Our time in Vienna

Trip Start Jun 21, 2006
Trip End Jul 04, 2006

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Friday, June 30, 2006

The first day we met with Mom and Madame and saw StephensDom (the local cathedral.) Very impressive. Then, Ted and I walked around a little bit to get our bearings. We were a little bit lost and standing on a corner trying to figure out how to find the Roman ruins at Hoher Markt. A very nice Viennese man heard us talking and stopped to help us. "Where are you from?" he asked. "The USA" we replied. "I knew that!" he said, "But where in the US?" He had gone to college on a track scholarship in Michigan and had taught at the University of Virginia. We told him we wanted to find Hoher Markt. "Why do you want to go there????" We must have said it wrong because he looked a little shocked. We told him that the roman ruins were there and he laughed and sounded like he was relieved. I wonder what we actually said. (grin...) He gave us directions to the roman ruins at Hoher Markt and then told us that if we wanted really good pastry, that we should go to L. Heiner's. That is where the locals go. So we made it a point to check out that patisserie. WOW! It was fantastic. Yummy!!!

We went to see Figaro house where Mozart lived for his two years in Vienna and where he wrote the bulk of his most famous works. The marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni and also the Requium which he didn't finish before he died but his pupil finished for him and delivered after his death to the person that requested it. The person that requested it tried to pass it off as his own work but every body knows now that Mozart wrote it.

We walked over to St. Georges church because we had heard that there was a painting of St. Barbara there. There is so much St. Steven stuff around Budpest and Vienna and I was sure that if I came back with St. Steven and No St. Barbara that my Barbara would be very unhappy. We got a picture but it didn't come out very well. AT least we can tell Barbara that she was represented there. (smile)

That evening, we went to a biergarten called (I think,) ReinPrecht. It was a true German bier garten with roving musicians. One of the instruments looked like an acoustic guitar and a bass guitar all on the same frame. The other instrument was an accordian. They played for us a long time and even tried to give us some requests. They didn't know any Pink Floyd though so Ted was a little disappointed. We did get the true rendition of Eidelweiss though. The guitar player had a really nice baratone and ended every song with a cha cha cha. Good wine and excellent (authentic Austrian,)food too. I had pork and sauerkraut with a bavarian pretzel on the side.

The next day we decided to take the 2 hour bus tour in Vienna to get acclamated with the sites. We started at the Vienna Opera house. This one is bigger than the one in Budapest but we didn't go inside since the tour was beginning and we had to get onto the bus. We did get a couple of pictures of the outside though.

There are a million people dressed up like Mozart here trying to sell us tickets to concerts. The tour guide told us not to buy anything from the people dressed in silly clothes. That if we wanted music to go and get tickets for the Winter palace concerts instead. I thought that a nice touch would be to have all the Mozarts get together, go up in a plane with a parachute, and parachute down into Vienna ( "The Flying Mozarts" ) in the same fashion as the Flying Elvises. I'm guessing they're not going to do that, however.

The tour took us all over Vienna and stopped at the Schonbrunn palace that belonged to the Hapsburgs. The last real ruler that resided there was Maria Teresa the emperess that had 13 children and ruled Vienna mostly from her childbed (which was a pretty impressive bed!) She had great taste and there were a lot of chinese antiques. I spotted a vase that looks like one of Mom's and some tapestries that also looked like the one Mom has of christianity coming to China. That was neat to see that she and Mom have similar taste in hime furnishings. I'm sure Maria Teresa's are more valuable but I like Mom's better because they are at home for me to see and touch every day.

Our tour guide was very good and kept us on a very strict schedule. Aparently there are 60,000 visitors to the palace every day so we had to keep our time to run through to the minute.

After the tour, we met up with Mom and Madame Doumenc and had lunch at a wonderful Vienna coffee house. The food was fabulous but the seating was a little cramped (especially for Ted. (grin))

Mom and I went shopping after lunch and Madame went back to her hotel to rest. Ted was going to take the tour for following the steps of the "Third Man" an Orson Wells clasic movie but found out that it wasn't on that day. So, instead, he went searching for cigars but didn't find any. Mom and I found a great shop and she got me some clothes since mine had gotten too big (I'm ok with that.)

We had to leave early the next morning so we had a fast dinner at Bizi pizzaria. It was cheap and delicious and comfortable. All good things in our book. Especially since it is easy to spend a lot of money in Europe just eating.

I ran to get Viennese chocolate to bring home and then back to the hotel for the night.

We drove back to Budapest the next morning to catch our plane to Frankfurt. Mom and Madame went on to Paris and we stayed the night at the Frankfurt airport Holiday Inn. We had dinner at the Biergarten there and the servers were big soccer fans. We chatted and when we left, they gave us a FIFA world cup program in English that they had picked up but couldn't read because it was in english. It is the full program so it is a really nice souvenir of our trip. Too bad Germany lost to Italy. I was hoping they would go to the finals.
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