Wien to the locals.
And this is where you get wien schnitzel (although we tend to pronounce it with an ‘a’ on the end ‘wiena’). So what you might ask? Well one of our objectives was to have a ridgy didge wien schnitzel. And here it is. Simply enormous, filled the plate. On a recommendation we had this at a restaurant called Figlmuller, where they have been making them for over 100 years, as a house specialty. It’s a pork schnitzel, not veal so I’m still not sure whether I have had a ‘real’ schnitzel yet!
Allthego was fairly tired after the grueling eating schedule on board the ship. From inspection it appears our clothes have shrunk due to the on board laundry hot water treatment in the washing process. Hopefully they will stretch out a bit upon return to Australia. Anyway this tiredness lead him to doze off on sections of the bus trip city tour and miss some of the buildings and monuments. The walking section of the tour redressed this though and we have plenty of pictures to share at later times.
Along the way we stopped by the Spanish Riding School and by luck one of the horses was on show. We were told all the rest were off on summer holidays having a break from performances. Vienna is an amazing looking place with the old building frontages and monuments commemorating historical events and the various actors in them. The musicians haven’t been ignored and we have statues of Mozart and the all the Strausses. We also saw the ‘blue’ Danube which was a swimming pool on top of/beside one of the canals off the grey/brown river. A pale imitation I might say of South Bank in Brisbane.
There was also the obligatory visit to the massive St Stephens Cathedral in the city centre. Nearby where our ship was tied up was the impressive Jubilee Church.
The highlight here in Vienna though was going to the Liechtenstein City Palace which is owned by the princely family of Liechtenstein. This building had been significantly damaged in WW2. A plane had landed on top of it as well. After the war false ceilings and walls were installed and it was used as offices. We didn’t find out where the Leichtenstein family was at this time. Anyway they seem to have got control of it again in the 1990s and have thoroughly restored it, some of the frescos were actually covered over by the false ceilings. We had a musical recital here, mostly various Strauss pieces…………among them the Blue Danube and the Radetzky March, which got all the hand clappers going.
The next day we were off to the Schonbrunn Palace. This was the summer palace of the Hapsburgs who ruled over most of central Europe for 600 years. They also infiltrated the monarchies of western Europe by inter marriage. The experience here was a little different to the other palaces we have been to in that what we saw was much more connected with the inhabitants lives rather than just displays of things. The Austrians didn’t like the Hapsburgs and they were removed after WW1. The then Emperor though didn’t abdicate and went into exile. Apparantly, his descendents still claim a right to the throne. They are not wanted back. There are several hundred of the Hapsburgs around the world.
We enjoyed two quite sunny days in Vienna before leaving Austria and heading further down the Danube to Budapest in Hungary.