Europe, Travel

Out of Place at the Hotel Sacher Vienna

April 9, 2015

Out of Place at the Hotel Sacher Vienna

Part of the fun of solo travel is having the freedom to make up your plans as you go along. You can set a loose itinerary, all the while knowing that something else might come up that you’d rather do, and voilà, plans change.

Another part of the fun? Talking to fellow train passengers en route to a new city. I was on the way to Vienna from Berlin, and my seatmate struck up conversation with me. I told him how I’d just been in Germany for five weeks and spent an unforgettable three weeks at a medieval castle. I told him I had made some wonderful friends, but I was glad to be on my own again and planned to spend my time wandering aimlessly in Vienna.

He asked if I like chocolate, and of course, I replied yes. You must try to the famous Sacher-Torte, he said. Go to the Hotel Sacher, you will love it. 

I took his suggestion to heart, because what more valuable travel recommendation is there than one coming from a local?

However. I had no idea how fancy the Hotel Sacher Vienna was. Also, somehow I had traveled to Europe at age 23 with no dressy clothes in my backpack at all. No dressy shoes, just some hiking boots and Doc Marten flip-flops. My tan North Face pants that I’d bought in Stockholm were going to have to do.

Out of Place at the Hotel Sacher Vienna

I was beyond intimidated, beyond embarrassment at my lack of proper attire. Full of nerves, I said to myself Well, this is it, it’s going to be fine, just walk in there like you belong and order the damn cake. 

And that’s what I did, despite my hiking boots. I walked into this luxury hotel and asked to be seated in the café. All the while my cheeks burned, my hands shook, and my eyes darted all around me, taking in my surroundings while trying to avoid the hostess’ gaze.

This is one of the first times I ate in a sit-down restaurant by myself. I was in the center of the room and didn’t have a book or a phone to keep me occupied. I probably wrote down a few notes in my tiny spiral notebook. I mostly people watched and tried to be as present as possible while I waited for my Sacher-torte to arrive.

Out of Place at the Hotel Sacher Vienna

Of course, the chocolate cake was fantastic. I savored it as best I could, and didn’t even think to photograph it until I had already had a few bites:

Out of Place at the Hotel Sacher Vienna

Also, I felt terribly self-conscious about even using my camera in such a high-class setting that I took the picture very quickly, so of course it turned out blurry.

But it didn’t matter. I have a blurry picture of a renowned Viennese chocolate cake in an impressive hotel that was recommended to me by an Austrian on the train. I did this incredibly intimidating thing even though I knew I stood out from the rest of the patrons. Nobody cared but me. I was still served. I was treated like everyone else.

And I walked out of the Hotel Sacher Vienna smiling, in awe of my audacity. That’s not something that happens everyday.


This post is H for Hotel Sacher, part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Yesterday I featured a photo essay of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and the day before that was all about my ferry ride across Puget Sound in Seattle. Thanks for following along!

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  • Deb April 10, 2015 at 10:01 am

    WOW!! I am proud of you, and for you! It was an experience of a lifetime, I would imagine. Your joie de vivre is inspiring, Christy. Next time I hesitate having a once-in-a-lifetime treat, I will think of you, and “maybe”, go for it! The picture is clearly enticing, and the fact that the torte is already sampled makes it more tempting!

    • Christy April 10, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Don’t ‘maybe’ go for it, just go for it! 😉 I look at that picture and I’m *pretty* sure I remember how rich and heavenly the chocolate tasted. I can’t believe it was almost ten years ago.

  • AwesomelyOZ April 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I know the feeling – My boyfriend and I went to a fancy resort last year for our Anniversary and it was very fancy and historical. I swear it was like being taken back to plantation America circa 1800’s. It was insane. They preserve the hotel wonderfully and it was a beautiful spectacle. However, I definitely had moments when I fell out of my element not really for my own accord but due to how others were behaving. Just strange – still a great experience and overall wonderful. However, I know the feeling – Lol. 🙂 Glad you had a wonderful experience and were very brave during! Have a great weekend Christy! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted…What I’m Currently Learning and Sinus Infection HorrorsMy Profile

    • Christy April 11, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Iva! It’s so funny to me how we can be made to feel this way in certain circumstances, whether it’s our own perceptions or other people’s behavior. We’re all just *people*, who eat and poop and sleep and yet somehow we can feel like we don’t belong. I’m so intrigued by this resort! Where was it? How long did you stay there?

  • Rabia @TheLiebers April 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    You go girl! Any attire is the right attire for fancy chocolate! LOL

    • Christy April 11, 2015 at 9:00 am

      Haha, I think I’ll make a bumper sticker out of that 😉

  • Rea April 11, 2015 at 2:58 am

    Kudos to you! Sometimes we just have to do it right? It’s great that you were able to try that place. I sometimes hesitate to take photos of a place too when I feel a little intimidated. Geez
    Rea recently posted…15 Things To Think About When BloggingMy Profile

    • Christy April 11, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Yes, sometimes we just need to do it, despite feeling like a ten-year-old sneaking into a fancy adult party, haha.

  • Kate April 15, 2015 at 4:24 am

    YES! I think it’s awesome that you did this! I’m also in total awe about the idea of this chocolate cake now.
    Kate recently posted…The ‘mini Euro trip’ planMy Profile

    • Christy April 15, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Thanks, Kate! There’s a bakery near me that makes Sacher-tortes and I’ve been craving it the last few days, haha.

  • Marjie April 24, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Good for you! That’s how life should be lived. I always remember my dad telling me that trying things that intimidate us or make us feel uncomfortable is what reminds us that we’re alive.

    Now I have to go dig up some chocolate in the fridge… you got me craving.
    Marjie recently posted…Gear Review: Exped Air PillowMy Profile

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