Perhaps I was trying to do too much.
In the three weeks between my consulting engagement in Berlin and the TBU conference in Umbria, I had the bright idea that I should visit as many European countries as I could within the constraints of my Eurail pass. Sleep, rest, comfort and actual absorption of destination be damned.
In search of people who look like me, I spent a gloriously productive week in Prague, followed by a zip through Bratislava, and finally I came to the last stronghold of ancient Bohemia – the musical city of Vienna, Austria.
Ah, Vienna… or Wien, as it says in the Eurail train schedule. Austria’s capital. The City of Dreams. Birthplace of Freud. Home of the Blue Danube. Muse of Mozart, Brahms, Haydn & Beethoven. Architecture Mecca.
With so much to offer, how come the only memorable part of my visit was the ridiculously stylish and comfortable chair in my hotel room?
Since I had a limited time, I signed up for a bus tour around town and afterwards, walked everywhere – at least 5 or 6 miles a day. Despite a richness of history & architecture, and despite covering quite a bit of ground, somehow, I took less than a dozen pictures during my stay.
And one of them was of a chair. Not the throne of Empress Maria-Theresa. A hotel room CHAIR, y’all.
To be fair, my lackadaisical approach to Vienna was not the city’s fault at all. I really went wild in Prague digging up details about my ancestry, so by the time I reached Bratislava and Vienna, my capacity for historic details had reached its limit.
What I did see of Vienna (while listening to my Classical Music playlist on iTunes) was enormously grand. What lives those Hapsburgs must’ve lead! I was overwhelmed by the number of palaces and museums and opulence.
Truly, I wanted to wear a beaded gown and a powdered wig and waltz around town like the Bohemian princess that I surely must be… but it was not meant to be this time.
I believe I owe Vienna a return trip, a solid, dedicated do-over, as breezing through did nothing for me and certainly didn’t give me any sense of what Vienna in 2012 is all about.
There was one highlight during my stay, aside from the lovely chair, and that was the room in which I found the chair, at the Hotel Rathaus, a boutique focusing on both wine & design.
Oddly enough, I didn’t have the first sip of wine while visiting, so I think I may have missed the mark here, too! But each room was wine themed, from the mini-bar down to the bath products.
Wine is everywhere, so if you’re keen to booze and you’re in Vienna, hit up this very centrally located and beautifully designed property. Double rooms start at 120€.
Now, fans of Vienna, tell me everything I missed so I can start planning my do-over trip.