Trip Start Feb 20, 2012
Trip End Aug 31, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Saturday, July 7, 2012

After a pretty full on few days of travel we again saddled up and hit the bumpy Czech highways back into Austria and Vienna. Being a bit slow out of the blocks, held up in a traffic jam and and getting in an en route shop we didn't arrive in Vienna until late Saturday afternoon. We spent the evening hanging out at the campsite hoping the evening thunderstorms that we have been accustomed to stayed away....they did....bonus.

Today we got up and hit the bus and metro into the centre of town. It felt like we carried on where we had left in Prgaue (we weren't surprised to find out that Prague was the former capital of the Habsburg Empire before Vienna) our necks crooked taking in the sights. Unlike Prague though the scale and quality of some of the sights were immense!! We moved around the town from the St Stephan's Cathedral with its outer roof mosaic (?!$?!$) through the Old Town, past all manner of buildings clad in all manner of statues and ornate decoration (interestingly there are new buildings woven into the old which makes it a pretty nice place to wander). We came across one side of Hofburg Royal Palace (it took us half an hour to walk around to the other side). We wandered into the Museum Quarter just past the palace and again new and old museum buildings mixed around. We didn't venture into any attractions as there was enough to keep you busy just looking at the outside. Lunch was some Vienesse Ice Coffees (it was tipping 35 degrees) with Apple Struddel.......Kirsty on the order there!

We jumped back on the metro and headed out to Schloss Schonbrunn (Schonbrunn Palace)! What a set of digs they are! A 1400 room summer retreat (!?!?!?) for the local monarchy.....their permanent digs were Hoffburg Palace we'd visited earlier in the day. We headed in for a look around....we managed 20 of the 1400 rooms but they were fairly well kitted out! These fellas knew how to throw their welth about i guess. After we headed out into the gardens.....the main feature is a centre concourse of gardens, a massive waterfall and the Gloriette (an observatory thingy). In all it took us about 20mins to walk around it the whole of it. A thunderstorm rolled in just missing us which made for some pretty wicked photo op's.

After visiting Vienna and Austria in general and learning of their history......they should be a superpower in todays world. The Habsburg Empire back in the day was massive for its time controlling most of Europe....and massively wealthy i guess. Hearing of its downfall though.....the old adage make love not war comes to mind....but unfortunately that didn't quite work out for the Habsburgs. Their policy to strengthen and expand their realm was to marry into foreign families before it all came apart in the early 20th century. I guess that policy may have contributed to thier eventual downfall.......OR.......they just spent all of thier money on Vienna.....i dont know.
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