Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 8 - Vienna

I'll post our afternoon's visit to Schonbrunn Palace separately.
This morning we woke in Vienna. The sign is Vienna in German.
We depart, by bus, for the morning city sightseeing tour. It took about twenty minutes to get into the centre of Vienna.
We drove by some sights such as

 A subway station entrance
 Typical city ctreet

 Mozart statue in park
 Parliament Buildings

 We then left the bus and took a walking tour.

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world where the classic equestrian skills (haute école) has been preserved and is still practiced in its original form. Many years of training fuse horse and rider into an inseparable unit. The audience is treated to an unforgettable experience by the precision of movement of the Lipizzan horses in perfect harmony with the music. We were lucky enough to see one of the horses in the stables.

 A monumental staircase in the building's side supports the equestrian statue that dominates the square. Its subject is Field Marshal Archduke Albrecht, in honor of a battle he won in 1866

We were then given some free time to wander along Graben, an exclusive pedestrian shopping street.
Graben Vienna Map

Vienna, located along trading routes linking Central Europe with Constantinople and Asia, was particularly exposed to pestilences. In 1629 a bubonic plague hit Vienna; fifty years later the pestilence spread again and returned once more in 1714.
In 1667 the Emperor Leopold I erected a monument to the Virgin Mary to thank her for intervention to quell the pestilence and other scourges which had hit Vienna.
After the 1679 plague a monument specifically meant to thank God for the end of the scourge (Pestsaule) was erected in the Graben, a large square on the site of the ditch which protected the ancient Roman town. Pestsaule set the pattern for many similar monuments in other Austrian towns. It is a spectacular spiral of clouds, angels and saints.

 Wandering along Graben

Then we headed to Sacher's, the world renowned cafe and hotel famous for its Sachertorte.

According to their website:
The most famous cake in the world for 175 years!
The Original Sacher-Torte has been the most famous cake in the world since 1832 and the original recipe a well-kept secret of our hotel.
Only the Original Sacher-Torte is produced according to this original recipe: The basis is a chocolate cake, thinly coated by hand with best-quality apricot jam. The chocolate icing on top of it is the crowning glory. The Original Sacher-Torte tastes best with a portion of unsweetened whipped cream, complemented perfectly with a “Wiener Melange” (coffee with milk) from the Original Sacher Café.

 Maria Theresa coffee with orange liqueur
 Cheese danish

   DH's came with an orange mimosa

Time to stroll (we couldn't walk fast after that little "snack")!

Sign for area where the boat is docked

 Back in time for lunch.

This afternoon we are taking the optional tour of Schonbrunn that I will post separately.

That evening, dinner was served at 6PM as the majority of passengers were attending the optional concert.
those that didn't go went to the lounge for some music and entertainment.


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