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Published: August 24th 2011
August 22- We awoke in a pool of sweat...as I mentioned before this trip has been very warm to date and since our room had no a/c and the windows hardly opened..we were hot. I headed straight for the tiny rain closet and did a dance I call "how cold can I get the water and still stand in it". I felt refreshed for about 2 minutes post shower, got myself together and headed for breakfast. Breakfast was adequate and we quickly ate and headed for our first adventure of the day.... a bus tour of Vienna and Schrobunn Palace. We successfully navigated the subway and made our way to the tour departure site. Our tour guide, Agamon, was fluent in many languages and our bus was filled with Dutch, German, and English speaking folks...so each description was repeated three times in the corresponding language. My mom is currently working on her German (haha), so this helped her. I found it a little hard to follow, since you were waiting each time for your version of the story. We circled the city on the Ring road, which surrounds the old town and saw many famous sites...palaces, parliament, and other famous sites. After whirling around the city for a bit, we found ourselves at Schrobunn Palace for a guided tour thru this massive palace that was beautifully decorated with gold, crystal chandeliers, and fancy furniture. The palace was the summer home of the Hapsburgs. Agamon led us thru and explained the significance of the palace. After the tour, we had just a few minutes to ourselves to look around before the bus departed. My mom was itching to see the massive park like gardens in the back, but we only could step out and take a few snaps with enough time to make it back to the bus. The bus dropped us off right in front of the Vienna Opera house and we wasted no time in getting ourselves tickets for a tour. Our tour guide, "Amy" (my cousin Amy's twin) gave us a beautiful tour of the opera house and answered all of our questions. We only found out at the end of the tour, that this was only her 8th day as a guide...we would have never knew. After the Opera house, we made our way into the street, to find ourselves a cafe for lunch. We ended up at the Rosenburg cafe, which was a high end cafeteria style restaurant where we both enjoyed our lunch. After lunch, we walked toward the Kohler Market street and made a stop at Swarovski and ended up at St.Stephen's Church, which is smack dab in the middle of Vienna. The church was crowded, but we took a gawk anyway. The church was very dark but beautiful. This church was finished in 1433 and took 65 years to finish. It was amazing. After getting our religion on, we strolled back towards the metro to make our way back to our hotel. We quickly cleaned ourselves up and put on our best traveling dresses in preparation for our fancy dinner and concert tonight at Schrobunn Palace. We hopped the subway and were there before we knew it. We headed straight for the box office and quickly learned we were exactly 24 hours early, for the first time in our lives. Our reservations were for August 23, not August 22nd. The very kind and helpful box office attendant, quickly called the kitchen and made arrangements for us to take in the concert and dinner that night.... (I think she saw how stupid and disappointed we were). We quickly made our way to the restaurant and sat down. I choose a fancy velvet settee with rolled pillows (Eileen's additional comment). Dinner was very good and afterwards we decided to quickly walk back out into the gardens for a couple of quick snaps. If Eileen's German was better, she would have see the sign that said the gate closed in a few minutes...but she is still learning, so I can't blame her. We casually stolled in the gardens and when we headed back to the gate....it was locked. WE considered for a moment to scale the gate, but I didn't need to have to take Eileen to the hospital for another broken wrist. We looked at our watches and realized we had to figure a way to get the hell out of dodge quickly, in order to make it back to the concert on time. So in our nice outfits and fancy shoes (no trainers/sneakers allowed) we started a sweaty marathon style walk which took us to the complete other side of the Palace, in order to find the only open gate. Then all the way back across the front to the Orangerie, where the concert was being held. We showed up a little disheveled but just in time for the concert. The concert was a small orchestra, a couple of opera singers, and ballet dancers. It was good for us to hear some Austrian Music in this beautiful setting. After the concert, we subwayed it back to hotel.. a quick Ice Dance in the tiny bathroom and then headed to bed.
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