I finally used my umbrella today
Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
45Trip End Sep 30, 2009
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Where I stayed
Westend City Hostel (Vienna)
I was woken up early by the construction right outside my window, but I didn't mind because I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to see Vienna today. I first took the U-bahn out to see Schonbrunn Palace, arriving shortly after 8:30 am when they opened. I was trying to avoid the mad rush of tourists. And it was great at first. There weren’t many people there, and the outside of the palace was massive and yellow and spectacular.
I bought my ticket to see the royal apartments, and I was surprised when they were decorated very similarly to the Hofburg Palace I’d toured four days ago. But it was still spectacular to see. And at first it was really awesome because there weren’t that many other people there. Only a few people with audio guides like me
After I finished seeing the royal apartments I went out to the back of the palace, where there were some really cool gardens. There was a huge lawn stretching back to a big fountain and a hill topped by the "Gloriette" viewing terrace. And the lawn was covered with really cool flower beds. It was the first time I’d seen a real garden along with a palace, so I really enjoyed it.
I made my way back through the gardens and walked up to the viewing terrace. It had an amazing view of the gardens, palace, and Vienna beyond. I sat down to have a snack and enjoy the view, but then it actually started to rain. And not just a light rain either, it was quite a heavy shower. I actually had to use my umbrella for the first time this trip. Thankfully, it only lasted 10-15 minutes.
I had one last stop at the palace, the maze. It wasn’t that big, but it was actually pretty cool to try and get to the center
When I left Schonbrunn, I took the U-bahn back to the city center to go back to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. I wanted to climb up one of the towers to get a good view of Vienna. One thing I realized while in Prague was that I really enjoy climbing towers and stuff like that to get good views of the cities. But this tower just had four windows in each direction, and Vienna wasn’t that pretty from above.
I next went back to what I’ve decided is my favorite street in Europe – the Graben. I don’t know why, but I just really enjoy the atmosphere. So I decided to sit at one of the cafes in the middle of the street and have a beer (a Kaiser). It was very enjoyable.
My next destination was to return to the Hofburg Palace to see the Treasury there. It was supposed to be the best treasury in Europe, so I figured if I was going to one this should be it. And it was pretty cool. They had three royal crowns, including the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor. And there were lots of royal vestments and tunics and stuff
I decided to go out for dinner because I’d seen a few signs for Wiener Snitzel in my earlier wanderings. It’s supposedly a Viennese specialty, and it’s either fried pork or veal. So I wandered around for a while and finally found a place that had it for fairly cheap. There was a reason it was cheap, though, because it wasn’t very good. But I had a beer with it called Stiegl that was very good.
By the time I was done with dinner it was dark out so I wandered around some more, seeing the streets lit up in the night. I made my way back to the Graben and it was still beautiful. I decided I hadn’t experienced the atmosphere enough, so I found another place on the Graben to have a beer. This time it was a Radeberger Pilsner. And it was good also. So I tried three different beers today! That’s probably good, I need to get ready for the Hofbrauhaus in Munich!
Anyway, after I nursed my last beer on the Graben I forced myself away and took the metro back to my hostel. I stayed up a while to write another blog entry while I had free interenet and then went to bed.