Austria was always a country I associated with several things that were often present in my life. The sound of music which I have watched so many times, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert due to my love for classical music. Freud, in a more generic way and Schrödinger because of my completely random but a bit obsessive interest in quantum physics.
However, I feel like I didn’t give it the proper attention it needed. I mean, I was there for work after all. And I think Covid ruined my travel planning skills, because I should have spent more time in Vienna. But, as a friend said, it’s an excuse to go back there.
So, let’s establish I am going back at some point and move on.
I had a few free moments during the week and, since the hotel was downtown I could easily walk to a few points of interest. The Stadtpark – Kinderpark was right across from the hotel which made a good place for an early morning walk and a bit of reading. The weather was nice (as in cold but not freezing and sunny)
I’m actually enjoying a lot to explore new places during the winter. Fewer people, and some places are nice and quiet. Of course, depending on where you are going, things will be closed. But I personally find it great.
So, one of the afternoons, when we had a couple free hours I sneaked out to check the Hundertwasserhaus which is an expressionist landmark of Vienna.
The building, designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, looks like a patchwork. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. It really does catch your eye and I was there just looking at the million details for a long time.
On my way to the Hundertwasserhaus I passed in front of the Karlskirche which is a Baroque church located on the south side of Karlsplatz.
And another interesting building I don’t remember what it was
I also stopped by Beethoven’s house
On Thursday we had an off-site activity which happened after the closing remarks, so it was kind of a fun activity with your co-workers before the closing party which is always amazing and sad at the same time. We could choose between 6 or 7 different activities. I picked the Vienna Opera House tour and it was absolutely amazing.
It was built from 1861 to 1869 following plans by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. They have about 350 DIFFERENT things being performed each year. They rarely repeat a performance. All artists are local, they don’t travel much and usually don’t receive guest companies.
The building was bombed during WWII and almost completely rebuilt.
And that was basically all I’ve done in Vienna other than work-related stuff (including work-related parties and game nights, but you know what I mean). And I feel like I can’t even say I was actually there.
On Friday I headed to Salzburg with some teammates and stayed there for one night.
We walked around for a bit and stopped for dinner (I had the weirdest salad ever) and then I stayed in Salzburg while the rest of the group headed to Hüttau. The city is small but stunning. The view of the alps is something you will never forget.
The hotel (Gästehaus im Priesterseminar Salzburg) was a bit hard to find because it was dark. It’s a Priest Seminar, so it has a different vibe, but the room was huge and super clean and the location is amazing. The next morning I checked out, left my luggage in their luggage room and headed to the meeting point for the Sound of Music Tour.
It’s a 4 hours tour but totally worth it if you are a fan of the movie. They take you to the filming locations, tell behind-the-scenes stories and also the real-life story (a lot of people don’t know the movie is based on a true story). All that while listening to the amazing sound track of the movie.
This house was used to shoot scenes outside of the house. So the boat scene, the meal with the baroness and Max, all happened there.
This is the house that was used to film the indoor scenes and also the scene when Maria arrives (the door was white at the time but now have been painted green).
This is the place where Maria get off the bus and head to the Captain’s house.
Of course, the gazebo where Liesel and Rolf sing. Not so fun fact: Charmian Carr (Liesel) had an accident while shooting this scene. She slipped and cut her leg really badly but still finished the scene.
We went all the way to Mondsee where the wedding scene is filmed. Maria and the Captain get married at the abbey but the indoor scenes were shot at the St. Michael’s church
The view going from Salzburg to Mondsee and the tiny tow are also memorable and I was very happy I could find a pretty basic keto option (eggs and bacon). Eating keto was not the easiest thing in Austria, btw. Not even gluten-free. All restaurants are, by law, forced to add allergen information to the menu, which is great, but not too many options.
The ARE options. But it was not the easiest place.
Last but not least, back to Salzburg, the location where the Do-Re-Mi scene was filmed
After that, I headed back to the hotel to grab my things and take the train to Hüttau to meet with the rest of the group.
AGAIN, finding the B&B was not easy. The address provided on the Booking.com listing does not work on Google maps and I was walking up and down dragging my luggage for about 40 minutes. Asked for information for two different people who had no idea what I was talking about and pointed me in opposite directions.
In the meantime, I found the house where the rest of the group was staying, and emailed the owner of the B&B who replied giving directions. Jirka then drove me there so I could leave my things and then we headed back to their place for an awesome evening of games and laughs. Little did I know what awaited me the next morning 🤣🤣🤣
The next day was sunny and not too cold. Perfect for exploring a bit while the group was out skiing. BUT, I caught a stomach bug and spent the WHOLE DAY in bed. The only exploration I did was from my bed to the washroom where projectile vomiting incidents happened throughout the day 🤷♀️
Jirka, his wife and another person from our team also got sick.
This is two out of two post-covid meetups for me and I don’t like these stats. I need a new meetup to determine if it’s only a coincidence or a pattern hahaahahahaha
I was just happy I was feeling well enough to travel to Prague the day after.