For the first time the group split for the drive to Vienna. Some wanted to sleep in, a couple wanted to explore some more of Budapest, while the rest wanted to get to Vienna as early as possible to allow more time for exploration.
The border crossing between Hungary and Austria was not even a formality. We just had to slow down. Not a big problem for the MGs, but for the other traffic it was a bigger inconvenience as they were bustling along at 130kph or more. But everyone was well behaved.
The countryside did no change from one side of the border to the other. Rolling hills, more sun flowers, wheat and some wind turbines.
Austria managed to fend off the big conquests. They defeated the Mongol Horde and kept them in Hungary and a couple of centuries later, spent 15 years keeping Suleyman out, before he too gave up. But the did have to deal with the Habsburgs, as royal family, for about eight centuries until the end of the First World War in 1918.
I had not visited Vienna before and to try to do it in an afternoon was somewhat ambitious. So we decided to focus on a couple of things: the royal palace and part of the newer museum district. It was hot (for Europe – 34c) and humid, we were tired and moving slowly. The Royal Palace was crowded with throngs of tourists craning to view the extensive and varied exhibitions.
The Museum District is a nearby conglomeration of a number of art galleries and open space. In the enclosed courtyard, it seemed to be fancy dress day as it was full of young people all dressed in outlandish costumes. The girls committing themselves more than the boys. The Momuk Museum is a modern, black granite edifice set amongst the classic old buildings. Its architecture stunning and its exhibition spaces calm and inviting. Its contents did nothing for me. It was all modern art of the extreme kind, and while the curator had detailed and creative descriptions of the exhibitions, I failed to share her message.
Disappointingly we returned to our hotel hot and sticky, around 1800 to have a quick kip before meeting others for dinner. We were struggling.