Friday, August 17, 2012


I hate to say I wasn't impressed with Vienna, but it's like every other major city in Europe.  It rained intermittently throughout the day, so we tromped through the streets on a walking tour trying to stay dry.  We saw more of the same sorts of things we've been fortunate to view in London or Paris or Rome.

We walked past local attractions like the Spanish Riding School for Lipizzan horses.  Unfortunately, the horses had been moved to their summer vacay pastures in the country, but we still caught a whiff of eau de manure from the stables as we strolled by them.

Constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries, St. Stephen's is a typical gothic cathedral, a bit of a letdown after touring so many beautifully decorated baroque churches on the cruise.  The tile roof is one of its most distinctive details.  And you can definitely tell it's undergoing a cleaning because the middle section along the side is still pitifully black and filthy in comparison to the creamy clean towers.

And a bit more funerary art seen above - always interesting.  Below is the Vienna Opera House.

We didn't partake of dessert, but I wouldn't have minded tucking into a thick slice of sachertorte at the place of its origin right across from the opera house.

The husband does love sausage, so he opted for a quick snack from a local vendor along the street where we were window shopping.

It wouldn't be a European city without the requisite fountains and statuary.

On this trip, I couldn't help but notice interesting architectural details everywhere since the cruise line was doing all of the navigating so I could just relax and enjoy the experience.

They just don't make shop facades (seen below) like they used to anymore.

In the window of the famous Der Demel pastry shop and chocolatier founded in 1786, they had created an edible wedding gown and shoes.  Love, love, loved it!  And the "chandelier" in the window resembles a wedding cake turned upside down.  How terribly clever.

Another fave was the swimming pool docked on the Danube canal - too funny to see a chlorinated body of water floating atop a natural body of water with a couple folks swimming laps in it.

After lunch aboard the ship, we boarded a bus for the optional excursion to Schonbrunn Palace, constructed in the mid 16th century and purchased about 50 years later to serve as the summer residence for Habsburg monarchs.  They had lots of space to spread out, with approximately 1400 rooms to accommodate them.

The above two pics of the the great parterre - garden space between the palace and sun fountain - really gave visitors a good idea of the scope and scale at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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