I didn’t realise how nervous I was about travelling to Linz for ages. It was one of those trips that I knew was coming up, so I brought my tickets for the flight incredibly early, and forgot about them. This was possibly the only thing I did not panic about in the run-up to travelling to Pippa and Tim’s wedding.
Then, the day came to set off. I did so in the worst manner possible, by getting lost in a city where I spoke the language. Duh.
And it’s at this point I can start referring you to my notes:
The main problem with being on a plane and wanting to do some drawing is that there is nothing to look at on planes.
I got off the plane feeling a lot calmer. Then I found my hostel, and realised that it was in the red light district.
It was actually pretty nice, and they went to the trouble of looking up vegetarian restaurants for me. So I went to a vegetarian restaurant in Vienna:
As I had absolutely nothing to do with myself, I sat at my table drawing, until it got dark, and then walked back through the red light district. Just as I arrived back at the hostel, a bunch of tiny European teenagers were getting off a bus. The bus was from a company called “Rubes”, and I had a little chuckle at the thought of all these little rubes in the big city. That’s the sort of thing I find funny after international travel and no conversation.
Then, I sat in the bar area and did some painting. With a herbal tea.
The next day it was on to Linz:
I was, again, incredibly nervous about my train journey. I had printed out a ticket at home, using my printer, and it claimed to be my ticket. As somebody who is used to the UK train system, this level of convenience was unthinkable: surely, this piece of paper I printed at home wasn’t valid for train travel?! I screwed up my courage and went to ask the ticket inspector.
“Do you speak any English?”, I asked. “A little”, he replied, which in England would have meant “I can count to ten and possibly say something rude in your language”, but actually means “I can speak passible English” in Austria. Turns out my ticket was valid, so I got on the train. Somebody sat next to me, so I got to look like a crazy person drawing out of the window.
It turns out I was incredibly knackered from all this change to my routine, and it was at this point I had vowed never to leave my nerd-cave again. What was I thinking?! Why did I leave my house?! I was tired and emotional and I wanted to eat supermarket-brand cereal in front of the TV. Sadly, my new room didn’t have a TV and I couldn’t work out where to buy any soya milk, so I agreed to meet up with Pippa and some of her friends.
Above: my most hard-edged drawing I’ve ever done.
Pippa didn’t make it to that meal in the end, but I had the great pleasure of meeting Andreas and Josie. We had a great time eating delicious food! It was also at this point that I started to become too tired to do any proper drawing. I did take notes, so here they are:
I went back to the Golden Crocodile restaurant, where I had been with Tim and Pippa last year. Pippa ended up being unavoidably delayed, which is acceptable as she is getting married tomorrow, so I had a meal with a married couple from Berlin for the wedding. I also had a pint and a half, while Andreas and Josie (the couple) ended up having mint tea, which was like a complete reversal of the past few days. Caught bus to town and back, which was OK – it’s only a few stops. Now have no change, meaning no snacks from vending machine.
A brief note on Germanic vending machines: they are far more advanced than our puny English vending machines. Broken Britain again. The one at the hostel was actually so advanced that it took me several days to work out how to use it.
The next day was the wedding, and I ended up drinking and staying up until 3am, which is totally unheard of for me. Maybe the free beer helped, but it was mostly the great company. I even danced, although casual observers might have thought I was just holding my glass funny whilst walking across the dance floor. I had a great time, and it turns out weddings are a ton of fun. Who knew, right?
Back to my notes:
The day after, I slept until three in the afternoon, when I awoke and ate the baguette I had stolen from the buffet. This was a good idea, as the hostel was totally closed and I couldn’t figure out how to work the vending machine. I went along to Times Up! where the wedding party was being social, and after a few hours there I went for a meal with some people. However, afterwards I missed the last bus home and discovered the hard way that the hostel is on top of a hill.
Seriously, that was some bitch of a walk back. I actually got a shin splint from the amount of walking uphill I had to do. I woke up on Monday with a duff leg, and everybody else from the wedding had either gone home or gone on a walking tour of the mountains. I decided to take what is billed on the tourist map of Linz as the steepest tram in the world, which takes you up the hillside and gives you a nice view of the surrounding area. It also takes you to some children’s amusements, which are supposed to be hilarious, and a large church done in a style that makes Rocco look restrained. I did a quick watercolour of the view:
I felt unmoved by the cheesy church, and decided to take a the tram back down. By this point I was absolutely exhausted, and ended up walking around the town looking for the Museum of Upper Austrian Dentistry. By the time I found it – next to the Doll Museum, as I guess they like to keep all their creepy museums in one place – I was too tired to go in, and ended up having some kind of noodle meal at a local restaurant. I think you can tell how tired and disjointed I was from the page I made:
Seriously, things were starting to not make sense to me. On the up side, I did manage to make the hostel’s vending machine spit out food and sugary drinks! I ate a pile of unhealthy things and went to bed early. That’s pretty much the end of my time in Linz, aside from a day spent travelling back (I got a lot of reading done, and took a lot of trains, but you don’t want to know about that). Thanks to everybody who hung out with me and put up with me alternating between tired rambling and excitable rambling, and a big ‘congratulations’ to the happy couple.