Published: November 22nd 2011September 29th 2011
St. Stephen's Church #1
As we came around the corner.... whoa!
By this stage, I was already counting down to seeing Leah and getting to Oktoberfest, but I still enjoyed Vienna. The buildings were pretty amazing, especially the Schonbrunn Palace where we headed the next morning. It used to be the home of the Habsburg’s when they ruled Austria, then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The interior was pretty impressive and although I usually get bored quickly with the audioguides, it was all pretty enthralling. After we wandered around there for an hour, we headed out to the garden. Wow! They would need more than a couple of gardeners to handle that! We headed up the back to a random monument and fountain thing for photos then made our Way back via a maze where Clay and I had a race against the girls. The guys won.
After we had our fill of the Palace, we headed back into the centre of Vienna to continue our architectural education. Buildings like St. Stephens Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, St. Peter’s Church, and the Museum and Historic Quarters were stunning. We wandered around taking far too many photos before we hunted down a recommended restaurant for a typical Austrian lunch. We finally found it and we got
more than we bargained for. My meal in particular (a cheese and pork schnitzel) was huge and despite my best effort, I couldn’t finish it. I asked how many people usually finish it, the waiter replied ‘1 in 10’, so I didn’t feel quite so bad!
Another highlight of Vienna was the bakery food. Each morning we made our way to a chain bakery called Anker and gorged ourselves on their delicacies. My personal favourite was a delicious apple pie – the apple strudel wasn’t bad either, and because it has apple in it, it was all healthy…..
For our final night in Vienna, we headed to the Vienna version of Oktoberfest and although we didn’t partake in the beverages, we were really getting excited for the Munich version! Clay, Kristin and I headed up on what we later found out is the largest seat swing in the world! The views were pretty amazing as we swung 117m over above the city.
The next day we left Vienna, this time by hire car as I got behind the wheel and we took the very scenic route to Salzburg. We passed out of Vienna and our first stop
was a little place called Krems an der Donau. It was nice enough, but the real highlight was views up and down the Danube from the riverbank. After spending too long meandering around here, we were back on the road and the really amazing scenery started to crop up as we passed ruins of castles and the traditional green covered hills of Austria. At a couple of points we were forced to pull over (sometimes a bit too quickly!) to get photos of some truly remarkable scenery. We also stopped at a town called ‘Bad Aussee’. Brilliant!
As the sun drifted below the horizon, we went off the main highway down a winding road through the menacing forest, and despite the horror movie like settings, we emerged next to a picture perfect lake and a small town where we stopped off for dinner, and quite a few photos. After this, with the ‘kid’s’ (Clay and Kristin) asleep in the back – it had been a long day, I got us to Salzburg, where after a bit of searching, we made it to our hostel and fell into a deserved sleep.
The next morning, seeing as we only had
a few hours in the city before heading to Munich (Leah! Oktoberfest!), we made our own quick tour which included Mirabell Gardens (apparently famous for Sound of Music – not that I’ve seen the movie), the main centre where we saw where Mozart was born, eventhough he spent most of his life elsewhere and the Hohensalzburg Castle. To me, this was easily the most impressive, though I am much more of a castle person. The views from here were pretty amazing and they even had torture devices in the castle! Awesome.
After this we finally got the chance to keep Clay quiet as he had been going on about a dish he had in Austria when he was a child. After finally figuring out that it was called something completely different from what he thought, we finally sat down for some germknödel. Germknödel (according to Wikipedia) is a fluffy yeast dough dumpling with a mix of poppy seeds and sugar, filled with spicy plum jam and melted butter on top, often eaten with vanilla cream sauce. After all Clay’s hype, I tried it as well and was quite impressed. You wouldn’t think that mix would be very tasty but
if you ever get the chance, it’s definitely worthwhile.
Next up Munich. Leah! Oktoberfest!
There are more photos below