Last weekend Cart and I were in Vienna and it had been an unforgettable experience of my life.
We were there mainly for the Obsidian anomaly – a large scale cross-faction event for the GPS based game, Ingress. Vienna was a primary site, which means that more points were awarded to agents playing in this area.
While Cart and I have been to a couple of anomalies, like the one in Florence and Milan, this has been a different type of anomaly for me personally as it was a flash shard and it was also my first time on being a Team Leader.
(Picture by MyZap)
So far while it was challenging, it was something that I wanted to experience and I was blessed to have such an dynamic and responsible team that everything went smoother than I expected it to be. I love my team! Team Blueberry Pie!
Anyway, the day before our flight to Vienna was so busy. I had to teach in the afternoon and as soon as I reached home, Cart and I rushed off to get some last minute things ready – I wanted to collect my pins and patches and Cart wanted to give away some capsules so that he’ll have some pertinent space in his inventory. We then later had dinner in a place called Vitaminas 24 which I might blog about in the future.
In the morning, it was a flurry of activity with the packing and I don’t like leaving the house messy as I don’t want to reach home from a nice vacation to see an eyesore.
Once we were done, Cart didn’t want to risk being last to reach the airport, and decided to park the car at a place called Lunga Sosta. I don’t recommend it much as it appeared to cost 18 euro for 3 days, instead we were charged 54 euro when we picked the car up. It was such a shock when we got back from Vienna.
Eventually we met up with a group of some of the Resistenza Roma members and took a flight from Vueling, which is a low cost carrier based in Spain. While the interior reminds me a bit of Air Asia, having just recently rewatched Toy Story 3, I was extremely amused each time the flight information broadcasted. Anyhow have this in-flight song, which was very catchy.
It was a short two hour flight from Rome to Vienna, and the first thing that we did was to search for the mobile shop to pick up our SIM cards and then it was the challenge of getting to the train station to try to reach to our accomodations.
I say challenge because, German is the national language here, and a non native can get overwhelmed just looking at an innocuous sign like a metro line.
Luckily for me, the caretaker at our bed and breakfast had already explained to me on how to reach there – by taking the S7 line. While it’s slower as goes to each stops but it’s cheaper at around 2 euro.
Tip : It’s best to buy two tickets from the airport as it’s cheaper compared to buying a ticket one by one.
Cart and I stayed in an area called Praterstern and it’s an amazingly beautiful area by itself. Prater is best known for it’s giant (and probably the oldest) feris wheel in Vienna. It’s lovely just for going for a walk to and fro.
While it was Spring time, it got quite nippy when there is no sun, in the early morning and during the evening and I was regretting that I didn’t pack anything warmer than my pullover. I was too confident that the temperature would be the similar as it was in Rome. Serves me right!
Nevertheless, thank goodness that the place where we stayed at was quite comfortable as you could see from this quick video I shot.
I find it quite interesting to see all these baby buggies lined up near the front entrance.
I was amazed when I found out in the morning that that your number two doesn’t drop down directly in the hole here in the toilets in Austria.
Sidenote : When you’re watching Netflix Austria, there is season 9 for Supernatural. In Italy it only goes all the way to 8. Another thing that I find amazing is that newspapers are sold like this.
You can put your coins into the coin slot and take the newspaper from the plastic flap. People are so trusting that no one takes a paper without paying.
After we’ve left our stuff at the apartment, we headed to a place called Leopold Cafe which is near Museumsquartier for the registration point and get our packs – inside there was a medal card, a sticker, a wristband and a load out card.
After that, we went off to another area in another place for the Resistance pre-registration called East End. It’s not at all near the registration point, but I could understand why – so that we don’t risk too much in clashing with the opposite faction while we strategize and exchange items with each other.
I finally got my Team Leader pack and met a couple of the organizers there. But by this time, I was feeling extremely hungry and couldn’t concentrate on anything else. It was already evening and we haven’t even had a proper lunch.
Thankfully there was a place nearby called Fly’s American Fifties Restaurant, which was an adorable looking place. While it was a regular burger place, I was relived to hear that they were open to tweaking the dish to make it vegan, so there was something for me to eat, which was nice.
I didn’t manage to take a picture of my delicious burger as I was so hungry but it was awesome. I didn’t even manage to take a picture of the waiter, who had such a cute laugh.
After having my dinner, I met up with some of my team members, who were mostly based in Foligno, which is about 200 km away from Rome. It was the first time for me meeting them and they were friendly and were raring to go for tomorrow.
We also met up with our awesome local guide, Marlene, who decided to drop by to say hello to our team. We found out that she lived in the zone where our team was assigned to. If we needed anything, we could probably just hop over to her house.
