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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 02 Apr 2009

Location: Vienna, Austria

MapTokyo Narita International Airport killing 4 hours while waiting for our connecting flight to Vienna, its pouring rain here just as it was when we left Sydney 10 hours ago. Weve had just enough time to make some observations of the Japanese way of life, and in this short time weve learned that the Japanese are incredibly friendly people, sometimes embarrassingly humble. Everyone weve spoken to cant do enough to please us, and they always finish their task with a bow of the head. Makes you feel like royalty.
Several locals are wearing a white mask over their nose and mouth are they protecting themselves from airborne viruses, or are they so polite that they dont want to infect us with theirs? They are an obviously fastidiously clean people the place is spotless. Check-in areas, restaurants, boarding gates, toilets (that are equipped with bidets and squat toilets too). I also just saw an elderly guy reading a rather thick book, and walking past I noticed it was all black-and-white line drawings, comic style.

Vienna : Its 7pm and were settling into a charming little apartment, quite central to the Vienna city centre, after spending a whole day in the skies. Our host, Erika, is charming, very welcoming and friendly. We booked this place through its website, and it was recommended to us by our Lonnie friends Roger and Judy, who also stayed here a couple of years ago. Their advice to pre-book a taxi from the airport was also brilliant how special was it to walk out of the immigration hall at Vienna airport to find a uniformed driver waving a sign adorned with our name. And our two suitcases were the very first ones to emerge from the baggage carousel how about that?
It was a cloudy spring day in Vienna, about 9degC outside, and what immediately struck us was that (nearly) every tree is bare, the parks and gardens in Vienna are full of leafless trees. Such a contrast to where we were a day and a half ago. An early night tonight after a very long and tiring journey, ready for some exploring tomorrow.