When even something written in your native tongue makes no sense.
I am ever on the lookout for activities in Vienna and so subject myself to more newsfeeds than is probably rational, and frequently wade through expat blogs that are little more than thinly veiled product reviews in my attempt to plan interesting photography projects and meaningful weekends in Vienna that go beyond the current epidemic of “Flöhmarkt” (flea markets) and “Best Brunch” blogs plaguing the city. Unfortunately my newsfeeds have become the dumping ground for so much that is not newsworthy; and wading through is an exercise in tedium. One of the most recent offenders has even been Vienna’s own official English-language tourism site, vienna.info. Oh, the garbage its editors push out…
This is a “Share” by the city’s official English-language tourism site of a Vienna blogger article and her (outdated) “50 Things to do in Vienna” list. Sounds interesting, no? Spoiler: it is not. It’s just another odd list by an ex-pat who fancies themselves a Vienna travel guide writer.
Allow me to elaborate. At the time this aforementioned blog post was written, the writer had been living in Vienna for at least three years (or 150+ weekends) and according to her list had still not visited the Albertina; the Hapsburg apartments; Melk Abbey; or the Saturday Naschmarkt flea market (perhaps this one is understandable). It being that all of the aforementioned appear in practically every piece of tourist literature, including the city’s own official tourism website, this list is considered inspirational?*
A further examination of the list of, “50 things to do in Vienna in 52 weekends,” offers 10 activities that are not even in Vienna at all. There are gems such as the Eggenburg Ossuary, a bone collection some 90 minutes northwest of Vienna. An odd “Bucket List” item, or perhaps a curiosity discovered on Atlas Obscura and added to the list. And, “Ice Skating on Neusiedlersee?” Sure, visitors should take a pass on the Wiener Eistraum, in front of Vienna’s beautiful Rathaus and instead schlepp more than an hour away on the train and hope there is ice on Neusiedl Lake on which to skate.
My favorite on the list (insert sarcasm) is the suggestion to, “Learn to speak B1 German.” Really? As a visitor to Vienna, whenever might one be inspired* to learn the German language, and especially to that level?
*I wrote to the vienna.info folks to express my dismay over posting what is really just one blogger’s wish list and promoting it as tourism. The response from a representative was about what I expected: “We are not responsible for the content in this article but we like to share articles which inspire people to do some activities in and around Vienna.” Translation: we did not read the content and are simply relying on the click-throughs. It really is a shame that the World’s Most Livable City‘s official English-language tourism website thinks non-German language speakers are easily appeased.
But to end on a positive note, there is now one less “inspirational” feed clogging up my news rolls!