Europe 2012: Day 71, Vienna


Josefsplatz at the Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria.

Thursday, August 16

Woke at 8am.     It is sunny and the high today is supposed to be 64 degrees but it feels warmer than that as I walk to Café Mozart for my morning coffee and Danish.  My DH sleeps in.  I ordered the strong coffee and a Nussbeugerl – a mixture of nuts in cinnamon and sugar rolled in a moist pastry – yummy!

Last night we decided that the last city on our trip of Europe will be Amsterdam.   We will be flying home on September 20, making our trip 106 days instead of the original 108 days.   By flying on a weekday (Thursday), versus a weekend (Saturday), we will be saving money.  Unfortunately, it is not the most direct flight — Amsterdam to Iceland, Iceland to Seattle, Seattle to San Jose — 17 hours in total!

Today is our last full day in Vienna.   We both love it here!   Of course, we still love Paris and London too!

After spending a couple of hours in our hotel room finalizing our travel plans,  we leave the hotel around 11am to tour the Habsburg Palace and the apartments of Sisi, the Empress of Austria.   The Habsburg Palace  has housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty and other rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria.   It was also the home of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also called Sisi.   Sisi was famous for her beauty, her non-conformist nature, and her tragic death.   Here are some pictures of our tour:

Dozens and dozens of copper molds used for jellies, cakes, and aspics for fancy dinners with the Habsburgs. (Vienna, Austria)

One of many royal tea services at the Habsburg Palace. (Vienna, Austria)

The official “State” tea and coffee service of the Habsburgs. (Viennia, Austria)

This dinnerware has wonderful illustrations! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

Gold table decorations and services — one of many collections! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

This plate is a work of art! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

So are these! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

I like birds! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

These tea cups look so modern — I love the colors! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

Wood grain china? Very cool! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

A folded napkin. (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

A bust of Sisi and lovely green dinnerware! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

I don’t know what this is but I love it! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

My favorite piece — a silver tree with porcelain fruit! (Habsburg Palace, Vienna, Austria)

We spent four hours at the Habsburg Palace!   I blame yet another excellent audio-guide!

We had a late lunch around 3pm at our favorite Vienna restaurant with the nice waitress– Reinthaler’s Beisl.   My DH ordered the Wiener Schnitzel, I ordered the Roast Pork with a Dumpling and Sauerkraut.   It was the best!!!!  We shared another large beer, too.

Weinersnitchel with a salad, roasted pork with a bread dumpling, and a cold beer to share!

Wiener Schnitzel with a salad, roasted pork with a bread dumpling, and a cold beer to share!

After lunch, we decided to take a city walk.  My DH pulled out the Kindle and pulled up the walk that he found on the web.    These walks, there are a lot of them out there – just search for “<city> Walks” – are pretty good.  You follow the directions and you see the most interesting things.  This walk took us to the Jewish Quarter of Vienna where we saw important buildings and monuments pertaining to the persecution of the Jews.

Judenplatz in Vienna, Austria.

Around 7pm, we stopped for ice cream at a popular ice cream parlor.   We shared a bowl of ice cream — four scoops with chocolate sauce (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and pistachio).  The ice cream was cold, smooth, and their flavors were intense!   This is what the locals do in Vienna in the evenings, they eat ice cream while enjoying the summer weather.  It was nice!   It was also getting cloudy and windy.

Ice cream!

We were back at the hotel around 8:30pm after a leisurely walk back past St. Stephen’s Cathedral and all the busy shops on our street.   The skies were threatening rain but no matter, it can rain if it wants to.  We had one of our most pleasant visits of our vacation – in Vienna!

Quote of the day:  “It’s another chick thing.” – DH’s comment on the crystal, china, silver, and gold dinnerware exhibit at the Habsburg Palace.

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