Published: May 22nd 2012May 20th 2012
It was an early start Saturday morning to get out to heathrow for our flight to Vienna, but a quick journey with quiet roads and no security queues. Although we didn't know at the time, there was a large Aids charity ball on called Life Ball, and on our flight were the Scissor Sisters. They were travelling very light on the entourage front. An exciting brush with celebrity. It was a beautiful weekend in Vienna, bright blue skies and nice and warm. We caught the airport train directly into the heart of the old city and after a short stroll arrived at the central square and church, Stephansdom. After a stroll down the main shopping street we came to the Opera House the meeting point for our afternoon bike ride. We had some time to kill so popped into the Albertina palace to check out the Klimt exhibition of his sketches. 2012 is big year for him as Vienna are celebrating 150yrs of the artist. We then enjoyed lunch in the sun sampling the local cuisine; schnitzel and apple strudel. The bike tour was a bit of a fizzer. There were too many people so it was slow going, there was not much information provided and we rode away from all the beautiful old buildings. However it wasn't all bad. The high points were visiting a colourful commune that had interesting architecture, the cool graffiti, old ferris wheel and the fact we were about to split from the tour a ride back early. Next stop was a roof too terrace bar for a few drinks looking over the museum quarter and city. A group of friends attending the Life Ball showed up for a few drinks before the main event and they looked awesome. Dressed in gothic, modern grung type attire with amazing glittery body paint and make-up. Our hotel for the evening was a little way out of the city near the summer residence of the Hapsburgs of Belveder Schloss. Daniel Hotel was great! They had refreshed an old 60's office block, the rooms were minimalist and industrial unfinished. There was an excellent restaurant down stairs, which was good as there was not a lot else in the area. The next morning after a little lie in we caught the tram back into the centre for a Spanish Riding School performance. The indoor ground built in the C 17th was stunning with big chandlers and an ornate ceiling. The performance was spectacular. The younger horses started first, they were a grey colour. The Lipenzer horses are a special breed born black, then turning white as they mature. However 1 in 100 don't and one of the individual performances was from a brown stallion. The show was great with amazing footwork and of course the standing jumps they are most famous for. After another lovely lunch in the shadow of a Hofburg Palace green house we went on a short city tour aboard an old school open bus. The city has so many beautiful old buildings lining every street you look down. Our final stop was a visit to see 'The Kiss', the Klimt master piece at the Belveder Schloss. It is a impressive and pleasing painting. So that was our fun weekend in Vienna done, and we headed to the airport and back to London.