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Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna June 9th 2014

David finally landed on Friday (June 6th). I wouldn't let him sleep and took him golfing with my grandfather. Although he fell asleep every time we sat down and lost more balls than there were holes he made it through the outing. After that we walked around Guntramsdorf and went to dinner with my grandparents and some friends at a local authentic Austrian restaurant. After eating our wienerschnitzel, we went home, topped the night of with a grappa (night cap) and finally let David go to bed. On Saturday we went and checked into our first hostel (Westend City Hostel) and spent the day with my brother visiting the major tourist sights in the center of Vienna. David was still pretty jet lagged so we took it easy and went home to rest a little before ... read more
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Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna June 4th 2014

Wednesday 4th June 2014 We were down at the port by 0930 and sat around for a while in the nearby park before going down to the pier where the ferry was to come in. It seemed that it would be late as it hadn't arrived when scheduled. We stood on the pier and started a conversation with tow American ladies - mother and daughter who were traveling together. The time soon went and just in time, the ferry pulled up, took all of about 20 passengers on board and left exactly on 1030 as scheduled. The 90 min trip up the Danube River, against a strong current, went smoothly, the big diesel engines driving the water jets had the boat travelling at about 25 knots. There wasn't much scenery, mainly forest which grew to the ... read more
Devin, with the Devin castle on the hill.
Vienna
Vienna

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna May 18th 2014

A quiet day today as it is pouring with rain, so we slept in and then later caught the train to Schönbrunn Palace, the summer palace of the royal family from around 1700 until the very late 1800. Again it’s an enormous complex with gardens stretching for literally miles in three directions, we saw the large statue of Neptune where the sea goddess Thesis is pleading with Neptune to bless Hercules with a safe sea journey in his attack of Troy. We got absolutely soaked today and being Sunday much was closed so back to the hotel and out later for dinner.... read more
Karlskirche
Neptune Fountain
Gloriette

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna May 17th 2014

After breakfast we set off back to Hertz to see if they had my phone, the very helpful young fellow said he would find out and we had to come back between 1200 and 2pm, not feeling very hopeful we had no choice but to go see the sights of Vienna. This is a great city with a huge amount of classic buildings built circa 1800 with so much fine detail and stunning designs, adorned with statues and fret work close the French penchant for over doing the detail. Austria dates back to Roman times with a garrison built around 100ad driving the current celtic inhabitants north, a small settlement was started adjacent the garrison area began. Around the 10th century the turk Emperor Otto 1 started an outer eastern province called Osterick, Vienna and was ... read more
St Pauls Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral Reflection
Vienna - Police Waiting For The Protest March

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna May 16th 2014

It is off to Vienna today and the day dawns the worst of the lot, freezing around 7 degrees and pouring with rain, Pam wanted to see the ‘Sound of Music’ gazebo and Hellbrunn Castle, another film site but at 10e per head I flagged it and sat in the car and listened to a great Austrian radio station, playing Led Zep, Genesis etc. Pam saw what she wanted to and thoroughly wet and cold we headed off on the 300k drive to Vienna. The drive went well enough but the rain was so heavy and the spray off the cars visibility was about 100m at best so we missed most of the lovely scenery on the way. We have to drop the car off by 4.30 today and after lunch on the way we arrived ... read more
Schloss Hellbrunn Water Garden
Schloss Hellbrunn Water Garden
Schloss Hellbrunn Water Garden

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna March 1st 2014

A week ago i was writing from the snowy village of Lech in Austria. A lot has changed in a week, with us leaving Lech to visit Vienna and then onto Hungary. We had a day off skiing on Saturday and decided to get the bus to St Anton's to see what the village was like. We ended up just strolling through the village and then having lunch at a tiny bakery where Matt said he had the best coffee so far (which is a huge thing for him now that he's addicted to coffee...) St Anton is much bigger than Lech but also much lower so the snow isn't as good. I don't think I would go there to ski, would probably stay in Zurs if we ever go back. Our visit to Lech ended ... read more
BMW Drive Lounge view
Lech
Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna December 22nd 2013

Final Observations on Vienna I decided to enjoy my last morning, and yes, I slept in. Work has put me through the ringer and I just wanted to make sure I was not tired on my return journey. I took my time waking up, showering, packing, and strolled up for my last free breakfast. Of course I got more ham to savor before heading back to the middle east. So, nothing much exciting happened on my last day. Instead, I'll leave you with a few photos and some observations. 1. I absolutely, positively could NOT leave without at least glimpsing the Danube River! I don't know why, but as a student of history, especially European history, I would have felt incomplete without at least seeing this historic trade route. I took the U1 to Donauinsel - ... read more
New Danube
New Danube
Park between the Danube and New Danube

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna December 20th 2013

I had been looking forward to the Nutcracker ever since I bought my ticket about two weeks ago. I had decided to splurge a little and get a good seat. You don't pick the individual seat, but a group area. Well, when they sent me my seat number and I looked it up.... my excitement got kicked into high gear. I was in an upper balcony seat, immediately next to the highest price group. I bought a new dress and determined this was my Christmas present to myself. My seat and the ballet did not disappoint. I was worried I would be a little overdressed for the show, but I needn't have worried - there were all types of dress going on there. I stopped on my way to my seat for a glass of wine ... read more
Our balcony suite
Vienna State Opera House
Waiting for The Nutcracker to start

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna December 20th 2013

I had originally planned to travel to Bratislava for the morning, but found myself fully enjoying my vacation by lying in bed instead. I had another delicious ham breakfast, then found myself heading toward the Belvedere in the southeast portion of Vienna. There is a Christmas Market there called Weihnachtsmarkt Belvedere and it didn't' disappoint. It is located directly in front of the palace. I got a mug of Baileyspunsch which was pretty strong and strangely, I didn't feel so cold anymore... (The "punsch" is actually hot). I wandered around a bit and found a stall selling christmas ornaments that show Vienna - I figured I would probably return here, but first I got another drink, orangepunsch, and continued wandering. Finally I came back and got the three ornaments for my mom and sisters. I then ... read more
Weihnachtsmarkt Belvedere
Belvedere Palace
Wiener Adventzauber am Rathausplatz

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna December 19th 2013

I slept in this morning - gosh that is nice! - and had more ham, croissant, and fruit at this morning's free breakfast buffet. I took my time getting ready, debating on where to go. I finally decided to check out the Karslplatz area and see if I could find the Opera House. I got off the metro, walked outside, and there it was. At first I walked a little to the side to look further down because I couldn't believe that was it. Don't get me wrong - it is a very nice building - but I was just expecting something a little more grand. Maybe it will look better tomorrow night. I peeked inside and the interior does look incredible. I kept walking up the main street there and did some shopping - I ... read more
Beim Czaak
Mozart Museum
Horse drawn carriages




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