Monday, November 05, 2007

Vienna Vacation (part 1)

Apparently the word "Vacation" has its origin from the word "Vacate". At least that's how I understood it from reading this definition from
Origin: 1350–1400; vacātiōn- (s. of vacātiō freedom from something; see vacate, -ion)

I'll be going off for a two-week vacation in Vienna.

Yeah. Where the Danube river flows and inspired Strauss to compose one of his masterpiece (at least the part that flows through Austria, I think).

But I certainly don't feel free, and my mind isn't empty of work. At least not now.

The irony (to me) was that in trying to prepare for my vacation, I'm spending more time doing work now, so that I can clear as much as I can before I go for my break.

I suppose it's necessary to give me a greater peace of mind, if I know that I've done my share of the work. And that my colleagues aren't cursing and swearing in my absence, for having to do my share, heh.

Anyway, part of this "lack of peace of mind" was because I was totally clueless about Vienna.

So I did what I usually do when preparing to travel.

I hit the library.

The Travel Guides section, to be specific.

Now, it's not that I don't check the Internet.

I did.

In fact, it was the first thing I did (let's face it -- Google's just at my finger tips, and I'm facing the computer most of the time, than wandering among the library shelves).

But there's always a point where I want to check what's in print as well.

It's not that the Internet resource isn't reliable or credible (they are, and more updated than a printed edition sometimes). But somehow I find comfort in verifying the information in print.

Plus I find useful information in print, that might not be presented the same way on the Internet site.

For instance, this guidebook I found today -- "Wallpaper City Guide: Vienna (Wallpaper City Guide)"
ISBN: 9780714847344
NLB Call No.: 914.361304 V - [TRA] (travel guides section)

It was in a handy pocketbook format. Plenty of pictures (more so than what I found at a single website). It suggested specifically on what one could do when exploring the city.

There's a section "24 Hours: See the best of Vienna in just one day" that suggests on a few notable places to visit. Shows the insides of restaurants; there's a "Architour" section showing some of Vienna's iconic buildings (all modern architecture).

The "Essential Information" segment (2 pages) provided useful addresses and telephone numbers.

I like how they provided a short "Cost Of Living" segment, on transport costs (airport to city centre is 40 euros), a cappuccino (2.90 euros), daily newspaper (1.20 euros). Gives one a benchmark on how much things would cost there.

This particular guide covers shopping tips (come to think of it, almost all travel guidebooks never fail to include shopping).

I decided not to borrow the guidebook though.

I learned from two other guidebooks (I may blog about them if there's time) about the Vienna Woods. That interested me more than shopping. So this guidebook didn't mention how to get to the Vienna woods and the Danube river.

Overall this guide seems to cater more for the up-market travellers rather than those on a budget. Unfortunately this guide doesn't indicate when it was published.

So I'll borrow some other guidebook instead. Still, having browsed this one gave me a better idea of what I might not want to do, so that I'm more focused when planning my itinerary.

My vacation starts on the 7th.

In two days.

But maybe I should borrow another sort of book.

Not a travel guide.

A book that teaches one how to empty one's mind.

I think I need to do that first, in order to really enjoy my vacation. : )


  1. Don't worry lah. The minute you get on the plane, your mind will automatically empty itself. What can you do anyway, now that you're on the way to another country? Remember, 休息是为了走更长的路, so getting away from work for a while will make you a better employee when you're back.

  2. Vienna is lovely and easy to get around. Relax in one of the art deco cafes and have a nice cup of coffee and chocolate torte. Take a day trip by boat to Melk and check out the medieval library there. If you have time, drop by Haus der Musik, a museum dedicated to music.

    Have fun!


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