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Published: August 26th 2011
August 23- Last night we finally figured out that the windows do actually open in our hotel room. It was nice to have some fresh air in our room for a change and we slept better. ( A side note... our window opens to the back courtyard of the hotel. Any noise made echos very loudly thru the entire courtyard. I was desperately trying to seek out the man who has bad post nasual drip and was coughing every night for hours. I wanted to give him some allergy meds badly.) We got ourselves ready and headed for the hotel breakfast. So far, the best hotel award goes to the Royal Park Inn in Budapest, but the Best Breakfast Spread award goes to the Park Inn Danube in Bratislava. We ate quickly and made our way to the subway. We started our day off by heading directly for the Lipizzaner Horse practice. These horses are a fixture in Vienna and have been here since the 1500's. These horses are a special breed that ties it's root to Lipita and they are trained for combat. If we were here any other time but August, we would be able to see a show that features them doing very complex maneuvers like kicking both of their back legs out in order to defend their rider or doing a "wheelie" where they basically rear up on their back two legs. The horse show was crowded, but as seasoned travelers, we split up. I got into the ticket line and mom got into the line for entering the show. By the time I purchased the tickets, I snuck under the velvet rope and met up with her and we "waltzed" in. The training practice was nice, but the real show would have been better. After the show, we made our way to a very fancy WC. This public WC which costs approx 50 cents and was the brainstorm of a chemical maker in 1900 who wanted to prove that his chemicals could actually disinfect and clean up these bathrooms. The bathrooms are located below one of the town squares. There is an attendant and you pay her and she locks you into your own personal bathroom, which I might add was larger than our hotel bathroom. The bathroom was marble and wood and very pretty, well worth the 50 cents. After our pit stop, we made our way to the Demel Chocolate Shop. This is the ultimate Viennese Chocolate shop. Looking in their display might put you into a sugar coma. We wandered to the back and were able to have a view into the kitchen and watch them make their famous cakes and pastries. We made our way back to the front, and splurged on a treat. Mom got a cake that had a shortbread based, whipped cream middle, and fresh strawberries in a strawberry glaze. I went for the Chocolate on Chocolate on Chocolate cake. They were both delicious. After consuming our calories for the day, we headed for the Neuschmarket. While traveling, we love to visit markets and this one was especially nice. We wandered thru the fish stalls, meat vendors, and fresh produce and veggies. We both agreed this was one f the best markets we have ever been to. Because of the oppressive heat, we decided to try to find a little restaurant in the market that could get us out of the sun for a few minutes. We sat down and had a drink and a light lunch. (Let them eat cake before dinner, right? Why yes, you are on vacation!). Lunch was delicious and afterward we wandered the market, and I got tons of new pictures for my kitchen wall.... spices, veggies, even vinegar. We beelined directly for Mozarthaus, which was a museum in one of Mozart's first apartments in Vienna. We got an audio guide with our ticket and we know consider ourselves Mozart experts. Did you know Mozart had a dog? Did you know Mozart had six kids? Did you know Mozart used his own money to produce his initial compositions in order to get recognition? After getting our fill on Mozart, we headed for a specific health related column in Vienna (my mom is a nurse who is into public health). The Bubonic plague column is a memorial to the people who died from this plague. We jumped onto the subway and in a few minutes times, we were at the Danube canal to purchase our tickets for our evening river cruise. We then made a beeline for the hotel to clean up and back again just in time for our boat to sail. The top, open air section of the boat, was full...so we opted for a table downstairs. We ordered some drinks, and had our own picnic out of our snack pack (Cousin Amy loves snack packs). After dinner, we relaxed and watched the sights out of the windows. We both agreed we thought there would be more sights along the river, but it was nice to relax with an evening on the river. After we docked, a short subway ride took us back to our abode. I tried to connect to the internet while a tour group barged into the lounge and took over. Mom headed directly to bed to sweat out the toxins in our own personal sauna.
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