Adam and Katie's great adventure 2017 travel blog

Schonbrunn palace

Hippo at the zoo!


Adam and the monkeys

The Spanish riding school

The horses

The Hofburg palace

Outside the opera house

The standing area in the opera house

Our great view of the stage


We started our final four nights of travelling by checking into the Hilton to finish our trip in luxury.

The Schonbrunn Palace was the first place we visited, a former imperial summer palace. We took an audio guide and visited 40 of the 1,441 rooms of the Palace. Each room was decorated in a different style to the previous, with each room looking grandeur than previous Palaces we have visited.

As we are in wind down mode we decided to keep each day simple and spread our itinerary out over our final 4 days.

Day two we decided to have a break from sight seeing and visited the local zoo. There was a variety of animals to see ranging from Kola bears to Pandas. We took our time wondering around and even got to see some of the animals being feed.

Day three we attended a performance at the Spanish Riding School where the beautiful lipizzaner horses are trained to complete the piaffe, the passage, pirouettes and to change legs in the canter. The rider and horse work so closely together they are totally in sync. The Spanish Riding School is the only institution that has practised for more than 450 years. The School takes the “Spanish” part of its name from the horses which originated from the Iberian Peninsula during the 16th century and which were considered especially noble, spirited and willing and suited for the art of classical horsemanship. The building its self was completed in 1735 as part of the Hofburg palace as the winter riding school. This arena along with the beautiful horses made this an unforgettable experience. After the riding school we headed to a local coffee shop for which Vienna is famous for for a Sachatorte cake (basically a chocolate cake with marmalade). It was amazing and definitely something we are going to have to try and make when we get back to the UK.

For our last evening we decided to try something a bit different and what better way to finish our time in Vienna than with a trip to the Opera. Given we are now broke we heard that you could get tickets to the opera for under €5 if you queue up on the day of an event and don't mind standing to watch it. Although the opera didn't start until 7.30pm we heard you had to turn up early to secure tickets so we decided to start queuing about 4.30 to ensure we got in. We weren't the first people in the queue but we were pretty close to the front. Unfortunately for us the ticket office didn't open until 6pm so we spend the hour and a half in a rather cramped (but warm) corridor under the opera house. Once 6pm came around we were able to purchase our tickets at a mere €4. There was actually a €3 ticket but we had been pre-warned that €4 tickets offered a better view. Once our ticket was purchased we again had to queue to get into the arena itself. Once in we found ourselves more or less at the front of the standing area which was directly in front of the stage and was an amazing view. We had noticed a lot of people with scarves on although hadn't paid too much attention to it given it was the evening and the days are getting colder. However, once in the arena it soon became apparent that these scarves were not for keeping warm, rather reserving ones place whilst going to get some food or going to the loo etc. It was a rather surreal experience but given we were clearly newbies to the opera scene and had done little research into standing tickets etiquette we didn't have any clothing to tie to our standing area... Rookie mistake. Fortunately Adam had a belt on which he subsequently took off and tied to the standing area to mark our territory. Belt tightened we headed out to subway for a quick chicken sub before the opera started. The opera was called La Traviata, supposedly quite famous although we hadn't heard of it. The opera itself was actually pretty good although it took us well over an hour to realise that a translation of the play could be found of a small screen in front of us which helped somewhat as our Italian wasn't quite up to par for the occasion.

Opera over we rushed home as we had a 5.30am flight the next morning to Spain. We will spend the next week in Roquetas de Mar with Katie's family doing basically nothing (which suits us just fine) before heading back to the UK where our wonderful 6 months travel will officially end.

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