One and done: A Virtual Vacation to Vienna
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A Virtual Vacation, is a way to daydream and live vicariously through other people's eyes and experiences in the hope that one day you may be able to physically be able to go and enjoy a country for yourselves.
Hopefully you can learn something, discover some hidden gems, and take away some ideas for when you do get there; in real life.

Typically, those have a duration of one month's worth of material in them.

But what about places where you can't really see yourself spending an entire month?
Almost anyone could travel around France or Spain or Italy or Germany, etc. and find plenty to amuse them for a month.
But is there a month's worth of things to do and see in Austria, for example?

Maybe if you're planning a vacation with a much more relaxed pace. Spend a week here, another nine days there, maybe hang out for five days in a smaller city and really get a feel for local life.

But a Virtual Vacation tends to be splashy. On the move. Lots to do, lots to see. What's next?

With that in mind, I invented this this new concept. One location, one big push to find out what makes a place unique and worth visiting.
Then wait for a lull in the geeklists and throw another one in there.

Feel free to do that yourself-- you can feature your own hometown or a location that you know and love, or some other place that you think has visitor appeal but maybe not a month's worth. If you know what I mean.

This mini-vacation will be to the lovely city of Vienna, in Austria.

If you enjoy this vacation, please comment and add your thoughts and images to any topic that you see.
You can also check out our previous eight destinations (as well as one other mini-vacation) by clicking on these (fabulous) links:

VGG Virtual Vacation #1 - BELGIUM
VGG Virtual Vacation #2- Australia!
Join us! Virtual Vacation #3-- Italy
Virtual Vacation #4 - Scotland
Virtual Vacation #5-- Japan!
Virtual Vacations #6- Canada
Virtual Vacation #7- India
Virtual Vacation #8 - Ireland

Mini:
One and done- A Virtual Vacation to Buenos Aires

One and done: A Virtual Vacation to Iceland
One and done: A Virtual Vacation to Denmark

Virtual Vacation discussion thread:
VGG Virtual Vacations

And if you haven’t done so already, as always, consider buying a relevant microbadge. Like...
Microbadge: Traveller Microbadge: World Traveller
Microbadge: I love Austria Microbadge: I love Austria! Microbadge: I love Austrian food
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1. Board Game: Challenge Austria [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Challenge Austria
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Vienna is the capital city of the country of Austria.
Austria ia a mountainous country that is squeezed in-between Italy and Slovenia (to the south), Germany and the Czech Republic (to the north), Switzerland and Liechtenstein (to the west) and Slovakia and Hungary (to the east).
Seeing as it is both land-locked and bordered by so many other countries, its history was often one of war and political instability. The death of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, in 1914, was said to be the trigger to the start of World War I, and the country was annexed by Germany in World War II.
The topic of the wars are still a sensitive subject, even today, so the less said about those the better.

Some of the more well-known cities are Innsbruck (home of the 1976 winter olympic games), Salzburg (birthplace of the composer Mozart), and Graz (it has six universities with almost 60,000 students), but the capital city of Vienna is where we will be focusing our attention.
It is located in the upper northeast corner of the country, quite close to Bratislava—the capital city of Slovakia.

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(The Czech Republic was officially re-named Czechia, in 2016, but no one calls it that!)
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2. Board Game: Mind Your Language [Average Rating:4.25 Unranked]
Board Game: Mind Your Language
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Austria recognizes four languages (including Hungarian and Slovenian) as official, but the language that most of the local residents will be speaking is German; especially in Vienna.
The dialect of German spoken in Austria, except in the west, is Bavarian, sometimes called Austro-Bavarian.
But that just means that signs will be written in German first, and possibly English after that-- if you're in a particuarly touristy location.

So then; German.
A difficult language to learn if you’re already familiar with the so-called “Romance Languages”, since most words do not have any basis in Latin or French. English is actually a branch of a Germanic language.
German words beginning with a ‘V’ are pronounced with an ‘F’, while words beinning with a ‘W’ are pronounced with a ‘V. This is particularly relevant since the city of Vienna is known, in Austria and Germany, as “Wien”.

One other note: A double 'S' is always pronounced as a single English 'S' would be, as in words such as 'seal' or 'self'. This sound is written 'SS' but only when the preceding vowel in a word is ‘short’ (Essen is pronounced “Esin”).
Otherwise, it is written 'ß' and appears only in the middle or at the end of words (straße is pronounced “strahss-uh”).

Some basic words and phrases for travellers follow:


Hello Hallo
How are you? Wie geht es? (“Vee gates”)
Goodbye Auf Wiedersehen (“Off Vee-dersane”)
Please Bitte
Thank-you Danke
My name is Mien name ist…
Can you take us to the hotel? Können Sie uns zum Hotel bringen?
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3. Board Game: Climate Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Climate Game
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The weather in Austria on this date is 10 – 13 C (50 – 55 F); overcast with a chance of rain.
The crowds of tourists have cleared out though, mostly, and hotel rates have dropped since the end of the “high season”.
It’s the end of October, so the parks and surrounding countryside are full of leaves. On the ground, rather than on the trees.

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You’ll need a light coat, maybe an umbrella if you’re worried about that sort of thing, but generally it should be a pleasant day for a look around today.
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4. Board Game: Money! [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1788]
Board Game: Money!
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Austria uses the Euro (€) as the official currency in the country.
This month (October 2018), the exchange rate is approximately US $1.15, CAD $1.50, or £0.88 (for the best customers of the banks—your actual exchange rate will be some points lower/ worse).
In other words, things will be slightly more expensive for Americans and slightly less expensive to British travellers. Canadians are used to seeing foreign prices at 50% more than normal.
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5. Board Game: Let's Learn About Different Food [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Let's Learn About Different Food
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There is one iconic food item from Austria that is well-known around the world: Sachertorte
Invented by Franz Sacher in Vienna in 1832, for Prince Wenzel von Metternich, it’s basically a chocolate cake, thinly coated by hand with best-quality apricot jam and topped with chocolate ganache. It is often served with a portion of unsweetened whipped cream.

