By Diain | local guides | November 30, 2011

I spent 6 weeks working for the International Atomic Energy Agency (Part of the United Nations Organisation) in UNO-City, Vienna. It would have been foolish to not take advantage of being in Austria. After all, taking advantage of opportunities is what nucleargraduates is all about. I am not a big fan of cities so I opted to spend one day each weekend outside of Vienna (usually the Saturday) and one day in. On my first Saturday, my supervisor asked if I wanted to climb Schneeberg (at 2076m it is the highest mountain in Lower Austria). It is a fairly easy ramble to the top, following a dirt road for half of it and then a smaller path to the top. A lot of the path follows the train line to the summit. We walked the entire way up but opted to take the train back down as it was getting late. There is an Inn at the top which does a great lunch, and also offers rooms.

My second weekend out of Vienna took advantage of the fact that Bratislava and Vienna are the two closest capital cities to each other (with the un-fair exception of Rome and Vatican City). Two jet boats operate between the two cities, following the path of the Danube river.

for my third weekend trip I hired a car (I asked for a Fiat 500 and got a VW Passat) and drove out to the Semmering Railway, A UNESCO World Heritage site and took a trip on the civil engineering marvel that is the line between Payerbach and Murzzuschlag. I then spent the afternoon playing about on the Alps roads which were just fantastic.

My final weekend out of the city was in Donau-Auen, the national park just next to Vienna.

My days in Vienna were spent doing all the usual touristy things that my guidebook recommended. Certainly the things I will miss the most is sitting in the cafes drinking coffee and beer all day, can’t think of a better way to kill time.

PS accommodation only just worked out. After spending 8 nights in a youth hostel I landed on my feet as a lodger with a fantastic family.

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