two pints of a delicious local wheat beer and a very tasty beef burger. At about eight we joined the party gang downstairs who were by then in full flight much to the delight of the pub's manager and the amusement of the two Ozzie waiters serving them. In the middle of the table were two glass towers of beer, with pouring taps at the base. One was a 1 metre and the other a 2 and with all the screaming and shouting, laughing and guffawing, pushing and shoving it was a microcosm of what I imagined Babel must have been like just before it fell. When we left at 9.15pm to get the coach the lads were in heaven and Babel was still in tact.

We finished the night off sitting in the campsite kitchen drinking wine and hot chocolate. Although we went to bed reasonably early many found it hard to sleep for the noise being made by a group of Ozzie campers. I heard nothing.



Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 18:13