Thursday, November 17, 2022

Vienna Travel Adventure

Today is 17 November so it is Struggle for Freedom & Democracy Day in Czechland.  This commemorates the Velvet Revolution which ended Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989.

I'm taking tomorrow off as a "bridge day" for a long, four-day weekend and headed to Saint Helier, the capital of the Bailiwick of Jersey.  This will be my first time in the Channel Islands.

I've been looking forward to this trip but it has had an interesting start.  So here's what's happened so far.

The plan was to go to Vienna, meet up with Katka at the Hauptbahnhof, grab dinner, then spend the night in Vienna and head to the airport early this morning.

I booked a hotel room, rather than stay with Katka and Steve, because (a) I had an early morning flight and (b) with two kids, I didn't want to disrupt their lives.  Steve was on babysitting duty so that Katka could meet me at the train station.  Easy enough.

Last Wednesday, Katka calls me asking me if my train was delayed because she didn't see me.  She was a week early.  We had a good chuckle about it and she decided to call it a "practice run" for this week.

So yesterday we met up at the train station.  The plan was to drop off my stuff at the hotel and then grab some dinner and get caught up.  On the way to the hotel is when we knew that something wasn't right.  I would only be there for one night so I booked a cheap room, that had decent reviews, close to the Westbahnof station.  

Well as we started walking to the hotel the neighbourhood seemed to get a bit dodgier.  When we got there, there was no one to check me in.  No reception desk, nada.  I called the contact number from and I was told that room #1 was mine.  That it was unlocked and that the key was in the room.  Nope.  The door was locked.

The guy on the phone said that he would be there in ten minutes.  Fifteen minutes later he said that he was on the way.  Now while we're waiting, we can hear that some of the other guests were having fun because the walls were thin and the moaning was loud enough that we decided to wait outside.

After 45 minutes, the guy on the phone provided a code to a lock box that contained a master code key.  He said to use it to go into room 1.

Someone else's stuff

Well the bed was unmade and someone else's stuff was in the room.  We called him back and he said o take room 2 instead and that he would drop off the key to the room later.

The guy on the phone tried to tell us that the master key would only work once before being deactivated.  That was a lie because it opened up rooms 1 and 2 multiple times.

No idea whose stuff this is.

Over an hour later he finally showed up and somehow it was my fault that he lives outside of Vienna.  He said that someone must have come in and taken the room which I had already paid for.  The woman who should have been the receptionist wasn't there tonight because she was ill.  

He could not understand why I refused to stay there after there was no way to check in, I had to wait over an hour for him to show up, his story changed multiple times about when he would arrive and about the master key.  I especially wasn't thrilled about master keys floating around.  There was no way that I would stay here so I went on to and found a new, much better place, actually less than a ten-minute walk from Katka's flat.  This is where I'll be staying next time.

A block away from the new hotel was a sushi place where we tucked in for dinner.  

I've never had a bad experience on so I guess my lucky streak was bound to run out sooner or later.  This wasn't really how I imagined the start of this trip would be but at least we have a good story from the experience.  Now to contact Booking and get a refund.

Anyway, I've got a couple of hours here at London Heathrow before my 35-minute flight to Jersey.  Hopefully the rest of the trip will be no where as adventurous as last night.

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