Tag: "Vienna"

Where would you go on solo holiday?

A while back Sharon wrote a travel plan for visiting Anguilla alone. Rereading that plan got me thinking and now I’ve been thinking about solo travel for the past few days. Mainly because I am jealous. I’ll be home with the dogs while my wife visits family in Korea about a month from now. She takes lots of vacations from me (admittedly she deserves them for putting up with me). She took that trip to Hawaii, she has been to Beijing, she has been to Hong Kong (that one is even since I went to Hong Kong without her).

My wife is usually meeting friends or family. I also want to meet some old friends that I don’t see often. But when it’s my turn to take a trip without wifey, I think I might do something by myself. Visiting friends and family is good too, but so is alone time and meeting new people. There are certainly places for it in Europe. They have tour operators specializing in singles holidays for solo travelers where they give you more structure or more free time depending on what you want. Some people take these holidays year after year, and each time they meet some new people an see some familiar faces from previous trips.

It may be a result of too much studying, but I might try to start off by writing objectives for a solo vacation. Then I would plan activities that align with those objectives. Just like I would while writing training materials to make sure trainees achieve their goals. Although I certainly realize it may be a little sad that I am trying to plan a vacation based on the instructional design process I am studying in school.

I will meet new people.
I will meet a friend I haven’t seen in a while.
I will move and shake and exercise and be active.
I will see something new and beautiful.
I will spend some time alone.

I think my solo vacation will be a European one. I have a friend who promised to take me swimming in the Danube in Vienna. She would probably introduce me to some locals. That takes care of objective 1 and objective 2. And the swimming helps with objective 3. Plus I have never been to Vienna so there is objective 4. After a few days in Vienna, Rothenburg is next.

Rothenburg is a walled medieval city. All the stone buildings here should also be beautiful and I’ve never been to Rothenburg. I like medieval towns and I think I could walk around for a few days and relax while taking in the sights. This would achieve the fifth objective, spending some time alone. I probably have to avoid certain times because Rothenburg is a tourist destination. I have nothing against tourists, but I don’t like crowds.

Riding a bike around Anguilla sounds good too, but I don’t know anyone there and it would be fun to meet at least one old friend and one new friend during a solo holiday. Where would you go on a solo holiday? Would you try to meet new people, old friends, or be by yourself? Would you see something new or see something again? How much physical activity would you aim for?

A few of the top places on my travel wishlist

Vienna and Bratislava have been at or near the top of my travel wishlist for a really long time. So when I noticed a cruise that hit both of those cities, I started thinking about a possible vacation. I’d see two cities at the top of my list and see a few more that are probably amazing even if I had not yet heard of them. The nice thing about cruises is that you get to see a few places (and you don’t have to worry about trains, luggage, and hotels).

The itinerary according to picturesque Danube river cruises does in fact include a few places that I had not heard of, but that are now going on my list:

Regensburg: An awesome German medieval city, featuring one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube, an old merchants’ quarter, the 14th centur Old Town Hall, and more. I’m pretty happy at Florida State, but check out Regensburg University (Universitat Regensburg) and tell me you wouldn’t want to go to school there. It’s a thumbnail so click for a better view.

Universitat Regensburg

Weltenburg Abbey: Instead of Regensburg, you could book a boat cruise along the Danube Gorge and a tour of Weltenburg Abbey. This is the oldest monastery in Bavaria and boasts a courtyard surrounded by Baroque buildings. Click out the thumbnail below for a larger picture. I wouldn’t say no.

weltenburg-abbey

So the challenge on that cruise would be choosing one or the other. I think I’d have to choose Regensburg. Chances are I’d love and add it to my list of places to return to. Then when I did return, I’d stay a while and make the day trip to Weltenburg Abbey.

Then the cruise goes to Passau, the Three Rivers City where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz meet up. The fort and the cathedral are highlights here. You can skip Passau and go to Salzburg instead. I enjoyed my day in Salzburg but I never did put it on my list of places tor return to. Now that I think about it (and the oldest restaurant in Europe if I remember correctly), that could change.

Then the cruise goes to Vienna and Bratislava, the cities I was thinking about at the beginning. And finally Budapest, another place that I have never seen.

Are the best places to live also the best places to visit?

So the top 5 places to live are, according to this article, at least:

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Auckland, New Zealand
4. Munich, Germany
5. Vancouver, Canada

I find it interesting that the best places to live, with one exception, are freezing cold in winter. Apparently the people figuring this stuff out have good coats and thick socks.

Vienna, of course, is a huge tourist destination. I’ve never been, but some friends are going to take me swimming in the Danube River when I do get there. And, interestingly, the first job outside the US I ever applied for was in Vienna – I sometimes imagine if I had moved to Vienna instead of Korea back in 2001. One day, I will go.

Zurich. I’ve actually been here. Nice enough place to visit but the restaurant prices are shocking. My guess would be that it’s a better place to live than it is to visit. If we hadn’t lucked out and gotten upgraded to a suite with a kitchen, I’d probably still be cursing Zurich’s food prices.

Never been to Auckland, but I’m sure it’s a great place to visit. Just a long flight past other places I’ve never been.

Munich. I was there for the Christmas market. I’d like to see some other Christmas markets, but Munich was great and definitely one of the top places in the world to visit (check out this cool travel plan or this one). Most probably think of Oktoberfest, but that’s not when I would go. The Christmas Market was amazing but Munich is freezing in December. And so many cool daytrips are possible: Salzburg, Landshut, and Neuschwanstein to name a few.

Vancouver
is another place I’ve never been. I’ve heard it’s nice but I never thought it was in the same league as Vienna or Munich.