So, as many of you know, I just got back from Vienna yesterday! It was a really wonderful trip! I stayed, much to my mother's chagrin I stayed in a Jugendherberge (youth hostel) in Vienna. For 20 Euros a night you get to stay in a large room with 7 strangers! But it ended up being completely fine. there were 5 Aussie girls and 2 German girl from Koeln. I left Linz at 8:10 and was in Vienna by 9:40 and went straight to the hostel, where they told me it was too early to check in. So, I left my things and headed straight to St. Stephans Dom. One of the most famous cathedrals in Vienna. I went up to the top of the south tower which for hundreds of years was the tallest point in Vienna. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures from day one because I am a fool and didn't charge my camera battery before leaving! So, I spent the whole day in Museums and doing things that wouldn't require me to take pictures. I saw 6 exhibits in 1 and a half days! I started at the Hofburg, which is the former Imperial Winer Palace. I saw the Silberkammer or the imperial silver collection. For those of you who know about my love of fine china and table linens, you will know that I was in heaven! It's an incredible array of every thing from baking dishes to bronze and silver candelabras that almost certainly weigh more than 50 pounds. Do you think they would've minded if I just borrowed some?
I then went to the Sisi exhibit. Elizabeth was the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph II and was a notorious beauty and champion of the people. I have long had a fascination with german/austrian musicals. There so happens to be a musical called "Elizabeth" about this incredible empress. I now have a much better and clearer understanding of her personality. Unfortunately she was assassinated in her early 50s. After that exhibit, I made my way to the imperial apartments which is always fun for me because I can always envision myself living in these lavish accommodations and feeling right at home! After I had spent hours in the imperial apartments I made my way to the Kunsthistorisches Museum that houses all sorts of paintings and ancient roman, egyptian and greek art. I was particularly interested in seeing a Dutch painting of Henry VIII third wife Jane Seymour. Luckily, it was still on display! My last Museum stop for the day was at the imperial Schatzkammer which houses the former imperial crown jewels.
After a long day of Museum hunting I decided that when in Wien one should really eat Wiener Schnitzel. So, I went to a local restaurant and did just that! It was delicious. Although, I think I'd better reduce the amount of times that I eat traditional austrian food otherwise I might end up being really fat after a year! The food is delicious, but generally fried or coated in butter! After dinner, I went back to the hostel and talked to the other people staying in my room. the Aussies had to get up the next morning, but the germans said that they were planning on going out. So, I went out on the town with these two fun loving crazy girls from Koeln! We didn't do anything too crazy, We went to a bar or two and drank beer (what else?) and then came back and met a bunch of other germans in a Kneipe (a dive) and at four in the morning, I couldn't think in English let alone German! I finally had to say good night and went back and crawled into bed.
The next morning, I got up at 7:30 and went down to have the free breakfast at the hospital while all of the girls stood in line for our communal bathroom. I came back, took a brief shower, charged my camera and was set for another day of exploration. I set out for Schoenbrunn the Habsburg's former summer palace. I challenged myself to take the self guided audio tour in German and it didn't go half badly! The palace is simply wonderful and the grounds are gorgeous. Afterwards, I came back to central Vienna and busied myself taking picture of myself in front of places I had gone to the day before. I also made it my mission to find the original Sacher hotel and eat Sachertorte, a decadent chocolate cake filled with Marillen (apricot) jam and covered with a smooth layer of chocolate ganache. Those of you that have lived with me will know that last year I made it my mission to try and perfect the art of Sacher torte. I made 7 attempts at the well known confection and I'm sad to say, didn't come close to the original! I also had a Kaesekrainer which is a Sausage filled with cheese! The stand where I bought it also offers it in a "hotdog" bun. Unlike our hotdog buns, however, this is a loaf of bread with a whole bored in the middle! My last confection for the day was the ever popular "Kaisersmarrn" which is a sugared pancake that has been cut up into bite-size pieces during the cooking process. It includes raisins and a side of "Zwetschke Marmalade" (plum marmalade). After having eaten more than one person ever should in one day, I finally decided it was time to get back on the train and head back to Linz. What a wonderful experience! I hope you guys enjoy the pictures below.
I didn't want to caption too many of these pictures for fear of boring you, but this was in a subway station in Vienna and just proves that Starbucks really IS everywhere!
Vor der Wiener Staatsoper! This is the state opera in Vienna. Maybe next time I can actually see something!
Sorry about all the one handed photos guys!