The next day – anomaly day. I was feeling trepidation but I had to do the best I could. I was reading on the team leader chat to try to get some pertinent keys. So I got out earlier to try to farm them – Cart was just waking up and getting ready. I quickly popped by the nearby supermarket and had a quick breakfast of bananas and apple juice.
I looked at the label. The funny thing was, according to the packet, the apples were harvested in Italy?
As I walked towards the metro, I was amazed that I was going on my own. There were apps that makes travelling on public transportation a little bit easier, nevertheless, I need time to orient myself in a new country. Heck, it even took a while for me to get used to the public transportation in Rome.
This is why I cannot join reality competitions such as the Amazing Race.
It was such a cold morning. So cold. I was shivering underneath my pullover. But as long as I kept moving, I should be fine. I headed to a place called Belvedere and my goodness, it’s gorgeous and completely lush.
I wanted to get some more keys from other locations. Unfortunately, the district is quite big and takes time to reach. I had to meet up with the rest of my team members, so I decided to go directly to Marx Halle.
Everyone in my team was there and all ready – naituousn0329, LuPellox, LaMomo19, LuStargazer, frenksuperfly, Schioppaculi, Matteoz991, eternit, AalyahAtreides, Myzap and Elzap. Gosh, I was so nervous at leading but I just kept pushing on.
Look at what Marlene Niphinia did for us! What splendid muffins! She actually brought her baking equipment from out of town to make this for us!
And before you know it, it was time to move to our first portal. Like I’ve mentioned before, Vienna is a big place, and it took us slightly more than half an hour to reach there.
It was a park and we sat down on the benches and kept an eye on our portal while waiting for further instructions from the dispatcher.
I completely fell in love with my team as soon as they opened up their backpacks and took a cold one and started making sandwiches. It’s just too adorable.
Compared to the previous anomalies, this anomaly was different as it was a Flash Shard. In the simplest term, shards are like soccer balls in which you need to put it in your respective target to score points.
To move the shards, the agent will have to link the portal to the target at the specific time window.
But of course in any anomaly when there are hundreds of people fighting against hundreds of people, the game play becomes frenzied. There will be agents defending, agents shooting the portals, agents blocking … and with so many people at one area, the game can be unplayable most times.
(Picture by MyZap)
Especially when we moved over to our 3rd and 4th portal where the shard was, there was a big crowd and you can see that the portal changing from green to blue in an instant. It was easy to use 100 xmp at a time. So we just had to keep calm as best as we can and kept on going.
In being Team Leader, among all the responsibilities, my biggest priority was to keep my team together and safe. Even though it was important for us to move from one portal to another fast, I never wanted to lose any of my members at the back. So constantly kept an eye and glanced back and made sure there was always the 15 of us.
Unfortunately for me, I happened to be standing on a a bicycle lane. In Vienna, many people travel on bicycles and as soon as I looked to the front, there was a bicycle which hit me and I saw stars for several minutes. I slowly felt a swelling on my cheek. Luckily it wasn’t too serious and went down in time.
We finally reached the last portal for us to defend and defend it we did. In our excitement, we started talking loudly to each other, “DEPLOY! SHOOT! SHIELD! DON’T STOP! LINK!” And some of us ran over to stop some of the Enlightened agents from doing block links.
(Picture by Myzap)
Eventually, the time jump window ended and I was elated. It’s over finally! And I’m so proud of my team! We fought hard and I felt confident that we did great during the event. Just look at the amount of shards that the Resistance managed to put in the target.
By this time, I started to feel an aching in my thighs all the travelling, and we slowly headed back to Prater to the Niantic After party. It felt so festive in there, with all the waving of the flags and the cheering. It was something that had to be experienced.
Eventually the Acolyte came up to the stage and announced the results. I was elated to hear that the resistance had a landslide victory of 325 vs 3640! It was an exhilarating feeling.
The Resistenza Roma family went to have a celebration dinner together after that. At this time though, I was really tired and cranky and just wanted to lie down and faint.
Nevertheless, it has been such a fruitful and spectacular fight! And I’m honored to have experienced and being part of this incredible memory.
Here are a couple of pictures I took from mission day. As we had a flight back to Rome in the afternoon, I had to be a systematic tourist – no time to look at the monuments, just snapping pictures and look back on them when we’re back home.
A completely carbon zero taxi!
There are a lot of these in Vienna, I’d avoid them like I avoid those “Gladiators” in Rome.
I met agents Crox and Ramon who were so friendly. I was admiring their jackets from behind and they ambushed me for a photo!
To end this post, here is a nice video of the event done by agent MadTiXx :
Oh gosh, how I miss Vienna! I want to go back again! I want to give a shoutout to my awesome Blueberry Pie team, to our patient Local Guide, and thank all the operators, dispatchers and organizers for this beautiful, amazing, unforgettable experience.
(Picture by AalyahAtredes)
And thank you Vienna! Auf Wiedersehen and hope to see you again soon!
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