Friday, July 25, 2014

Wien - Day 1

On Thursday night, we hopped on a plane to Wien (Vienna, Austria). I've wanted to go to Wien ever since I learned about Lipizzaners and the Spanish Riding School when I was in my pre-teen years. It was a huge check off my bucket list to go to Wien and it was definitely my favorite place we visited. L also loved it! It really reminded me of Paris but without the French and maybe a little less clean. I would go back in a heartbeat!

On Friday morning, we found breakfast at a cafe called Cafe Schwarzenberg. We both got a traditional Wiener Fruhstuck. It included coffee or hot chocolate (both were excellent), fresh orange juice, rolls with butter and jam, and a soft-boiled eggs. Neither L or I had actually eaten a soft-boiled egg before so we stumbled through the process. Just after we finished, someone else was served a soft-boiled egg so we watched him eat to be prepared for our next time.

After breakfast, we explored the outside of the Hofburg Imperial Palace. The interior was just museums and none of them were of particular interest to us, so we didn't go inside. The palace is huge though!

The side of the Palace

The main gates

Inside the main gates

The Swiss Gate

While we were checking out the entrance to the Spanish Riding School (at the Hofburg), the current exhibition finished and the handlers bought the mares and foals through the courtyard to get back to their stalls. SO CUTE!

Entrance to the Spanish Riding School

Just outside the Spanish Riding School is an excavated section of the square exposing ruins from early Wien.

Right around the corner from the Hofburg is the Minoriten-Kirche. Its claim to fame is its mosaic replica of Da Vinci's The Last Supper.

Then we explored the two parks around the Hofburg. The first was the Burggarten. It is mostly open space with a pond where some of the most active ducks I've ever seen live. L just had to feed them...

There is also a memorial to Mozart who is from Austria.

Then we went to the other park, the Volksgarten.

Memorial to Elisabeth.

Ephesus Temple which was created to house a piece of art that is now in the Kuntshaus.

The art that was supposed to be in Ephesus Temple was replaced with these cups. We didn't get it. 

Also in the Volksgarten is a rose garden with a nice view of the Stephensdom.

At that point, we were basically starving so we went to find some food before our tour of the Spanish Riding School. Outside the Rathaus (City Hall), they've set up a summer-long film festival complete with tons of booths from local restaurants and breweries. We grabbed a couple beers from Ottakringer and some dumplings and noodles from an Asian place. It was really tasty!

After lunch, we headed to the Spanish Riding School for our tour. There aren't any traditional performances in July because the stallions are on vacation in the country, so we took a tour instead. They do have "performace" called Piber Meets Vienna, where they bring in mares and foals from the countryside breeding farm and let them run around in the riding ring. We thought about doing that, but got a much better performance in the afternoon. Luckily (for us), not all of the stallions fit at the breeding facility so there were a few still in Vienna and we got to meet them. We weren't allowed to take any pictures though.

The world's largest hot walker. Fits 19 horses, I think.

They use shapes instead of letters in their dressage ring. No thank you.

After we went to the riding school, we headed to Stephensdom and went up the taller (and cheaper??) tower. On the way, though, we stopped and got a delicious chocolate lava cake at a cafe. Its very Viennese to each cake in the afternoon! YUM!

While we were up in the tower, I was pissed at this couple because they were taking up the window with the best view for a loooong time. We tried hovering but they just wouldn't move. After we walked away, and another person also walked away. The guy got down on one knee and proposed! It was super cute and I forgive them for taking the good window!

After Stephensdom, it was getting close to dinner time, but we still needed to wait a bit longer. So we got a couple beers from the green bunny and headed back to the Burggarten to see the babies come out to play. This was so cool and they were so cute! Probably the best way to see the Lipizzaners if you can't actually see them perform! 

After watching the babies for a while, we headed to dinner at a brewery we saw earlier in the day, called the 1516 Brewing Company. It was definitely a bit American influenced, mostly in the food. The beer was solid though and the food was delicious. They actually had hotwings, so of course, L had to get those to start. They were actually pretty hot! Definitely the hottest thing in Europe so far! For dinner, I had mushroom tortelini and L had ribs! I ended up with a headache from not drinking enough water and the smokers at the table next to us so we headed to the hotel and went to bed!

No comments:

Post a Comment