Guides for Vienna: Don't take the fast train from the airport to the city; it's too expensive.

Reality: I took the fast train from the airport to the city because it was €25 return. Not only do I appreciate fast and simple travel, but I am conditioned to the absurd cost of public transport in the UK.

Of the countries I have used trains, here is my ranking:

  1. Germany/Netherlands. Cologne to Amsterdam, €30 in first class. Free sausage.
  2. France. TGV is fast, smooth, and has the best food on rails.
  3. Austria. See above.
  4. Canada. Expensive, but fast and smooth.
  5. UK. Expensive, crowded, uncomfortable, delayed. Built on victorian-era infrastructure. Run for profit.
  6. USA. Amtrak is dire. 'Technical issues' meant I was on a train from Washington DC to New York for 6 hours. Miserable.