Photo courtesy of Wallpaper Hint
I was invited to participate in a blogging competition offered by Go With Oh, a company that offers the best in vacation rental properties in 10 European cities. The competition is simple:
- Select one of the 10 cities where Go With Oh operates (Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Venice, Dublin or Florence).
- Write a blog post about 5 things I'd most like to do or experience in that city.
And what do I get if I win? Free apartment accommodations in up to four European destinations for a month!
I usually don't have much luck at winning contests, and rarely do I have the time to enter them. This one is so easy I figured, heck, what do I have to lose?! So, here goes.
Out of the 10 cities I get to choose from, I select Vienna. Why? Because of all the cities listed, Vienna is the one that I have not been to and probably have the most connection with. Read on and you'll see what I mean.
The 5 things I'd most like to do or experience in Vienna are:
- Walk in the footsteps of the great composers. Most of you don't know that I'm a classicaly trained pianist. Yep, that's right. I spent years as a child in piano lessons, competitions and concerts. I played them all, including the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and Strauss -- all composers who lived, studied and performed in Vienna. While the idea of competing and playing publicly today makes me shudder, I am still moved by these great artists and their music. I get goose bumps thinking about a visit to Mozarthaus where Mozart lived and composed many of his great works like The Marriage of Figaro; or listening to Symphony No. 5 in Vienna's Burgtheater where Beethoven made his first public appearance in 1795. The experience would be nothing short of magical!
- Get lost in the city's idealic romance. Hey, I'm a girl. I like romance. I can see myself whiling away an afternoon over a delicious pastry in a chandelier-lit coffee house; daydreaming over Gustav Klimt's The Kiss, the mosaic-like painting portraying a couple locked in a tender embrace on a bed of flowers; taking a spin around the city at night in a horse-drawn Fiaker carriage; or rising above it all for breathtaking views of Vienna's cityscape on the Riesenrad Ferris wheel. A girl like me could be swept away by such things!
- Dream of a bygone era. What's better: reading about historical data in a history book, or seeing and touching it up close and personally? I know which one gets my vote. I'd rather wander along Vienna's narrow, medieval alleyways exploring the city; crossing its imperial squares admiring the old glory; and stepping into the city's magnificent palaces to marvel at their majestic architecture. Oh yea, that's definitely the way I prefer to learn about its deep-rooted history!
- Get out of town. Let's do the math. You have a city (in this case, Vienna) perfectly situated as home base for visiting other cities and towns. Add in a great train system with numerous routes, and you have the perfect equation for inexpensive day trips. Yeah! I simply love the idea of spending a day in the charming medieval city center of Graz, or the picturesque city of Salzburg with its small alleys, quaint colorful homes and rich castles and palaces. All the while, doing it without moving my suitcase!
- Wine and dine my way through the city. I firmly believe you get to know a city best through its food culture (or, maybe that's just my stomach talking). Just thinking about it makes my mouth salivate for a Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal escalope) with a side of Erdapfel Salat (potatoes with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper). A trip to Vienna's Schnaps Museum would be in order for sampling some of the finest schnaps in the country; as well as, Esterhazy Palace's wine cellar for a tete-a-tete over homegrown Riesling and Gruner Veltline wines. Trust me when I say, I'm OK returning home with an expanded waistline!
So, do you think I stand a chance of winning? I guess we will have to wait and see. By the way, you have a chance of winning some fabulous prizes, too. Go With Oh is also giving away four prizes, including an IPad 2, Samsonite luggage, a Panasonic Lumix camera, and a €500 gift certificate for their apartment rentals in their Facebook competition. Check it out!
UPDATE: Drats! I didn't win. It's really no surprise--I mean, I entered into the running with some pretty amazing bloggers. The selection had to be a difficult task. So, congratulations to the winner and runners up!! Maybe next time . . .