Architecture, ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, International, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Self-led Shore Excursion in Vienna


From the moment we booked our Viking River Cruise, I knew Vienna would be the highlight of the trip for me and a challenge for Bill.  He loves to get on a bus, take in the major sites and be done with it.  If we can get off the boat, see a few things and get some pictures without much hassle, as we could in Budapest, he likes that, too.  Negotiating subways, taking in multiple museums and figuring out someplace to eat is not on his list of must-do’s.  I confess, I was in heaven.

The Viking Shore Excursion in Vienna we are glad we weren't on!
The Viking Shore Excursion in Vienna we are glad we weren’t on!

Been There, Done That 

Vienna is a city I am familiar with.  I know my way around the Ringstrasse.  I’ve been on the underground.  I know the Stephanplatz.  I’ve been to Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere.  What I wanted to see was the Hofburg.

Sitting at my desk in Dallas I planned out the perfect day in Vienna.  We would start with a museum in the Hofburg, hang out in gardens and see where the day led us.  I imagined finishing the evening at some romantic sidewalk cafe with shopping bags spread around my feet, each bag holding a perfect gift for a special friend.  Do I have to tell you that it didn’t exactly go this way?

It Rained on My Parade

That moment we found the Hofburg.
That moment we found the Hofburg.

The Viking Tor docked in Vienna around six.  Had this been a girl’s trip with my bestie, we would have been standing in the foyer as they extended the gangplank.  Kudos to Bill however, we were up and out, with breakfast under our belt, by 9ish.  To our dismay it was a gray, chilly day with intermittent rain.  More kudos to Bill, he intrepidly strode along the dock, determined to give me my day in Vienna.

Though I love an adventure, as I’ve confessed before, I have arrival anxiety.  It’s one thing to read up on a destination and a whole ‘nother thing to actually get there and execute the necessary logistics to complete your plan.  If I screw up getting us started, I can ruin the whole day.  Talk about over-planning, just in case I didn’t get the underground details right, I had a map of taxi-stands and bicycle rentals waiting in my backpack.

Fortunately, finding the underground and grabbing our ride was a breeze.  We stepped out of the Stephenplatz station like we knew what we were doing.  The Graben Strasse pedestrian plaza was well marked and we took off in the right direction.  So far so good.  We delighted in the atmosphere and the architecture.  Bill had his camera out and I had my map.  I was looking for Kohlmarkt.

Just about the time I thought, “We should just about be there,” Bill shouted, “WOW, look at that.”  He’d seen the Hofburg at the end of Kohlmarkt.  It was so exciting that tears actually came to my eyes.  Dreams really do come true.  I was a little damper than I’d imagined, but my day in Vienna was going well. 

Come back next week and join us at the Imperial Apartments.

3 thoughts on “Self-led Shore Excursion in Vienna”

    1. I don’t trust the wind. I have tried that, but invariably, I came home to discover that while I was experiencing some interesting thing in one place I was 5 miles away from something I would have much rather seen or done. When I am in Dallas I can wander aimlessly, because tomorrow is another day. But my travel days are valuable treasures I dare not waste.


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