Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vienna - The city of Wieners

Vienna or Wien as the Europeans call it is full of Wieners (people from Wien:)) Nathan loved Wien while we were there, and said he could definitely live there, but I'm not sure I could be a Wiener:)

Is this kind of like Wallyworld?:)
Anyway!:) We arrived at the Marriott which was right on the "ring" street! What an amazing location we stayed in! The hotel was located directly across from Stadtpark and within 10 minute walking distance from St. Stephan's Cathedral! Thank you Nathan!

Day 1
So the first morning we got up and headed over to the Hofburg Palace to see the world famous Lippizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School! We were there on a Tuesday so we couldn't see a regular performance (friday-sunday only) so went to see a morning exercise session. The building where they perform is really cool and the horses are amazingly beautiful, but my uncultured husband wasn't really into the "exercise" routine.:) I thought it would be kind of a rehearsal for the real show, but really they were just exercising - trotting, galloping, whatever it is that horses do:) But at one point Nathan held a fake gun to his head- so I guess that was our key to leave:)

Hofburg Palace

Lipizzaner Horses at the Spanish Riding School

Next up - Bonnie (Nathan's mom) had suggested that we take one of the site seeing buses around the city to get a handle on all the sites (Vienna is quite big and slightly overwhelming when you first arrive). She had done that and really enjoyed it - so that's what we did! There are several different bus tours, but we went on the Vienna Sightseeing bus - I thought it was very good and they had a lot of interesting facts and history about Vienna and the sites we were seeing! We definitely got to see more of the city this way - not sure if we would have made it out to Prater to see the Giant Ferris Wheel without the bus! We took the two hour tour and I think it was a good use of 16 euro!

Sightseeing bus

After this we decided to walk around the city and see up close the things we liked from the bus tour. We started with St. Stephan's Cathedral - Vienna's best known landmark.

St. Stephan's Cathedral

Then we had the best day just walking around the city! I love doing that! What a great way to get a really feel for the city! I have no idea how many miles we walked but it was a lot! We walked through Stadtpark, the Naschmarkt, Museums Quartier, Burggarten, little side streets and more that I can't remember!:) Nathan kept saying "I could live here":) Can you say we liked it?!:)

While we were waiting for the tram to take us back to our hotel I saw this sign!

Are you kidding me?! This was an ad in the middle of the city at a TRAM stop! I knew I liked Vienna!:)

So although they were talking about a party on Thursday we decided to take their advice and party it up at the Heuriges (local wine taverns) in Grinzig! Yes my mom and I are winos from WAAAAAAAAAY back! I 100% suggest doing this if you go to Vienna! Take Tran 38 from Schottentor to the end of the line.

We ended up at Heurige Zum Martin Sepp - great food and great WHITE wine! Yes - I said white wine! These heuriges mostly made white wine because of their location in Austria. But it was really good!

After Zum Martin Sepp we went to another place (that I can't remember the name of) but they served us wine in beer mugs - uh oh! Maybe we were over served but it was a lot of fun!:)

Two beer steins of wine? This can't be good....

Yes - two steins of wine leads to fondling of the statues - good times!:)

Great time in the Grinzig Heuriges!

Day 2

This morning we started our day at a local coffee house - the Viennese are very proud of their "coffee culture". My mom did say it was some of the best coffee she ever had!

Then on to Schonbrunn Palace. When they say you can take four hours here they aren't lying! We toured the Palace then all the grounds - more beautiful gardens! (My mom loves flowers which is one of the reasons I wanted her to come to Austria - they love their gardens in this country!)

Out front of the Palace

View of the Palace and Gardens from the Gloriette

Aren't those the cutest topiaries you've ever seen!:)

We didn't make it to the Rathaus the day before so we went to see it up close! There was a Circus there and we stopped for a bite to eat and some beer.


I got suckered into eating one of these whole fried fish - head, eyeballs, tail, and all! Yuck!

We were all a bit tired (my Dad and I had caught a cold on the trip) so we came back to the hotel so the boys could go to the sauna before the Opera! Good times:)

This night we headed to the Vienna Opera House to see the opera Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades). I had no idea I would love the Opera so much! I think it helped that they had little "teleprompter" things in front of each seat that translated the words - boy did that help! Either way the show and the singing were amazing! I purchased our seats at the last minute (why I didn't get them earlier I don't know....) so our seats were on the side and we could only see about 2/3 of the stage which was kind of a bummer, but it just makes me want to go back for another one! Does anyone know if all opera houses have those little teleprompter screens?:)

Can you see the "teleprompter"? It is to the right of my head:) Yeah for technology!:)

Such a beautiful Opera House!

If you have never been to an Opera please go if you happen to be in Vienna! Highlight of the whole trip for sure!

Day 3
We got up and headed to the train station for Munich - I hated to say goodbye to Vienna, but Oktoberfest was calling our name!

Prost! See you in Munich,


Chantal said...

I love Vienna as well. Although we were cheap and had standing room at the opera house. Still a beautiful way to see it! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Mandy said...

Hi Chantal - I LOVE your blog! I found you on the ex-pat bloggers site and have commented on a few of your posts! I figured I minus well be a follower so now I am:)

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