Vienna, Capital of Austria and home to 1.7 million people. It was the third city that we would be staying in on the Top Deck and I was quite excited to explore the land of the Habsburgs.
Schönbrunn Palace which is a former imperial 1,441 room summer estate. It is a major tourist attraction and you can't argue why. The palace itself is beautiful and the grounds containing gardens and fountains are well worth checking out. Schönbrunn actually means beautiful spring, which I think is quite fitting as we visited it on a truly beautiful spring day. The gardens were in full bloom and it was quite a nice walk through them. The next time I visit Vienna I am definitely making this a stop as I would love to be able to walk to the Gloriette and see it up close.
We headed through Vienna, taking in everything on a bus tour of the city. We were dropped at the hostel where we rested for a few hours before heading to a restaurant and enjoying Chicken Schnitzel. We ate at a restaurant called Mariahilferbrau.
The next morning was our free day. We all loaded onto the bus and were driven further into town. Our route was interrupted by the marathon that was going on in the city so we were let out a bit further from our destination. As soon as we were off the bus, we split up into individuals or groups. I went on my own path, heading for the destination of the Spanish Riding School.
I did not get any photos of it as you are not allowed to take any but I must say it was very good. The horses are so well trained. I wish I had paid a little more so that I could sit down and be closer to the edge because at points I could not see where the other horse was. It was a bit of splurge but I am really glad I did it. It made me miss Shawn and Carol a lot and thoughts of how much we all enjoyed Cavalia.
A little background on the Spanish Riding School is that it is a traditional riding school for Lipizzan horses. The horses are all trained in classical dressage and know very complicated moves such as the capriole.
The Leopold Museum is in a square with several other different museums. This photo above is taken from inside the museum looking down at the square.
I walked from the Leopold Museum with the intent on going to the Haus des Meeres or the Sea House but as it was a Sunday the aquarium was packed full of families so I decided to skip it. Tempted by the cinema next door I learned all the films were in German. No luck for me. I did enjoy the text that was on the side of the Sea House, it reminded me a lot of the writing in New Westminster as well as the text in Vancouver.
I left the Sea House and came across this giant wall mural of what looked to be a beaver, fox and some strange bird. It was massive. I really liked it. I wish I knew the meaning behind it. I walked back towards the hostel but was very early for the plans we had for tonight so I rented a bike. It was very easy and I rode around the city, admiring the sights and keeping an eye on the cars.
Once my bike ride was over I returned it to the stand and went to the hostel where I got ready for the classical concert we were to be attending that night. What more could one want out of Vienna? A palace, horses and now some music. We all got dressed up in our finest and took the bus to the music hall.
It was actually quite full but we had reserved seats. It was very good with a small orchestra that played mostly Strauss with a few pieces by Mozart. They also had operatic singers as well as ballet pieces. It was very nice. We also enjoyed a glass of champagne at the reception.
Vienna was a beautiful city with lots to see and do. There is a lot of history in it and I would definitely like to return to it so that I could see more. The highlights for me was the Spanish Riding School, riding a bike and attending the concert.
Next post: Bratislava