Mr and Ms X had only been to Salzburg on a previous trip to Austria so it was a treat to visit Vienna. What is a visit to this city without acknowledging its musical roots? Ms X dragged Mr X along to a classical concert in a beautiful venue. Mr X will be the first one to admit that he was glad she did as the whole evening was pretty special. It was like the orchestra recognised that they should not scare the audience too much so engaged the group with their humour without sacrificing their art.

The Viking Cruise offered a subway/walking tour for the spritely, energetic and sharp ones who weren’t afraid to independently navigate their way back to the ship in their own time. This was perfect for our travelling retirees. Checking out the Hoffburg, the Hapsburg’s (the Austrian royalty) original hangout became an area of interest, particularly for Ms X. The legend of one of the former empresses, Elizabeth (Sissy) who married Frans Josef became a bit of an obsession for Ms X, so much so that she downloaded a Sissy  biography and continued reading about her as the trip continued.

The Viennese coffee culture may well rival Melbourne as the Austrians take this very seriously.

It was great to meet up with their Program Director, Caitlyn who guided them to Cafe Central, the exact place in which Tito, Hitler and Einstein all visited in the same month in the 1930s. Sitting in the historic place, Ms X could almost feel and sense the spies of the past around her.

Mr and Ms X had heard that Mr A’s parents were also visiting Vienna at the same time and without too much help from the Pascoe Vale Pair, they were able to use their Amazing Race skills that have lain dormant for so long. They tracked them down and enjoyed a wonderful catch up and ‘travel story swap’ visit.