This morning, we headed off for different pursuits.
Debbie went to a hot yoga class – she says it was an excellent class for technique and the instructor, and other yogis, were kind enough to conduct the class in English in deference to Deb’s attendance. The class however was ‘luke-warm’, or maybe ‘room-temp’, yoga, not the 40 degrees she is used to!
Larry headed to the Naschmarkt, a large permanent open air market. He reported that the food stalls looked good, but the ‘flea market’ area was jammed with people and junk! He carried on to a used record store where he did find some treasures to purchase.
Harvey & I returned to the Hofburg Palace, and went on the Imperial Apartments tour. This audio-guided tour consists of 3 parts. First, the Imperial Porcelain and Silver Collection. Those Hapsburgs had a lot of dishes! And over-the-top table settings! It was surprisingly quite interesting. The next leg of the tour is the Sisi Museum. The life and death of Empress Elizabeth (Sisi) are chronicled in a compelling story of a 16 year old girl married to Emperor Franz Joseph. He was head-over-heels-in-love with her, and she reportedly was fond of him but did not take to her role as Empress. She withdrew from her official obligations and family and pursued her solitary interests. Only after her death did the Sisi-mania begin.
Finally the tour goes through the Imperial Apartments of Franz Joseph and Sisi. It was an enjoyable and interesting glimpse into the opulence of royal life. Sorry – no pictures of the interior as photography was not permitted but here are a few more of the Hofburg exterior.
As we left the Hofburg, we passed by the stables of the Spanish Riding School and were lucky to see four of the famous Lipizzaner stallions being led to the training centre.
After our morning travels, we all met at the Opera House and headed for a walk down Mariahilfer Strasse, a broad boulevard filled with the Viennese enjoying their Saturday. We stopped at Ankerbrot, a great old Vienna chain bakery for lunch.
Along the way, we encountered a protest march – they seem to be annoyed with Monsanto and additives to cornflakes. The local polizei were out in full force to ensure a peaceful event.
As we walked along the boulevard, we encountered a number of grand sights.
And then we came across what must be the most elegant part of Kummer Property Management. We stopped in, but Brad’s picture didn’t seem to be on display.
We had mentioned yesterday that we had heard Cafe Sacher was not the best place for Sacher Torte. The reviews said try the Aida Cafe. And serendipitously, as we wandered through a neighbourhood, we came across one of the locations. The coffee and Sacher Torte were everything that had been promised!
We had a delightful afternoon, walking in the sun, stopping in at various shops and generally soaking up the atmosphere of Vienna.
The fountain is in Schwartzenburgplatz and when we saw it later in the evening, it was dramatically lit with changing colours.
To finish off the afternoon, we stopped in at Belvedere Palace. Our VRBO is on Belvederestrasse, only about 3 blocks from this palace, so we thought we really shouldn’t miss it. We had a look around the impressive building and strolled through the gardens for a bit.
For dinner this evening, we tried a Chinese restaurant that we had found well-reviewed in the neighborhood. The food was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We were however put off a bit at the end of the meal. We were brought 4 small glasses (think shot glass size) of warmed plum wine. What a delightful gesture, right? Well not really, when we got the bill, it included a 10 euro charge for this item that we hadn’t ordered. Being the polite Canadians that we are, we paid it without comment but in retrospect felt that we should have protested being charged for something that we hadn’t asked for. Ah well, live and learn.
It was another grand day in Vienna!!