Train it from Venice to Vienna. Not sure why I decided to do that. I could have flown. Faster. Laziness on my part to not look for the airport.
9 hour ride. Cabin fever sets in.
Sitting next to 4 Austrian guys and a conservative looking older French lady. Early 20′s and mid-60′s respectively.
Silence for the first 4 hours. It’s funny how people sometimes can sit next to others for an extended period of time, in close quarters and say nothing to anyone. Just reading magazines and not acknowledging the world around them. Like an old married couple on a beach.
Until of course nerves start to set in. Then those same people seek comfort by talking, expressing themselves to anyone they see. And there’s nothing that makes blood pressure rise more than an international border. With inspections and passport stamps, it’s enough to get the nerves jumping.
It really doesn’t matter whether someone is carted off on drug possession or whether everyone passes inspection. A good border crossing always breaks the ice nicely and gets the conversation flowing. I guess it’s the extreme state of anxiety and stress that only a border crossing can create that gets people talking about everything and nothing in particular. It never fails. A good border crossing always forces peoples’ tough exteriors to evaporate.
Case in point. ”Austrians are very weird people”, says the Austrian guy sitting next to me. Where did that come from? What were we talking about again? No matter. I stepped off the train in Vienna with that piece of knowledge in mind but that thought was quickly overshadowed by the beauty of the city itself.
Who cared about how weird Austrians were, anyway? Vienna’s glory, history and magnificence is what truly mattered. Cue the slide show.