I love the train in Vienna. We ride the city trains all the time (the strassenbahns, the U-bahns) but the big trains (the ones that go between the cities) are really something special for us. We’ve ridden the train out of Vienna, past Salzburg and most of the way to Zürich, when we went to Innsbruck, and I loved it — we’ve ridden the train west of Vienna to the beginning of the Alps, to the north nearly to the Czech border, and today, we went south to visit some friends.
The whole process is so easy. We look the train routes up online (in English), we go to the station (via public transportation), we purchase our tickets at a kiosk (also in English — when we need to go into the office and speak to an actual person, they also speak English), we find our platform, board our train (always on time) and away we go. The trains here are clean and reliable and the routes are extensive and frequently run. There are places for strollers (and even B’s bike). Both of the boys love riding on the train — Benjamin sits and looks out the window, Liam walks all around (with help and supervision and a hand held always). Dan & I get to see the towns and countryside go past. Basically, it’s fantastic.
And, at the end of a long, fun day (like today), when our patient, wonderful, sweet kids are completely exhausted, we get back on the train and we can actually attend to our children. Back in the States, when we had our car, at the end of the day we’d strap the boys in their car seats and often we’d grit our teeth the whole way home. If they were fussy, hungry, thirsty, or whatever, there was a limit to how much you could do to help them. On the train, we can talk, cuddle, share snacks and even change diapers as necessary. Of course, on the other hand, in a car, the passengers all know and like you — I’m not sure the other passengers on the train always agree that this situation is superior.
We love it, and we’re getting better at it. Today’s short adventure got me even more excited about the travelling we have coming up this year (most of which will be by train). And now we even know that you can get fined for putting your feet on the seat — we didn’t get the fine, but we did get warned (Dan). Good to know.