ACCOMMODATIONS AND CAMPING IN VIENNA

ACCOMMODATIONS AND CAMPING IN VIENNA

Hunting for cheap rooms in Vienna during peak tourist season (June-Sept.) can be unpleasant; call for reservations at least five days in advance. Otherwise, plan on calling between 6 and 9am to put your name down for a reservation. If full, ask to be put on a waiting list. The summer crunch for budget rooms is slightly alleviated in July, when university dorms convert into makeshift hostels.

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The wreck of the Somali must rate as one of the most popular wreck dives off the northeast coast of England. Local dive charter-boat skippers usually buoy the wreck in three places: close to the boilers, near the starboard side of the hull remains and close to the stern end, although these are sometimes broken away by storms in the early months of spring. The wreck lies on a hard rocky seabed surrounded by numerous large reefs in a general depth of 28 m (LAT). When first discovered in the 1960s, she was fairly substantial, upright with most of her hull complete and standing 9 m high, her aft gun intact and deck fittings still in place. Unfortunately, although the remains of the ship still make an excellent dive, often with 15 m visibility, a considerable amount of salvage work has been carried out over the last twenty years and the wreck is just a shadow of its former self, being somewhat flattened now and dispersed around the seabed. The highest part is probably around 5- 6 m. The remains of large drums of cement lie beneath the bulkheads near where the buoy is tied off at the starboard side of the three boilers, while at the port side is a gap and a further two boilers. Close by are the four huge cylinders, which are probably the highest part of the wreck, and the rest of its engine, pistons, rods and crankshaft, now exposed, where with a little care it is possible to swim through. Moving back towards the stern end, more cargo is visible, with large quantities of cement, piles of truck tyres with the cargo winch lying amongst them, empty rotting gas cylinders and even a large drum reel of heavy copper cable. The old 12-pounder deck gun and gun-mounting structure rest on the seabed next to a pair of bollards, with an anchor and spare screw not far away, although the screw has a section of broken mast lying across and slightly obscuring it.

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