Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer vacation part 6, a quick waltz through Vienna

The next stop on our tour of Eastern Europe was Vienna, the capital of Austria.  Vienna would be the only official "Western" European city on this trip and it is a city that I had always wanted to visit since my post University European backpacking/Eurail days.  Vienna will always hold a special place in my heart as it was featured in one of my all-time favorite movies, "Before Sunrise".  Vienna is known as the capital of classical music of the entire world.  Mozart, grand coffee shops, elegant buildings and tourist shops are lurking around every corner. We would only have about 30 hours in Vienna, so we had to plan our days with laser like precision.  The first day we arrived in the afternoon and after checking in to the hotel and orientating ourselves, we journeyed by metro to the downtown to stroll around and later visit the Music museum (Haus der musik).  The museum was a "hands on" treat and featured several interactive exhibits as well as information on everything to do with classical music and classical composers.  We started the second day in the downtown and made our way to a classic cafe for some Austrian sweets.  Soon afterwards we ventured over to the famous Prater amusement park which features a classic Ferris wheel built back in 1897.  Of course we "had to" take the Ferris wheel up and enjoyed the amazing views of the city from the top.  Later the kids did some carnival style rides and then a bit later we went to see the gardens of the famous Schonbrunn palace.  This grand palace is known as one of the main highlights of Vienna.  We enjoyed strolling through the gardens and going through the human maze with the children.  After literally racing through Schonbrunn, we walked to the nearby Vienna Zoo.  The Tiegarten Schonbrunn is known as the oldest zoo currently in existence and was originally established in 1752.  Although we barely had time to scratch the surface of Austria's grand capital, we really enjoyed the sites and sounds of the city.  Vienna is a charming city and another capital city that I can thoroughly recommend.  Just make sure to give this city at least 3 days or you also will be racing through like our family.

Gardens outside Schonbrunn palace

Schonbrunn garden's maze

Schonbrunn Palace

Inside the Vienna Opera house

Ferris wheel circa 1897

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