I had very high expectations from all the wonderful things that I heard from family and friends about Vienna. I am happy to say that I can now recommend and give glowing reviews of Vienna. I was there for 2.5 days at the end of October and the weather was gorgeous. Think-changing colors on trees, chilly but not freezing, and beautiful architecture. I’ll take you through my trip.
Day 1. Arrival, Schonbrunn Palace, Opera
I arrived, went to my hotel, dropped off my luggage and hopped on the metro to Schönbrunn Palace. This is the former summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs. There’s lots of history about this monarchy and I’m currently reading more about it. (I should have paid more attention in World History class or listened to my dad when he told me to take European History—Sorry Dad). Here are some random facts that I learned during the tour.
-Empress Maria Theresia didn’t have any portraits taken after she turned 30. She didn’t want to show that her 16” waist had grown.
-She also had 16 children-only 11 made it to adulthood. Marie Antoinette was one of the daughters.
-Yellow is an imperial color. Hence the color of the palace is yellow.
-Each member of royalty would have had 5 maids or servants.
-There was a bomb dropped in the grand ballroom but it didn’t explode. It just destroyed the ceiling fresco depicting war…ironic.
-Mozart played for Maria Theresia when he was 6 and supposedly jumped up on her lap and gave her a kiss. Thank goodness she still gave him a glowing review that allowed him to become famous.
After the guided tour, I headed downtown to walk around, eat dinner, and see the opera. (See next post about the Opera)
DAY 2: BUS Tour and Walking
I had a bus tour planned with my package and it was a good quick way to see all the sights and get some background history. Also it was raining so I was happy to be warm and dry. Here are some more random facts I learned about Vienna.
-The Opera House was completely destroyed after WWII. Actually 30% of buildings in WWII were destroyed.
-Do you know why it’s called a flea market? People would line up to have monkeys pick fleas off their heads and bodies. EWW
-The origin of the Votive or Thanksgiving Church was because Franz Joseph was attempted to be assassinated but was unsuccessful. He had this church built as a thanks to God.
It stopped raining as the tour ended and I went off on foot to see the sights close up. I got to see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, The Hofburg, The Josefsplatz, The Plague Monument, Sacher Café, Anti-war and Fascism Monument, Mozarthaus, Michaelerplatz. After 7 miles of walking around, I headed back to the hotel to change. I went out for dinner and had previously booked tickets at another theater to see the Wizard of Oz.
DAY 2.5 Return to Vienna and flight back to Madrid.
This last half day was after two days in Budapest, but I booked an early train ticket back into the city and a late flight to take advantage of the vacation.
This day was beautiful and sunny so I wanted to head back to some of the spots to get more sunny and bright pictures.
I started by walking past Burg Theater, the Rathaus (town hall), and the Parliament Building. I ate lunch at a nice café where Sigmund Freud frequented. I got my last wiener schnitzel—yum. Then I just kept walking back to the main square, the cathedral, etc. I did some souvenir shopping and headed to the airport.
Thank you Vienna for showing me a taste of European fall. (We don’t get to see that many changing colors in Torrijos) And thank you for showing me the rich culture of the city and the history that is present all around. I’ll be back.