In my experience, I found Vienna to be simultaneously very sophisticated while also being very pleasant and livable. That's a tough combination to master, but Vienna did it with ease.
Before I continue - I need to give a shout out to Adam's colleague, Deepthi. She studied abroad in Vienna a few years ago, and gave us a list of local recommendations which were amazingly helpful. Many thanks, Deepthi!!!
Here are highlights from the time in Vienna. [Once again, cue the onslaught of photos.]
St. Stephen's Cathedral was a gorgeous example of Gothic architecture. It was the epicenter of activity in Stephansplatz (the central square in Vienna), and drew enormous crowds.
The inside of the cathedral:
Schloss SchönbrunnI had commented to Adam that seeing all the castles in Budapest and Prague was making me feel like a peon. The jawdropping palaces in Vienna sure did not help that cause. =)
The Schönbrunn Palace is a former summer imperial residence in Vienna. Here are some outside views from the palace gardens:
We weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside, so here are a couple of pictures from the Schonnbrunn's website:
The Naschmarkt is an open-air market with an enormous range of local food, shops, restaurants, and cafes. This was my favorite of everything we saw and experienced in Vienna. I loved exploring all the colorful aisles, hanging out at the outdoor seating areas watching the world go by, and mingling with the locals.
Here are some snapshots of the food and produce:
A view of some of the restaurants with their outdoor seating:
Adam and I popped into one of the cafes. Here he is enjoying an Eiskaffee, which was essentially iced coffee mixed with an enormous scoop of ice cream and whipped cream. Not surprisingly he said it was the best Eiskaffee he's ever had. =)
SIDE NOTE: I took 4 years of German in high school. I was really happy to be able to dust it off and use it in Vienna. I know I speak with a ridiculously strong American accent and I probably butchered my grammer and tenses to complete oblivion - but in the end, I was able to communicate. Yay!
Vienna is very famous for its fine arts. Sure enough, opportunities to see classical concerts and other theatrical productions in Vienna abounded everywhere. It was by far the biggest and most prominent fine arts scene I've ever experienced in any city. We were in Vienna for three nights and saw a show every night.
During the summer, the Vienna State Opera House was broadcasting live opera productions on a big outdoor screen. We caught a viewing of Madame Butterfly (what a tragic opera, wow!) amidst a large crowd of folks.
I took piano lessons for almost 20 years growing up, and Mozart was one of my favorite composers. It was fun seeing all the homages to him around Vienna:
|The Mozarthaus was Mozart's residence for three years. Today it is a museum.|
|The Stephansdom has a memorial to Mozart, where his funeral occurred|
Adam and I went to a local restaurant called Lugeck to try some classic Austrian food. When in Wien, of course you have to try the wienerschnitzel:
We also tried some "Emperor's goulash" with spaetzle:
and as I mentioned above, I got an apfelstrudel with vanilla sauce, which was spectacular. It was easily the best thing I ate in Vienna.
Other architectural scenes
Here are a few other examples of the beautiful city architecture and scenes:
|St. Peter's Kirche|
|The Hofburg Imperial Palace|
We ran into a lively street party in one of the squares, hosted by the Viennese firefighters:
|This party was jumping!|
...and that concludes my travel recaps from this vacation!!! Have I bombarded you with so many pictures that your head is spinning? As per usual, thanks for reading through if you made it this far.
Linking up with Lauren, Van, Isabel and Marcella for Wanderful Wednesday; with Chris and Heather, Lauren, Ashley, Amanda and Brian, and Carolann and Macrae for Weekend Wanderlust; and with Lyn, Arnie and Jo, Sally-Ann, Anda, and Anisa and Katherine for The Weekly Postcard.