Our European Trip - 2005 travel blog

Lipizzaner Stallions Returning to the Stables

Hofburg Palace Courtyard

New Palace at the Hofburg

Statue at the Hofburg

Carriage passing Statue at the Hofburg

Detail from Hofburg New Palace

After breakfast we set off for the Lipizzaner Stallions morning workout and practice. We watched the wonderful animals go through their paces for an hour and a half. How they manage to train them to do some of the steps I do not know. They are tremendous performers, and the arena is a spectacle in itself, with two viewing galleries and chandeliers. This was next door to the hall where we had attended the concert the previous evening. No photos were allowed inside, but I got a short video clip before they made the announcement. We left quickly and watched the horses being led back to the stables.

We then toured the Lipizzaner museum and learned more about their history and training, as well as seeing some of the articles used in the past to train and decorate them.

We went along the road to a Starbucks and had lunch, then entered the Hofburg Palace and toured the Treasury. There are many interesting items, crown, robes, etc. with considerable history attached to them. Part of the museum is devoted to relics and items related to the Catholic faith, which I confess leaves me quite cold. Nan made the observation as we left that she was glad she had been brought up in an essentially Protestant country.

We decided we were "museumed out" and, since Christine wanted to see the real Danube, not just the canal that passes for the Danube on the edge of the old city, we set off by tram to find it. Foolhardy as we are, we had left our "good" map in the hotel, but decided we knew the way well enough to venture without it. We got off the tram at the canal and started out in the right direction, but did not seem to be coming to anything resembling a river. We decided that retreat was the best option and took a tram back to the canal and walked back looking for a Spar grocery store to buy provisions for tomorrow's meals on the train. We could not find it, and ended up back at the hotel where we consulted the yellow pages and found an address we recognized.

We set out again and collected some food, then found a restaurant which had been recommended to us by one of the ladies on the train from Prague. Their specialty was Wiener Schnitzel. Christine and I shared one and Nan had Chicken Cordon Bleu. The Wiener Schnitzel more than covered the plate! It was huge! The wine came in mugs, and we shared a large table with a couple from near Cologne and had a good conversation with them. We then headed back to the hotel.

Tomorrow off to Venice - 6:30 am train.

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