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Wandering the World

Stories and tips from around the world.

Vienna

Trip Preparation

Going to Vienna was not something I’d considered, whether for this year, or in general. I’d been through Austria briefly on my way to Obersalzberg from Munich, but hadn’t spent any proper time there. So I was likely to go one day, but that was a nebulous thing that could be any time.

Carmen was invited to Vienna, along with her classmates from the London Dance Studio in Hammersmith, to watch their teacher compete in the dancing competition part of EuroGames Vienna 2024.

EuroGames are the premier multi-sports event in Europe celebrating diversity in sexual orientation, sex characteristics and gender identity. Started in 1992, the main goal is to provide a safe space for everyone to come together and play sports. EuroGames are oriented towards LGBTIQ+ athletes (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer), but are open to everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age and skill level.

I thought this would be something that she’d go to with her classmates, if she decided to go. I didn’t realise it would end up being an opportunity to visit this Austrian city myself. More than half a year passed since this was first mentioned, but then five weeks before the EuroGames, Carmen happened to look into it again. She’d seen there was a parkrun there, and suggested we could both go, and do an international parkrun as well.

I eagerly looked into it, to see what costs would be like, but then found that the chances of getting the time off work to go at short notice was going to be fairly slim. A lot of people would be off due to it being the July holidays, and I assumed that was the end of it. I did however, just in case there was any chance at all, put in a holiday request just so I could see it being rejected as expected. I thought maybe as the best-case scenario, I could work from Vienna for a couple of days, and have the weekend for tourism. Almost a week later the leave was approved, and suddenly I was going to be going to Vienna with Carmen after all!

I’d still got notes from when I’d briefly looked into the possibility, so I started with those, and confirmed there were flights still available, but needed to wait for Carmen to be available to discuss first. We both went with Austrian Airlines over the other options as they had the right balance of time and price to suit us.

Accommodation was a little trickier. What we’d seen previously was no longer available, and even one place close to Hundertwasserhaus that was available one lunch time, was gone by the evening. The school holidays are not the best time to be going anywhere really, and even less when you’re trying to keep to a budget.There wasn’t much available close to the sights and where Carmen needed to be for the EuroGames, so we picked a place about half-way between the sights and parkrun, located in a place that reviewers say is quiet, but is also near transport links. It seemed like the perfect balance.

In terms of costs, the flights and AirBNB came to £1,180 for five nights for the two of us. Whilst this sounds expensive, it was cheaper than my trip to Italy a couple of years ago. Researching other dates, I could see for the same period of time but for the following June, so not even July), it would have been about 18% more expensive. That seemed to rule out the price being down to it being last minute, or during peak times. I think travel within Europe at least, is in general more expensive since the pandemic.

I also pre-booked tickets for us to go up the Donauturm on the Saturday as it just so happened to be in the same park as the parkrun. Carmen found a LEGO store nearby she wanted to visit as well for a stamp in our LEGO passports, so that’d be Saturday morning spoken for. The rest of the sights I included in my normal spreadsheet, and noted that some others would need pre-booking if we were to see them.

The only thing I wasn’t sure about now was the news that there was the possibility of us attending a black tie event on Saturday evening in relation to the dance competition… oh, boy.

Tags: austria preparation travel trips vienna

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© David G. Paul