Monday, 10 October 2011


We arrived here in the morning and easily negotiated the subway system to Stephandom. Our hotel the Marc Aurel was not far from there and easy to find. It is a good middle of the road hotel close to the centre of Vienna.

We wandered around re-acquainting ourselves with familiar places.  In the afternoon we went to the Albertina as they had an exhibition on Monet and beyond which was worthwhile. We visited the rooms of the palace this time which always prove interesting.

Ferris Wheel at the Prater

The following day we visited the Technical Museum which had some wonderful interactive displays.  Later in the day we went to the Prater which is a large garden area which was once a hunting ground for the aristocracy. It also has a fun park with the famous Ferris wheel hat was featured in the movie ‘The Third Man’.
When we arrived at the station we saw many people of all ages in the national costume, leather knickerbockers for men and the dirndl outfits for women, which ranged from long skirts to mini skirt versions, some girls even wore the leather shorts as hotpants. There was a wine/beer and music festival and it was fun to watch the various tents with music playing the more traditional music and the enthusiastic participation of the young.
The next day I decided to get out of the city and go to the Vienna Woods. It seemed that Mayerling would be an interesting jumping off point for this.  Mayerling is famous as the place where the crown prince and his 17 year old mistress committed suicide together. We arrived and what was there? Nothing!  A hotel and a chapel! No paths into the woods. We walked to the next town Alland and being Sunday nothing was open except a couple of restaurants. So we had lunch walked around the town which didn’t take long. We certainly didn’t want to miss the next bus out as they only came once every two hours.
At both Mayerling and Alland there was a map of the Vienna woods but no directions or signposts pointing to possible walks, so the day didn’t quite work out as planned.
The following day we enjoyed walking around the Hofburg area, then went to Karlskirke and back via the Burggarten. It was just nice to sit in the sun
After much discussion as to where we wanted to revisit, we decided on the Belvedere, it was good to do as we were able to appreciate more he paintings we had seen previously. You have more time to reflect on the works. We were surprised that even though it was our second time at the Belvedere we still spent the whole day there.
We revel in just wandering around Vienna looking at the vast range of beautiful buildings. We spent the day around the Rathaus area then we went back to the Vienna Opera House for a tour. It was very informative. Only a small amount of the original building remained after the war. The audience capacity is 1700 and the stage is the largest in Europe. The last treat for us was to have afternoon tea at the Sacher Hotel and have the original Sacher Torte. I must admit it was a bit too much of a chocolate and sugar overdose for me, but the surroundings were wonderful.
The one thing in Vienna I hate is all the ‘Mozart’ music touts you can count over 10 around Stephendom and various numbers around famous buildings. Even with head down and no eye contact you can’t avoid being pounced on, but I still love the place.
Now it’s an overnight train to Freiburg Germany.

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