Waltzing in Vienna

The next stop on my tour of Europe was Austria, a land locked country in central Europe. I visited Vienna, Salzburg and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest (actually in Germany).

Of all the cities I visited during this trip with Trafalgar, and I know someone who is not going to be too happy with me when I say this, but Vienna was my least favorite.

Vienna did not ‘feel’ old and steeped in history like the previous imperial cities I had visited. I love history and historical significance and I felt that Vienna fell short of this, for me. It felt modern and is filled with opulence, aristocracy and people who are wealthier than their counterparts surrounding them. It is this feeling of almost superiority that leaves a slightly sour taste in my mouth.

The busy shopping streets of Vienna city also feel more like one giant open air mall of which everything is super expensive, so much more than in any of the other cities I visited. One example, a simple T-shirt in Prague costs 20 Euro’s but in Vienna it is 40 Euro’s, double the price! (Side note: in Italy only a year before I paid closer to 15 Euro’s for a T-shirt, sometimes as little as 10 Euro’s!)

Having said all of that, I did still enjoy Vienna tremendously and loved the places I visited, the sights I got to see, the music I was lucky enough to enjoy and the food wasn’t bad either.

We took a tour of the opulent and truly magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, the former imperial Summer residence. Where Emperor Franz Joseph, longest reigning emperor of Austria was born. He also died there at the age of 86 in 1916.

Wow what a beautiful and enormous palace with beautiful manicured gardens! You certainly feel the grandeur and the wealth from this remarkable place. The art inside alone takes your breath away at the sheer size and volume of the pieces.

Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace

 

 

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The Gloriette in the Schönbrunn Palace Garden

The Schönbrunn Palace Garden – Neptune Fountain

We also viewed the Hofburg Palace, home to the Austrian President for over 500 years!

They also have dozens of horse drawn carriages for rides all over but most seem to gather outside the Hofburg Palace.

Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Palace

Plenty of horse drawn carriages

Plenty of horse drawn carriages

We also went to what was arguably one of the most incredible restaurant experiences I have ever had. Marchfelderhof, where a band and waving of flags welcomes you inside to this peculiar but totally friendly restaurant serving delicious traditional Austrian meals.

The restaurant is busy, not just with the patrons but also with millions of things hanging off the ceilings and walls and you can sign your name on the walls, if you can find a space!

Marchfelderhof Restaurant - see the band waving Austrian flags. I have never felt so welcome!

Marchfelderhof Restaurant – see the band waving Austrian flags. I have never felt so welcome!

 

Welcome to Marchfelderhof!

Welcome to Marchfelderhof!

 

We also went for an amazing Viennese concert of which we weren’t allowed to take photographs, it was amazing and felt like I was living a few centuries ago with Mozart and co. The musicians and dancers were totally captivating and dressed in period costume, it was really a fun night out and an absolute ‘must do’ when in Vienna. They have concerts all over the city almost every night of the year. What an experience!

It is these ‘Insider experiences’ from Trafalgar that make them the leader in making dreams come true, allowing you to really experience a destination. Oh and it certainly helps having a tour director that knows his stuff!  Everything is just so much fun and so well planned and all you have to do is have fun, be on time and enjoy every moment!

Hey, I didn’t say I hated Vienna just that it was the least liked city on this incredible tour.

It is only fitting then that I leave you with a quote from the great composer and musician himself. He did, after all, die in Vienna in 1791.

 

“A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.”  – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Cheers till next time,

Wayne

 

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