Saturday, September 5th, 2009
When I got to Vienna, I was greeted by my lovely escort/bag carrier/tour guide/husband. We took the CAT to downtown Vienna and then the train to our hotel, the Renaissance at the Imperial Riding School. I was crashing and slept for an hour before we could venture out for some dinner. My tummy wasn’t ready for wienershnitzel yet, so we dined on less than traditional Viennese fair…or to be more accurate we found a vegetarian Taiwanese restaurant, delicious! Then we wandered around to the Ringstrasse (the center of Vienna) for some dessert. After the all the hype of sachertorte, I thought it was kind of a let down, way too sweet and too dry. I will chalk that up to the skill of the chef, not the torte itself and valiantly try again.
Day 2 Sunday, September 06, 2009
We got up bright and early and went looking to find a better breakfast bargain (our hotel charges 24 Euros per person for breakfast buffet, nien danke). We took the “best in the world” Viennese public transportation to Stephansplatz (center of the tourist Vienna) and to our amazement found nothing open, seriously nothing, it was 8 o’clock in the morning, when do these people get up to work? We ate at McDonalds in defeat.
We started with Stephansdom or St. Stephen’s Cathedral. On Sundays there is mass and there was a sign that explained that they closed the doors during it. This made us really paranoid of being locked in, so we decided to go to the top of the tower on another day. We took a train to the museum quarter and started the hard core sightseeing.
Hofburg Palace- we saw the Kaiserappartements (Imperial apartments) which were more modest than one would expect of a palace dwelling, the porcelain and silver collection (yawn) and the Sisi museum- a museum dedicated to the life and death of Empress Elizabeth, wife of Franz Joseph I.
We found a tiny sandwich place, Hofburg Stuberl and had some yummy kasekreiner (sausage with cheese) and bread.
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts)- an exhibit of the Hapsburg’s art collection including Raphael, Bosch and Brueghel.
Another food stop and photo op moment at the outside cafés in the museum quarter. Warning to the wise- you never know what you’re getting even when the menu is in English. But our meal wasn’t half bad and gave us the strength to continue on!
Leopold museum- the most famous artists here include Egon Schiele (nudes galore) and Klimt.
After such sensory overload we needed a nap! For dinner we found a nearby pub for some more sausage and goulash, and bier.
Photos: Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral), Parliament building, statue in front of Parliament building, horse's ass, painting of Pomona and Vertumnus (for those of you that saw the play I was in "Metamorphoses"...), us contemplating our navels at Museum quarter