once you are caught by the unlimited urge to travel the world and Wanderlust has become your daily companion there is no way out of trying to satisfy the craving for seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and just letting the world envelop you with its beauty and excitement.
but sometimes, no matter how much you want to leave and let go, you cannot, due to life, obligations, work etc … but still wanderlust people always do find a way to explore and satisfy their craving! those are the moments when i become a tourist in my own city and head out to explore corners and places that i have never seen before and i pack my day full with exciting and sometimes relaxing adventures.
and what is there best to do in the final weeks of the year, when work has taken its toll on you, festivities are ahead of you and you simply need a quick break? take a day off and do things that you would normally do when you are on vacation.
my last “being a tourist in vienna” day was a rainy, cold and absolutely nasty sunday, a day that did not allow for any outdoor activities and neither for a shopping spree, since shops in vienna are all closed on sundays, so i decided to visit a day spa. something which until recently wasn’t really possible in vienna, however slowly but surely even vienna is hosting some nice day spas that allow for several hours of relaxation and unwinding. i booked myself some treatments at the brand new sans souci spa, at the sans souci hotel.
the sans souci hotel is a new addition to viennas former rather old fashioned hotel scene. the design hotel is a pleasure for the eye from the outside, representing original viennese architecture and the inside invites you to the creative world of no one other than philippe starck .
the spa is very calm and easy on the eye. after a short introduction the hours of unwinding can begin. you can spend almost a full day just going from sauna to pool to massage to taking a nap and doing the whole round over and over again. the very attentive staff helps you with tea and some healthy bar food or leaves you alone to solely enjoy the peaceful and quiet ambiance. my massage was send from heaven and the grape seed scrub gave my tired skin exactly what i needed. the 20m indoor pool was perfect for swimming some lapps and after several hours of enjoying the pleasure of doing nothing i had to force myself to leave these heavenly halls of relaxation.
before i headed outside into the rainy winter night i had a well deserved and well needed glass of champagne at the lovely hotel bar.
unfortunately the bar is a smoking bar, but thanks to the fact that there were no other guests i could enjoy my glass of champagne without trying to survive heavy smoke attacks. the bar is marvelous in its architecture and interior design, if this would be somewhere in london or paris it would definitely be a hot spot but vienna is not the city of bars yet, so we have to give it some time and until then enjoy the champagne in solitude admiring the interior world of philippe starck.
being a foodie i had to incorporate a new culinary experience into my day of “being a tourist in vienna” and explore a restaurant which i have never been to before. my choice for the night was a lebanese restaurant, the al badawi. they serve lovely lebanese mezze (various appetizers served all together to be eaten with pita bread) and grilled meat platters, but be aware, the mezze are so tasty and filling that you can hardly eat a main course afterwards.
when i travel to foreign countries i love to drink local beer and thank god the restaurant had a lovely and light lebanese beer to accompany my culinary experience.
once i had reached the peek of enjoyment i decided to let the evening end with a good movie, something i also love to do in foreign places. wandering to a movie theater and watching either local movies or movies in original version. sometimes that can be quite challenging … especially when the movie is in catalan with spanish subtitles for example …
but challenges set aside, this movie evening was more easy on the ear since vienna offers many english movie theaters ….
the moment you take the public transportation (cause that is what tourists do, of course you do not take your car that day ;-)) to get to your own home it is just as if you returned back home from a trip to a foreign place. a day away from home at home can be just as exciting as a trip to paris or london. the truth about how you spend your free time is all just in the eye of the beholder …
P.S: one more day spa recommendation:
if you are in the mood for a real and true Moroccan hamam visit “mon Corps” , this is the place to go to for experiencing the traditional moroccan ritual of cleansing and unwinding.
so i will be back soon telling you about other traveling adventures, until then keep the wanderlust up and running!