Vienna, Austria
September 11th – 15th, 2007

 

I had always wanted to go and see Vienna because I had heard so much about the city and took the opportunity to go there before my tour started in Florence. I traveled to Vienna just before my Florence/Nice tour, to check out the area for a possible tour. I flew Virgin Airlines for the first time. It was a very comfortable flight and the food was very good, but I don’t know if I would upgrade myself to the premier class again. The only differences were the seat sizes and I don’t need a big seat for twice the cost. Many thanks to Eva from the Vienna Tourist Board for arranging a fantastic opportunity to stay in a very central hotel and see some of this incredible city…thank you as well to Das Tyrol, a wonderful boutique hotel located two minutes away from the Museum of Fine Arts and a host of other beautiful places to visit.

On September 12th I had a guide who spent the day with me. Marianne showed me some wonderful sights in the city center. We started toward the Museums Quartier with the Leopold Museum and continued until we reached the Imperial Palace. The Museums Quartier is a cultural complex full of all types of architecture set among the old imperial stables. This is a fascinating place to be and could take you days to really appreciate it. At the Imperial Palace, you can walk on either side and see two different gardens….one was for royalty and the other for the people.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a very full tour of a horticulture school…it was fantastic. The gardens are full of plants to look at including a fantastic collection of Ginkgo Biloba trees. We also walked through a market full of fruits and vegetables and I got to taste the drink called Sturm. It is semi-fermented grape juice from the first grape harvest of the season. It's low in alcohol and marks the official start of autumn in many areas and I was here to experience it. A kind of fizzy drink with a grape twist…and very nice.

On the 13th I had the day to myself and I made good use of it, just walking around. I had a good map with me and there is a street car that goes right around the Ringstrasse boulevard, or ring, that was once the center of Royalty…it encircles the historical center and you can hop on and hop at your pleasure.

Belvedere Palace has a beautiful garden and if you make it up into the Upper Palace itself, you will be treated to a Klimt exhibit. Gustav Klimt was an art nouveau genius and his artwork is appreciated all over the world. There you will also see his famous “The Kiss”.

On the 14th, I had the pleasure of attending the Vienna Boys Choir at the Musikverein. I had wanted to see the afternoon performance as I had a very early flight the next day for Florence. Founded more than 500 years ago, I don’t think there is anyone who has not heard of them, but to be in the same space when they are singing is pure magic. ‘Mozart & More’ was indeed much, much more! The Golden Hall of the Musikverein is one of the worlds most beautiful concert halls.

I hope you enjoy looking at my memories…and I hope to go back with a tour group in the not so distant future…

The Vienna Tourist Board website is at www.vienna.info
The Das Tyrol Hotel website is at www.dar-tyrol.at
Tickets for the Vienna Boys Choir http://www.mondial.at/english/culture/boys.html


 

 


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