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... over the years it has been used as a setting for diplomacy among many different nations.
Vienna is particularly fascinating city since it was built as the capital of a much larger empire (Habsburg empire with over 50 million people at the time — which would be the relative equivalent to 300 million plus today), so the government buildings and public spaces were constructed on a very grand scale, which makes it all the more fun to visit. (The Habsburg ...
... Vienna who over the years went through many waves of anti semitism. It took Austria almost fifty years to come to terms and accept their role in the Holocaust. It was not until 1991 that the government acknowledged and issued a statement accepting their role. Many immigrants to Vienna are from the former Soviet Union and today the community stands at about 14,000 Jews and ...
Back to the land of German speakers and the euro today. The rain is unrelenting and follows us all the way from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna. There is a large group of busabout trainees or "freshers" as well as travellers who elect to go on a walking tour when we arrive.
Andrea our guide is quite a character and we learn a few tips:
"look at these sculptures ladies every muscle is defined"
"the famous white horses are born black and after four years ...
... our free day in Vienna we checked out (surprise, surprise) the Hofburg Palace. Absolutely stunning buildings. Plus we got to check out the Crown Jewels and lots of other artifacts. After exploring there, we hit the cobbles in search of the traditional Sacher Torte. And found it at, where else...the Hotel Sacher! In the afternoon the group had a tour and tasting at a centuries old Schnapps museum. Our guide is the third generation of the schnapps ...
... to out to Schonbrunn Palace where there are Christmas markets which we knew would be open. Liz wasn't feeling the best so Joel and went first with the idea of finding them at the markets later.
As we walked to the tube, it was surprisingly warm compared to the other days. Bit overcast which probably helped. When we reached the stop we walked with all the crowds towards the palace and knew we were at the right place.
The markets are ...