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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

GOING STRAIGHT TO JAIL

Our visit to Vienna was slightly marred by a brush with the law.

We set off on Monday morning for a day trip to Schonbrunn Palace - a trip that was necessary to do by train. About ten stops away.

We have found that Austrian railway stations do not have humans in information booths for guidance but as this was not our first trip on a train, we managed to buy two tickets for the trip there and back.

Return tickets.....or so we thought ! We validated them as instructed before getting on the train.

The Palace is lovely with spectacular gardens. So we toured, wandered, took lots of photos
Until, worn out we headed for home.

Almost as soon as we arrived at the platform a train arrived. They  seem to come along about every five minutes or so. On we hopped, very pleased to snag a couple of seats and off went the train.

Next thing a young ticket inspector came along the carriage and without any qualms Tony took out our tickets. He inspected them and the tickets of some other tourists and when the train stopped at the next station, we were all ordered off the train!!

Then ensued a heated debate as to the validity of our tickets ( they cost us 5.60 euros total ).

Nothing wrong with the tickets but they should have been validated AGAIN AT THE OTHER END OF THE TICKET !

He threatened to haul us off to the police station, demanded our passports, and fined us 103 euro on the spot!

Several groups of tourists were undergoing the same treatment in several different languages around us.

The upshot was that we paid the 103 euro ( should have been 103 euros each but they were being generous !) then were sent upstairs to validate the tickets before we caught the next train home.

Apparently this is quite a common occurrence on this train line in Vienna . They say they have zero tolerance and this is the Austrian way. So even if you are a tourist, have a ticket and slip up thinking validation once on a ticket is enough, zero tolerance !

Tony is still frothing about it !

4 comments:

  1. That sounds very harsh (and very confusing). Something like that can sour the day.

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  2. So sorry to hear about this nasty experience. You and Tony are decent, law-abiding people and I know that if the validation process had been crystal clear you would have had no problem. If I had been in Tony's position, I would have wrestled the young ticket inspector to the floor, tied him up and frog-marched him to the nearest lavatory where his head would have been flushed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Gwil has mentioned this to me . Zero tolerance. I was warned about this in Germany too and indeed encountered inspectors on many journeys.

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