Vienna- Day 2

Trip Start Jul 16, 2011
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Saturday, July 23, 2011

With one full day in Vienna, we wanted to see some of the highlights and take in a concert before continuing on to Bled, Slovenia. We started the day with a 3-hour bus tour of the city's highlights. This tour took us by some of the most beautiful cathedrals, churches, palaces, and monuments in the city. In addition, we had a tour of the Schonbrunn Palace, which was the summer palace for the Hapsburg Family. It was a pretty impressive palace, on a huge plot of land! We had a great tour guide for the morning and enjoyed what we were able to see.

After the tour, we dropped into a nice place for lunch near the pedestrian zone of the city. From there we went to the Hofburg Palace Treasury to see the Crown Jewels. Among the collection was the world's largest emerald, large collections of precious stones, and plenty of gold. The Treasury also houses numerous religious relics, including an actual piece of the cross used to crucify Jesus, as well as the nail that, presumably, was driven through his right hand!

We had also been told that the Lippizan foals and mares were in Vienna for three weeks and attempted to see them but, unfortunately, they can only be seen from 11 a.m.  until noon each day. Oh well.

We did a little shopping before heading back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner and our concert. For dinner we had planned to eat just outside the hotel, as we would be getting picked up by a taxi in front of the hotel to take us to the concert. We have been eating outside as much as possible on the trip, and tonight was no exception. We had a nice dinner just across from the hotel, with plenty of people-watching available.

Our evening entertainment was a concert of music by Mozart and Strauss, performed in the Golden Hall. We had a bit of an adventure getting there, as there are multiple Mozart concerts in Vienna each night and our taxi driver dropped us at the wrong venue. We went into a nearby hotel and they pointed us in the right direction. It was then about a 10-minute walk to get to our concert hall.

The concert itself was great. In addition to the beautiful music, the musicians were in period costume, and there were also a couple of opera singers involved in the show. There was a good crowd on hand and the music was great. I think fun was had by all! After the show, we returned to the hotel, walked across the street and enjoyed a nightcap before calling it a day.

It was a long day today, but very enjoyable. We are all looking forward to traveling to Bled, Slovenia tomorrow... 
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