One bright, beautiful morning in late April I set out on the adventure of a lifetime – my first solo trip – by boarding an Air Berlin flight from Abu Dhabi to Berlin Tegel.
After a brief stopover in Berlin, I hopped on a Niki Airlines flight (an airline I didn’t even know existed until a few days earlier) to the first destination of my mini Eurotrip – Vienna!
I was met at Vienna International Airport by a chauffeur service I had arranged beforehand. My first brush with a true Wiener was not entirely promising (I did not make that up, I promise. Vienna is called Wien in German). The gentleman barely spoke any English and the extent of my German was Guten Tag/Morgen and Danke. It may have been professional courtesy but he seemed rather aloof.
Being the determined tourist that I was, I could not lose this opportunity to strike up a conversation with a local and so as we made our way to my hotel, I asked him for insider recommendations. His answer was “Ice cream. But Vienna too cold now…” after which he relapsed into an uncomfortable silence. A part of me rejoiced that the people of Vienna shared my passion for frozen desserts but I also resigned myself to the fact that this particular local would not be much help in fine tuning my itinerary. Further attempts at conversation included me asking about the recent Viennese elections to which he responded by pulling out his mobile car charger and saying “Yes, you can charge your phone”. By this point I decided it would be better to just enjoy the scenery of Vienna in silence.
A short drive later we reached the place that I would call home for the next few days – the Schweizer Pension Solderer. You can read my TripAdvisor review about the Schweizer Pension Solderer by clicking here. If you are looking for reasonably priced accommodation in an excellent location with major landmarks within walking distance and superb personalized customer service, the Schweizer Pension Solderer is the choice for you. The place has some quirks as mentioned in my review but for the most part I would happily go back there if I were ever to visit Vienna again.
I cannot write about my accommodations at Vienna without mentioning Klaus, the owner of the Schweizer Pension Solderer. I will admit one of the main reasons I loved my time in Vienna was because of people like Klaus. In spite of being busy with his responsibilities as manager, he would always make time to address any questions and to give me his insider suggestions. I lost count of the number of times he gave me detailed directions and patiently explained routes to this directionally challenged woman. For a first time solo female traveler, this level of concern was invaluable in making me feel safe and well taken care of. I will forever be grateful to Klaus for his help in making my stay in Vienna a truly memorable one.
I spent some time that first morning settling in and going over my itinerary with Klaus. After unpacking and freshening up a bit, I felt ready to set out on my explorations.
Stay tuned for my next Viennese post to see what I got up to in the City of Dreams.
Until next time…