We had all strolled down Dorotheegasse together. The boys were urging one more adventure. It was nine in the evening, though, and we had been on our feet all day. Ellie and I held out for cashing in and heading for the pension. And thus it was that we split up, they to their adventure, we back to our hotel, or so we supposed. We had been in Wien three days and except for an excursion to Schloss Schönbrunn we had scarce been farther than a kilometer from the hotel.
We had "done" the Kunsthistoriche, had had Sacher torte at The Sacher Hotel. We had explored the Stephansdom and its immediate environs. This evening we had witnessed a performance of The Wiener Sängerknaben We knew our way around. And we were young, Ellie and I, in our fifties.
So we walked. And walked. And as foot traffic and vehicular traffic became increasingly lighter there began to arise in our consciousness the awareness that somewhere we had made a wrong turn. Then soon we were gripped by the cold reality that we had no idea where we were nor any notion as to how to get where we wanted to be. And we walked. Ellie, who seldom complained about anything, remarked that her feet were beginning to hurt. "Killing me," I think she said.
And we walked, turning from one street into another, alleys really at this point. Wound in and out of lanes, increasingly more narrow and now completely deserted. Dark, dismal, and eerie. Then we found ourselves staring at the Donaukanal.
That at least suggested that we needed to be going the other direction.
So we walked.
And eventually we turned into a street from which we could see the spire of St. Stephansdom.
And thus we found our way home, arriving there long after our cohorts had called it a day and had returned to the digs.
See also Spanish Riding School
Word of the day: walk: it's what you do.