The episode on Vienna was the first full show we shot on the road for the series. We filmed the Chinatown and Reno/Tahoe shows on multiple days over a few months as they were local. But, it’s a different ballgame when you are filming on five consecutive long days in a foreign country. To land in Vienna with our crew on a Wednesday night and be on camera by 9am the next morning was an adventure, to say the least.
We hired a driver and tour guide to take us around the city to some of the famed sites. We also met up with a friend who is an actor/director living in Vienna so he could show us his hidden spots. We had the great fortune of recording our visit to Vienna while aboard an AmaWaterways cruise, too. But, I also wanted to capture the Vienna I remembered from my youth.
My dad was a pilot when I was growing up. I lived in the Chicago suburbs in a raucous, close-knit family of five kids. We were lucky to have journeyed to Europe multiple times over my childhood. It’s where my love of travel (and my packing expertise) originated. My mom told us we had two suitcases for the whole family and we each got a small spot for our clothes. I’ve been a highly efficient packer ever since!
I remember one trip being utterly amazed at Vienna. I vividly recall seeing the Spanish Riding School, sitting in the Hotel Sacher indulging in chocolate cake, and walking through streets that looked like they belonged in a fairy tale.
In my worldwide travels over the years a return visit to Vienna escaped me...until this show. So, you’ll see true emotion as I burst with excitement over being back in this magical city. The last time I was there I was a carefree kid. Since then my father passed away, as well as one of my sisters. Walking through St. Stephen’s Cathedral, I lit candles in their honor as tears welled up in my eyes.
I hope you enjoy this very personal episode and feel the electricity, elegance, and delicious history of Vienna. Prost!
Spanish Riding School
Republic of Austria Parliament Tours
Museum of Art History
Museum of Natural History
Vienna City Hall
University of Vienna
Museum of Johann Strauss
Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel
Kaffee Alt Wien
Gerstner K. u. K. Hofzuckerbäcker
Trattoria Santo Stefano
Alt Wiener Würstelstand
Schlumberger Grüner Veltliner Sekt
St. Stephen's Cathedral
Hotel Sacher Wien
NV k. k. Hoflieferant Brut Sacher Cuvée Welschriesling
Vienna State Opera