Blogs from Vienna, Austria, Europe

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Europe » Austria » Vienna June 2nd 2019

It is very unlike us to travel at such a cracking pace. We like rest days between busy days but this was an exception as after a late night we were up at 6am getting ready for our day trip by bus to Vienna. It had not really been in our itinerary until we realized just how close Vienna was to Bratislava. In a way we were dreading it,  because it felt overwhelming and exhausting but it was too good an oportunity to visit such a famous city that we had never visited before. Vienna is only 1 and 1/2 hours away from Bratislava by bus, stopping at Vienna airport along the way. The Monday morning bus was fairly full with weary ice hockey fans travelling back home after the World Championships final on the Sunday ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna May 29th 2019

Arriving into Emmersdorf was so very welcomed when the general distance measure had exceeded 100 kilometres. ‘Are you tired’ said our Hungarian host, Henriette. Affirmative. Those laden saddle bags saved us from a dry and simple dinner. Out came the tea, miniature wine, beer, nibbles, and vegetables we’d stocked up on, knowing now that the smaller spots were minimally serviced and usually very quiet. Someone somewhere over the river however was having a blindingly good night by the sounds of it, changing this backwater to that with a thumping background bass. To 5am. We were too tired to notice and with sun up early it roused us to appreciate a gorgeous and warm morning. Heat of the high 20s was ahead. That good advice of the Persenbeug café owner stuck with me, that I went off ... read more
Wachau Valley
Cooling off

Europe » Austria » Vienna May 21st 2019

Was Vienna just as I remembered it? No it was not and I don't really know why. I have this vision in my brain of a busy city full of buses, trams and horses. They were all there in abundance. It was a dice with death trying to cross the roads sometimes. Crossing the tram lines, missing the oncoming trams and avoiding the horses and carriages and cyclists. That was the same as 20 years ago although I imagine there are more cars there today than there were last time I was here. 1998 or 1999 I cannot remember accurately. It was cold . The fountains were cloaked in wooden overcoats to keep out the cold and prevent them freezing. They were uncloaked today. It was still cold though and raining. I remember the impressive white ... read more
Outside the UBahn
Something Vienna does well
The madonna and Christ Child at the Dom

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 25th 2019

Time really does fly . Our 2 /2 days in Vienna were good . Although it was raining it wasn't particularly cold and I was dressed for it . I really enjoyed the walking tour we did . To fuel up we stopped at the market for lunch first. . I had a great falafel plate with hummus olives and pita. Very tasty . The falafel was moist and had a lot of parsley mixed in . I think k it was even better than Afghan falafel which has potatoes mixed in to kèep them moist ..Our tour lasted close to 3 hours and the guide had many stories to tell . The old town has palaces horses, galleries , museums all housed in incredible buildings ranging in age from the 1300,s Of them all I ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 9th 2019

Today, we meandered over to the lovely Old City again. There is never a shortage of things to see there. I love walking around the pedestrian shopping streets and the Hofburg Palace. We did that, and sat down in an outdoor cafe for some coffee. I ordered an ice coffee, and was delightfully surprised that it came with with ice cream in it. Who knew? After this, we went to the Capuchin Church to see the Imperial Crypts. This is where 145 royal family members are buried in beautifully ornate pewter tombs. This place was fascinating. The church doesn't look very big from the outside, but the basement is so expansive, it seems to go on forever. Each casket was unique, and I recognized many of the names on the corresponding placards: Franz Josef, Maria Theresa, ... read more
Imperial Crypts
Imperial Crypts
Imperial Crypts

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 8th 2019

Today was the day we set aside to visit Schonnbrunn, probably the number one attraction in Vienna. Our plan was to get there early and spend the day exploring as much as we could, while taking plenty of time to relax so we don't burn out. We got to the palace right when it opened. There were crowds, but honestly, the place is so large and spread out that I never felt crowded. Our Vienna Passes allowed us entry to basically everything here. We started with the palace itself. It is huge and yellow, and not nearly as pretty as Hofburg or Belvedere. I find it funny that this was the summer palace of the Hapsburgs, only about twenty minutes away from the regular palace. Seriously, how many palaces does one need? I did not get ... read more
Schonnbrunn
Schonnbrunn
Schonnbrunn

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 7th 2019

On Sunday morning, Mom and I went to mass at St Augustine Chapel. It was perfectly pleasant the first forty five minutes, then it just got old. I was bored out of my skull. An hour and a half long mass is too much for me! I entertained myself by giving all my pew neighbors names and fabulous backstories. Little did I know I'd keep running into these new 'friends' throughout the day...haha!! After this, it was on to the beautiful Palmenhaus, which houses a butterfly garden. We figured seeing butterflies in such a remarkable setting would be worth the entry fee, and we were right. We wandered around the small garden's paths, trying to photograph the glamorous bugs. I learned that the prettiest butterflies were the most elusive, and the less attractive ones were a ... read more
Vienna
Palmenhaus and the butterfly garden
Palmenhaus and the butterfly garden

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 6th 2019

Saturday was another nice spring day. Our goal was to visit Belvedere Palace, which required using the tram system. We figured it out easily enough. The trams, trains and subways all use the same pass, and are interchangeable. With one day pass, you can ride all three modes of transportation! I was really beginning to dig the public transport here! The only thing about trams is you literally have to dodge them when walking around the city. We arrived at Belvedere and I was in awe, once again. The complex consists of two palaces..Upper and Lower Belvedere, with a lovely expanse of green in between. I'm sure it gets even more beautiful in later months, as not much was in bloom yet in April. We enjoyed taking photos of each other in front of statues (required!) ... read more
Belvedere
Belvedere
Belvedere

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 5th 2019

Now that we are settled into our home and have gotten over jet lag, we figured it was time to start being tourists. In the morning, we had some breakfast in our apartment and set off to learn the metro. We had a handy little Rick Steves pocket guide with a map of the subway/tram lines, and we would use it often. This was a good reminder of me to not completely rely on my phone and internet; sometimes it's nice to have paper! The metro in Vienna is easy to learn, clean, and not too expensive. It was only a two minute walk to the station, and a quick ride to the city center. We ended up on Kartner street.. a lovely pedestrian street full of high-end fancy stores and outdoor cafes. This was our ... read more
Historic City Center
Historic City Center
Historic City Center

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 4th 2019

This morning was definitely a slow one. We were still jet-lagged and weary from travel, and were not in a hurry to get up and get moving. We slept it longer than we should have, and spent some time relaxing. We walked down the street for some breakfast at Cafe Standard, another fine Viennese establishment. Breakfast was simply pastries and coffee. We took a short walk just for the heck of it, and returned to the room. We had to check out of the hotel and move to the Airbnb which would be our home for the next two weeks. This move really took up most of the afternoon. There was some miscommunication with the Airbnb host. I did not have anyway to get a hold of him unless I had wifi, so when he was ... read more
Prater
Prater
Prater




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