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Since it contains a lot of eggs, it is light and fine-crumbed, not gummy like a Devil’s Food cake for instance.

Recipe: https://www.austria.info/uk/things-to-do/food-and-drink/favo...

Or, if you're not into rich chocolate cakes, you could opt for a flakey Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)

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So we all know that, “Life is short—Eat dessert first!”, but what will we be eating and drinking at our regular meals?
German food is not the most sought-after style by food lovers, but it is filling and often simple in its preparation and approach. “Meat and Potato” lovers will be fine here.

Wiener Schnitzel is certainly the most successful export to the world. It's a (thin) breaded veal cutlet that is pan-fried in butter or oil, often garnished with lemon and parsley.
Served with a simple salad, or potatoes (or even french fries).

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How about Austrian Goulash? Beef stew seasoned with tomatoes, onion, and paprika. In Vienna often comes with Semmelknödel (bread dumplings).

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After the meal, if you're a coffe lover then you're in luck. Consider ordering a Melange (Viennese Coffee).

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Similar to a cappuccino but usually without cocoa powder, is topped with half hot milk and half foamed milk.
Cappuccinos in Austria are generally topped with whipped cream, rather than milk.
If you're looking for an Americano, ask for a Verlängerter (literally, "longer").
Plain coffee with cream is a Brauner, and an espresso or double espresso is referred to as a Schwartzer.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for a quick lunch on the streets, consider a Wiener Würstel (Viennese Sausage).
Served with sharp mustard, it's a high-class "hot dog".

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A weiner würstelstand.
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To drink (besides coffee), Austria loves its beer-- typically a pale lager, served icy cold, or wine (mainly white, as that is the style of grape grown locally):

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Wine, incidentally, is spelled wein in German, while Vienna is spelled wien, so it is possible to find "Wien wein" on a menu!
And remember that "W" is pronounced as "V".

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6. Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:95]
Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel
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There are loads of hotels, bed and breakfast, and hostels in Vienna.

You won't find anything more iconic than the "Grand Hotel Wien"
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Located in the Innere stradt ("Old Town Vienna"-- the first settlement established in the city). The neighborhood is encircled by the grand Ringstrasse boulevard, and it contains many historic sites, eye-popping cathedrals, and popular resident and tourist stops.

We're splurging today, for rooms at €250 per night. But we'll be able to walk all over the downtown and use this as a central base.
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7. Board Game: Vienna [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3862]
Board Game: Vienna
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Vienna is home to about 1.8 million people, and if you include the area between it and Bratislava in nearby Slovakia there are about 3 million inhabitants in this immediate region.

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It is often the "highlight of the tour" on many river cruises and other package excursions. It is a popular city to visit year round; Christmas being one of the best times to be in it.

It seems to be a very elegant and beautiful city (architecturally), and the citizens are well-known as being warm and welcoming.

Many tourists will travel by rail, from Vienna to Budapest (Hungary)-- 12 trains per day-- a trip of about 2 1/2 hours in length, as an interesting day trip.

But we are here to see the city itself today. What's down this strasse (street)?

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The Imperial Palace (Hofburg)-- and museum

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Schönbrunn Palace (and gardens/ maze)

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8. Board Game: Wien! [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Wien!
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Vienna is intersected by the Donau (Danube) river which runs roughly NW to SE and splinters off into other various canals and even forms its own river canal: The Wien.

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Along the Donau canal

It is often referred to as "The City of Music" (famous for its operas and classical composers-- like Johann Strauss; master of the Waltz-- throughout the Baroque Era), but it is also known as "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychotherapist – Sigmund Freud.

It was recently (2018) named "The World's Most Liveable City". Number one!

So you'll be able to enjoy other sights once you've had your fill of Baroque architecture and filigreed decoartions.

For instance, there's the Hundertwasserhaus, a series of crazy apartment blocks with forested roofs:

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There's always a relaxing stroll through a park to ease your mind

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(Probably not that green right now, but you get the idea...)

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The palace interior at Schönbrunn

Further afield, you can hike in the surrounding hills and mountains

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The Wachau Valley

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9. Board Game: Gates of Vienna [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked]
Board Game: Gates of Vienna
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There are loads of museums in the area, but this list item will focus on some of the lesser-known sights.

Many people visit St. Steven's Cathedral in the Old Town, but if you go inside then you might be able to find a tour of the crypt (complete with bones and skulls!) below the church.

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Stephansdom Crypt

Nearby, you can stand outside and watch the figures on the Anchor Clock in the market square; just north of St. Steven's Cathedral.
The clock housing connects two buildings, and it plays musical selections every hour as well.

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The clock can be found at the Hoher Markt (High Market)

Speaking of clocks, The Viennese Clock Museum is housed in the Harfenhaus (Harpist’s House), one of the oldest homes in Vienna. With around 1,000 clocks on display, you'll always be on time.

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The “Uhrenmuseum”

If you can climb stairs and aren't afraid of heights, consider the Observation Tower in a park north of the city center.

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Jubilaeumswarte

Or if you'd rather take an elevator 252 meters to an observation room that overlooks the Danube river...

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Donau Observation Tower-- and BUNGEE JUMP!!
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