Category Archives: Austria

Vienna – Day 3

Some of us decided to go to Grinzinger a place known for its Heuringers.  These are basically farm to table restaurants.  They can only serve what they grow and only new wine.  We got on the subway to the end of the line and then took a bus to Grinzinger, a town full of these restaurants.  It was quiet and it seemed it would be better to go in the evening.  However we were there and found a place that was open.  Of course we ordered new wine because that is what this area is noted for. We also ordered appetizers.  More and more people came in for lunch and we enjoyed everything we had.  The pictures show the partially eaten appetizers because I forgot to take a picture.  Too soon it was time to return to the hotel to collect our suitcases.  We had decided to take a boat from Vienna to Bratislava and it was only a short walk from our hotel.

The boat ride was great. Only an hour and 15 minutes long but with a totally different perspective from the train. The Danube is a working river and we saw all kinds of barges and river cruise ships.  We landed in Bratislava and had a trek over cobblestones to our hotel.

UFO bridge from Danube

River cruise ship

Half eaten appetizers

Having new wine in Grinzing

Vienna-Day 2

Again we were up and had breakfast and were ready to leave by 9am.  Our first stop was the Lippizaner horses.  We took the Hop-on Hop Off bus to the Spanish riding school.  The horses practice daily and it is open to the public for a fee.  We watched for about an hour to the porcelain museum.  The museum told us how porcelain is made and of course there was exquisite pieces on display.  We went to an ice cream venue next to the museum where we ate ice cream.  We saw this huge concrete tower and couldn’t figure out what it was.  I asked a man taking a walk and he said it was used in WW2 to shoot down enemy aircraft.  There was guns mounted on the top that have been removed. He said it would be too expensive to tear down the tower since it is solid concert.  The town decided to leave it standing as a reminder of a very difficult time.

Then back on the bus for a long ride to the Belvedere. A palace that is now a museum.  The palace is divided into upper and lower palaces. We wanted to go to the lower palace, got off at the stop for the lower palace and found we had to walk back to the entrance for the upper palace.  While we were there we saw the most famous painting in Vienna.  It is the painting painted by the artist Gustav Klimy -The Kiss.  We also saw several Monets, Manets and Pizzaros.  We also went to the Opera House but were too late to take a tour.

The next stop was the Ferris wheel. We took the subway since it would be faster.  We had a great time and of course another spectacular view.  Since it was 7pm we decided to take the subway to Karlsplatz and look for a restaurant.  We found a nice little local restaurant on the edge of a park and ate there.  We returned to the hotel about 9pm- our earliest night ever.

The pucture “the Kiss”

The usual suspects

Vienna ferris wheel


We were up and had breakfast and we’re ready to go at 9am.  We took the U-bahn (subway) to get our Vienna pass and our Hop on Hop off bus tickets.  The Vienna pass is good for 2 days and gives us admission to over 60 Vienna attractions.  Our first stop was Schonbrunn Palace.  The ride to the palace was also great seeing a lot of beautiful buildings on the way there.  The Palace and gardens are stunning.  We toured the Palace and then went into the gardens. Lori, Shirley, and I went to do a maze but we were short on time so we didn’t complete the maze.  We were rushing to go to the Apfelstrudel show.  This is a demonstration on how to make the strudel and included a piece of strudel and coffee.  Helen was picked to help in the demo and we all thought that was perfect.  I still wish I could send all these pictures.

Then we decided to go to the Spanish riding school that features the Lippizaner horses.  When we got off the bus we had to walk through a huge rose garden.  Again more beautiful flowers in a delightful park.  When we got to the school we found out they are closed on Monday. We then decided to walk to St. Stephens Platz and church.  Since it was around 4pm we decided to take a little break before continuing. We then went into the church.  After the church we went to Mozarthaus.

We toured Mozarthayus with an audio guide and now I know more about Mozart than I will ever need to know.  It was 7pm when we left the Mozarthaus so we decided to eat dinner.  We went to the restaurant Marsha and I went to 3 years ago.  Then we were off to see the Danube tower.

Back to the Ubahn.  We got off at the wrong stop and a nice young man helped get us in the right direction.  It also has turned cold and windy.  We had a pretty long walk from the subway station but we made it.  We got in the elevator and went up 165 meters to the observation deck.  There was hurricane force winds on the observation deck so we didn’t stay long. It was now about 11pm so we decided to head for home.  Tomorrow is another busy day.

Selfie on observation deck

Helen making strudel

Graz Day 2

We got up and we’re ready to be at the festival when it opened at 10am.  Today everything was set up-music in every square also food and beer and wine.  They also serve Sturm.  I have no idea what this is, but it is low alcohol and delicious.  I think it is part wine, part some kind of berry juice and part sparkling soda or water.

When we first got into town we watched a performance of Slovenian singers and musicians.  We had to leave to see the glockenspiel at 11am since the next time it would do a show would be at 3pm.  We saw the Glockenspiel and walked through the town to see all the vendors and hear all of the music.  There was no transportation in the inner city due to the extremely large crowds.  Everyone was wearing their lederhosen and dirndls this year including us.

We then walked entirely across town to go to the Castle.  I have a picture of the stairs you can take, but we decided to take the funicular.  This castle has panoramic views of Graz. It was a beautiful day as far as the weather is concerned so we decided to walk down.  It is a really pleasant walk and just lovely to do.  I wish I could send all the pictures to let you see what a great time we are having.  We had decided to take the train to Vienna around 4pm so we would get there before dark.  It is a 2 1/2 hour train ride. We made it to the hotel, retrieved our luggage and headed for the train station.  I am now on the train with wifi headed to Vienna.



Drinking Sturm at a venue