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(Saturday, Feb. 23rd)

I got up super early this morning after about two hours of sleep.  I tried to stay awake watching the most recent episode of Downton Abbey, but realized when my alarm went off that I had been unsuccessful at achieving that goal.  (I literally watched all first three seasons in three days.)  I know from all the posts on FB that someone else dies – PLEASE don’t tell me who!  I’ll get around to watching it soon.

My train was leaving at 8:03am out of Wien Meidling station.  I only had experience coming and going on these long trips from the Westbahnhof, so this was a new experience for me.  I had to take three different UBahn (subway) trains to get to the station, but fate was kind, as I got to the stations right in time for a train every time.  (No long waits to delay me.)

The big surprise of the morning was coming outside to a great deal of snow on the ground, with the flakes still falling heavily.  Miloš had also sent me snow pics from Crikvenica during the night – they do not get snow very often where he lives, so it’s quite the novelty.  I guess it was snowing everywhere!

Several people have asked me if Miloš was going to be coming up to Vienna to visit me, but it’s a great deal cheaper for me to visit him.  I have an unlimited 3-month Global Rail Pass, which allows me to take any train in Europe for no additional charge. (There are a few exceptions – like night trains.)  So for me to be on the train all day costs nothing more. That and the difference in cost of living makes it an easy decision.  Plus – it’s usually warmer down there.  Next week is supposed to be great – I’m looking forward to the nice weather to be able to walk around by the beach.

This snowy weather is giving me the most amazing view – I have a lovely winter wonderland outside the window as we cruise by.  I literally just saw castle ruins on a small mountain top all covered in snow.  Beautiful!  But it won’t be long before I’ll have to shut my eyes and get some sleep.  Miloš and I will be going out tonight in Rijeka and coming back to Crikvenica in the early morning hours, so I gotta rest up now.  My train gets into Ljubljana at 3:10pm, it sits there for an hour, then we leave and get to Rijeka at 5:55pm.  Ten hours in a train…. one hour down, nine more to go!  Why so long, when the flight to Croatia is only 40 minutes?  The train has to work its way on a twisted course through the mountains of Austria.  It is not a straight line by any means.  And the tricky terrain means slower speeds most of the time.  But it’s okay – it’s worth it – for the beautiful journey and the excellent destination.  😉

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Jennifer was initially drawn to Europe for two reasons: music and love.  She lived in Vienna for four years, and now calls Croatia home for much of each year, as she married a native Croatian. Since 2015, Jennifer has worked as a tour director and cruise director on European river cruises for a major American travel company, and has become an expert in all of the cities along her routes on the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. She also has traveled to Disney World almost every year since 1985, and knows Disney World inside and out. As a travel agent, Disney World is her primary specialty, and she has helped many Disney newbies and veterans have amazing trips with her insider information.

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