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May 4, 2022
Vienna, Austria Day 2: Further Adventures

It is our second day in Vienna, and Gail needed a rest day aboard ship. Russell and Cameron went on the “Vienna’s Countryside by E-Bike” optional excursion. It was four hours and had an 8:30 am start, so they had to be up bright and early.

Guests cycled alongside the Danube River to Klosterneuburg, a suburb of Vienna. According to legend, Margrave Leopold III was getting married in the 12th century when his wife’s ornate veil was taken by a gust of wind. Seven years later, Leopold found the veil miles away. A vision of St. Mary appeared and told him to build an abbey here, which he did. A highlight of the excursion is crossing the Danube at a point where there are no bridges; cyclists get to take a small raft ferry.

Klosterneubug Abbey

Cameron brings his e-bike aboard the ferry

The ferry is powered entirely by the current of the Danube, similar to a sailboat tacking. An overhead cable prevents the raft from getting carried downstream

This excursion was not recommended for beginning cyclists; it traveled a total of 23 km. But anyone who has ever been on a bicycle should have no problem. The electronic bike provides pedal assistance at several different levels; in “Turbo” mode, the bike practically propels itself.

E-bikers rode by the United Nations building in Austria. The influx of international visitors has helped transform Vienna from an old city into a younger and more vibrant one.

The Viking Vili is docked right next to Mexikoplatz. This is not a plaza filled with Mexican restaurants. It honors Mexico, the only country that protested when the Nazis annexed Austria during the Anschluss.

For anyone wishing to explore Vienna on their own, the city has an excellent subway/metro system called the “U-Bahn.” Here is a quick guide for anyone willing to be a little adventurous.

U-Bahn stations every few blocks are clearly marked with a blue “U” sign

Tickets can be purchased at a kiosk using a credit card. Just touch “Start” to begin.

The menu comes up in German, but you can simply touch the “English” button (or whatever language you prefer)

Here is the English menu. “Discount Price” is for children 6-15. (Under 6 is free.)

Here is the current price list, which is posted in English nearby. “Senior” is for 65 and older… if you are an Austrian citizen.

The U-Bahn operates entirely on the honor system; there are no turnstiles or gates. But don’t ever get caught without a valid ticket!

The Viking River Longships dock near Vorgartenstrasse on the Red line. It is a simple trip four stops southwest along the Red line to Stephansplatz, the center of Old Town.

We departed Vienna at 5:15 pm, just as it began raining. We have one more port on our Grand European Tour: tomorrow we arrive in Budapest, Hungary. But tonight, there is already a presentation on Disembarkation procedures.

There were numerous Viking River Longships in Vienna during our stay, including Vili, Egil, Jarl, Kadlin, Tir and Tor

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