Vienna...a nice place to take a break

Trip Start Jul 08, 2013
Trip End Aug 10, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Friday, July 26, 2013

On the coach in the morning at 830 am feeling very tired and a little sunburnt. Our travel time on the bus was going to be a little more than five hours, so they broke it up with two pitstops. The first was at the Sedlec Ossuary in Kostnice Czech Republic. It is a small Catholic church but inside it is wickedly gruesome... Because the priest was able to bring back some dirt from the holy land to sprinkle around the church, many many people want to be buried in its graveyard. When it got to be too many people, they were all dug up and their bones placed inside the church in large piles. In 1870, a wood carver was hired to arrange the bones in a more decorative manner. There are said to be the bones of over 45,000 people decorating the church. It was creepy and beautiful and strange all in one. I loved it!

Speaking of odd stops, our next pit stop was in no mans land between the Slovakian and Hungary Border at the most random amusement park. Check out the gotta see it to believe it. Fantasy Island! Then we were off to Vienna. I was feelin pretty tired but absolutely had to yak with my new BFF Yolanda from Adelaide the whole time. She is pretty awesome and we are pretty happy to hang out together on the trip...along with our third musketeer Renata from Winnipeg. Its funny but on Contiki, you always become your name plus the place where you are from! We arrived in Vienna at the hotel and Sarah and I raced upstairs to have a quick nap. Woke up to head out with the group to an evening of amusement parks and schnitzel, but I felt horrible. Might have been heat stroke or just the exhaustion of traveling but I had to go back to bed immediately. Slept for five hours and stumbled downstairs to find food around midnight. Room service was closed and everything was too far away for me to go to by myself, so I had to settle for a pack of peanuts out of the vending machine for dinner. Yum.

Today I was feeling much better when I woke up so we got aboard the coach and headed into town with the group for a walking tour of this pretty city. We saw the massive castle downtown and stopped in at one of the flagships of Swarovski Crystal Jewellery. Beautiful pieces but there is no way I could justify buying some of those earrings! The three of us then went to have some famous Sacher-torte, a divine piece of chocolate cake layered with apricot jam and some Viennese Coffee! So delicious! To work off the torte, we decided to climb the stairs to the top of St. Stevens Church dome, but to our delight there was actually an elevator installed! It was quite high up and gave us some beautiful views of the city. Afterwards we ate the most delicious sausage I have ever had from a street vendor, then headed back to the hotel to get ready for our night out.

This evenings entertainment was a classical music concert and dinner out at the Schomburg Palace, the royal family's former summer home (this palace only had 1400 rooms vs the 2600 in their royal residence!) We all got fancied up for the evening and looked beautiful in our finery. Dinner was a traditional chicken Schnitzel and apple strudel, which was very tasty and went well with the bottle of wine one of the Aussie girls and I polished off. Then it was onto the concert, which was absolutely lovely, despite the ridiculous. Not a lot of places here have air conditioning and the room for the concert was big with the patio doors flung wide, but it was at least 30 degrees in the room and no breeze so we listened to Mozart while slowly sweating to death! The show was fabulous though Opera singing and ballet dancing as well as a small orchestra. The music really made my Vienna experience.
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Michelle B on

Everyday I look forward to reading your entries and checking out the pics..
I love your blog, I feel like I'm traveling with you and seeing Europe through your eyes. This trip is going to be a hard one to top. You're going to put Rick Steves out of a job!
I'm happy you're having a great time.
Same old, same old at home here, but we've had amazing July with no rain!
Keep the blog going!

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