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New Series | daily photo | Westbahnof | arriving in Vienna


After the loss of my Powershot S30 (great pictures, horrible camera) in action in Russia, I have a new camera. A very different creature with a 12x leica lens and a manual focus dial. But no RAW mode so one must get the photo right the first time (white balance). So far so good. The closest thing to my dear deceased and fully manual 35mm Pentax K1000: the Lumix Z10.

With hundreds of wonderful photographs in the archives, I will be working on posting a fresh photo everyday. I also plan to post some of these archives, as time permits.

The first subject is an OBB vendor at Westbahnhof.

The OBB conductors are very nice but those working in Westbahnhof seem to be chosen for their mediocre command of English or any other foreign language (most Austrians speak English very well). The selection process is calculated to increase the frustration to unbearable levels for all involved.

In Westbahnhof, there is one window for local train information (second floor – also serves as baggage storate and lost and found), another bank of windows for local ticket purchase, and a third bank of windows for international purchase and international information.

Heavens forbid you confound the function of each bank of windows, as none will give any information but that assigned to their domain. Occasionally the international lineup is ten deep and the local windows empty. And vice-versa.

There is a fourth official information counter which refuses to give any information at all but will rent you a hotel room at vastly inflated prices – if you let them take an advance on your credit card first (before they find the room).

Fortunately the rest of Vienna is a good deal more hospitable. If you ever arrive in Westbahnhof, I recommend you make your way immediately to the central city tourist office beside Staatsoper. There they will find you a good room at any budget for a very small fee and you will part with all the maps and cultural schedules you will need for a month.

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