Vienna and Bratislava

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
Trip End Nov 02, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Wien,
Saturday, October 20, 2012

When I opened the curtains this morning, I wasn't sure if we were in dense fog or next to a concrete wall. It turned out it was fog, which had burned off by the time our bus reached Bratislava in Slovakia at about 9:30 a.m. The old section of the city of Bratislava is beautiful, with a number of old churches, narrow cobbled streets, pastel buildings, and many whimsical statues. One shows a man climbing out of a manhole; another honours a street person who always dressed up and wore a top hat; a third is of a French soldier of the Napoleonic age, leaning on a bench - he apparently decided to stay behind when Napoleon's army left. Along the route that the kings took from the castle to the church where they were crowned are small brass crowns inset in the cobbles. We had some time to shop in the market, which featured the normal souvenirs but also many hand embroidered linens made by elderly women trying to add to their pension money. We left Bratislava at about 11:45 a.m., and went back into heavy fog before we got back to Vienna.

David and I had lunch on ship, then headed off to Schonbrunn Palace. By then, about 2 p.m., the fog had burnt off and it was warm and sunny. A bus took us from the boat to a subway station from which we headed off to the Schonbrunn station, about 9 stations along the line. We found it quite easy to purchase tickets and get on the right train. We arrived at Schonbrunn about 3 p.m. and toured the palace with audio guides. The palace really is over the top Rococo
with incredible gilded decorations on all the walls and ceilings, in some cases with inset Chinese lacquer panels or portraits of the Hapsburg princes and princesses. The bed of Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan is so encrusted with silver and gold thread that it must have weighed many pounds and been most uncomfortable to sleep in. I think I liked the blue and white porcelain room the best, a smaller more intimate room than most and decorated with blue and white drawings that looked like porcelain. I enjoyed the gardens too, though some of the annual beds were being cleared for the winter. The gardens feature many classical statues and fountains.

I haven't had a chance to download pictures and am finding it difficult to get them to attach to my blog because of slow Internet service, so I won't try to add any today.
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ColleenColleen Harding on

On our Rhine cruise last fall we had several foggy days. I think it is common this time of year. Hope tomorrow is sunny!

lydia vanpelt on

Hi Joan and David. Is'nt the Schonbrunn wonderful. So much history. Did you visit the Stefans Kirche where Mozart held many cncerts!!!

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