Yesterday I arrived in Vienna. This city is not the official halfway break point of my trip (its only 1/3) but it does feel a bit like it is. After Vienna I will cross the border with Slovakia. A border which was closed for years, a language border, a cultural border. A border which used to mean anything. And as effect, this border somehow divides my journey into two.
I will stay in Vienna till Friday. In the mean time I will pick up some stuff I ordered, wash my clothes and sleeping bag and buy myself new shoes. And of course, I’ll spend some time with the first ever who took a plane just to be with me. I still do not understand fully why someone would do this, but I have stopped questioning. Its probably for the same reason people offer me their house while there gone, or the same reason why people invite me for a drink and give me money to eat. At one time, when I walked along a terrace, just minding my own business, that is putting one foot in front of the other, people at two different tables asked me to join them. I was shocked. Yesterday I was having a rest with my feet in the water when a man came swimming. Half an hour later I was having lunch with him and his wife. All of a sudden I had to hurry to be on time in the city! (Which I wasn’t) It keeps amazing me.
I can however also enjoy the anonymity of the big city. No backpack, no pole, just flip-flops and a camera, like a tourist. Not everyone has to know I walked to this city, and not having to explain how and why can be a real pleasure. This city is also a place my predecessors must have visited. I decided to pick up a book from Patrick Leigh Fermor, a real recommend for those who like the adventure books! Although he walked in 1933/34, I’m looking forward to read about the places I’ve been to as well.
Vienna is a city with a big history and a lot of memories of a lot of people. The coming days this city will be, somehow, finding a place in my heart. I will build memories which will last a life time. I believe it are these experiences which create a certain atmosphere in the place. The city holds them for all who visit and when one returns, it lets you relive them. I feel myself wondering what memories the city holds, after all those hundreds of years. I guess I’ll find that out a bit in the churches and the museums of the town. I also wonder what memories this city will be holding for me in a couple of days. But that’s in my own hands still.
The city life is different from my life in the tent. At 8.30, when its getting dark and the city comes to life, I’m tired. When I wake up, most people are either still asleep or rushing towards their jobs. A life I feel more and more distance to and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to life like this again. Its also hard to imagine my days in Austria are almost over already. I do feel like a traveller now, leaving one country after the other. Every country has a special place in my heart. Germany was a country of struggle and transformation. I will remember Austria for all the nice people I’ve met and, probably, for my days in Vienna. What the future countries bring, only He knows.
Thank you all for your support so far! I’m happy to see that you somehow still enjoy reading my stories. If you want to read anything particular, just let me know. I like to write for you!