Gord & Val 's 2017 Balkans Trip travel blog

Vienna streets

Vienna from St. Steven's tower

Yesterday was spent mainly at the airport in Munich....walking, reading and eating. We had a 5p flight..arrived at 6p into Vienna. We caught the above ground train to Landstrasse and the metro 2 stops, walked across the bridge and approx. 5 blocks to the hotel. The area seems safe but does not appear safe. When we arrived we had no way in....no-one was here. Fortuneately a tenant came out and phoned the owners who explained where the keys could be found and where our room was. Not a good start.

We met the receptionist/manager this a.m.

She was dealing with Expedia and us hotels.com. Messages were slow to pass through the channels.

This a.m. we took the u-bahn to Karlsplatz and walked the short distance to the tourist info. Armed with a 3rd map of Vienna, we walked to Sisi's Museum, saw the silver and porcelain collection, the Imperial appartments, learned of Sisi's (Princess Elizabeth) life...she was married to Franz Joseph at the age of 15yrs. and assassinated in 1898 in Geneva. We saw the Winter Palace of the Hapsburgs....Franz Joseph and Sisi. Opulent is the word that comes to mind.

From the palace, we strolled across the street to the gardens and had lunch in the cafe. We wandered over to Museumplatz but although the architecture is interesting we did not go into any others. We wandered back through and around the grounds of the Winter Palace, past the stables for the Lipizzaner stallions, along the pedestrian mall, stopped for a coffee, went into St. Stevens Cathedral, reminiscent of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona with its intricately carved twin towers. It is however, plain inside with high arched ceilings. We went up the Bell Tower to see the huge bell....one of the biggest...and rang only at New Years and Easter...saw spectacular views of the city.

Once back on the ground we took a horse and buggy tour for an hour around the Old Town. This inspired a visit to the Dom. This cathedral has a huge copper dome and a blue and gold altar area. A service was in progress so our visit was short. We also visited the oldest church, also plain inside.

We stopped for a snack and a drink before ambling some more.

Buildings are huge, mostly white with one yellow building. Streets are cobblestone. Some are curved. Some are narrow on one side gradually widening on the sides. Many streets run on angles. There are many plazas. Lots of sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

We had dinner in an Italian restaurant...sidewalk..

After we started for home hoping to arrive before dark. As we approached the Opera House we noted a big screen TV and people watching it. It seems Giselle was to be broadcast....free. Unfortunately there were so many adds, we left. Maybe it was to start at 8p.

Again the U-bahn. As we crossed the river we noted a riverside walkway with pubs and cafes. We noted familiar stores as we walked the 5 blocks. Now we are settled for the night.

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