Friday, October 14, 2011

Wien, Austria (Vienna)



We arrive in Vienna, the classical musical capital! We get settled into our hotel and turns out we have a corner room which meant 2 of the “walls” were ceiling to floor windows! We had view of the heart of the new city. Our hotel was right next to a park and in walking distance off all the shopping :D When we get there it is dinner time so we head to this very fun restaurant to have so good fun, entertainment, and homemade peach schnapps! After dinner we are back at the hotel, get ready for bed and watch some BBC soap operas (the only thing in English around these parts).

{Schönbrunn Palace from the back yard}

The next day we are off to the Schönbrunn Palace! (This was one of our excursions) The palace is a 1,400 room estate that was a summer home for the Habsburg monarchs. Maria Theresa of Austria was the only female ruler of the Habsburg’s and the last. She reigned for 40 years and had 16 children! Some of which were: Queen Marie Antoinette of France, Queen Maria Carolina of Naples, Duchess Maria Amalia of Parma and two Holy Roman Emperors, Joseph II and Leopold. She was known as the Mother of Europe since so many of her heirs became royalty is other countries. They say the reason why she had so many children is because she truly loved her husband, Francis Stephen, and they had more than just their arranged marriage.  After our trip to the palace we had our guided walk through the imperial city. We saw the Imperial Boulevards and the State Opera and a walk through the oldest part of the city and where we saw some Roman ruins and the place where the Lipizzaner Stallions are trained! (My dad took me to see them when they came to the US!) And we also saw St. Stephen’s Cathedral and finished up with a trip down to the Crypt where the Royal Family rests. After that we had some free time and we went to Ashley’s must go to spot, Swarovski. Man did she enjoy that! After that we went window shopping and found some souvenirs for our family before we headed on a hunt for this shop I saw with the cutest sweater dresses in the window! We finally found it! We go inside and I ask the store clerk if they have any more like the one on the manikin. She said that was her only one because it was handmade and she wanted me to try it on. I asked her how much it was (did want to get in over my head here if it was handmade) and she said it was only 50€!!! What a deal! It looked great and Ashley got it for me as a bridesmaid gift. I also got another short sleeved sweater. Then we headed back up the road for dinner (pizza, yum!) and then back to the hotel for some R&R.


The next morning we are off to Salzburg, the home of The Sound of Music. We first make a stop in Krems to catch a ferry to enjoy the Danube Valley. While on the cruse we see a beautiful monastery in Melk and nearby Melk is the remains of an old castle where King Richard the Lion Hearted was held prisoner, pretty cool!

Gardens at Schönbrunn

the beautiful church on the Danube

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