Tuesday, May 2, 2017

European Adventure 1 - Day 2 - Vienna

It was going to be raining today so I decided to go to the Schonbrunn Palace. At least I could spend some time inside. Although weather changes a lot.

Breakfast was a nice spread of cheese, bread, fruit and eggs. I had a pot of hot tea and was out of there by 9 am.  Took the U4 directly to Schonbrunn palace. It took less than 10 mins. I love the metro! Walked to the palace from the station. It was cloudy and a little cold. I was so not prepared for all the cold and walking. I should have packed a pair of shoes and a light jacket. Oh well.
The palace is a huge building with a huge fountain in the front. The photography started for me from the front gate! There were horse carriages for rides.  There was no line in the ticketing – I think because I was there so early. I bought the Grand Tour (the best one). I had so much time today.  I picked up the audio tour contraption. They had it in many languages. I walked through each room and played all the audio. For some of the parts photography was prohibited, so I just enjoyed the rooms. There was a lot of tapestry and furniture from all over the world – as far as India and China.  The royalty here went back about 400 years. It was a good tour.

Went through the huge gift shop. It was not too hard to not buy anything. Just bought some chocolate.  There was so much stuff there but I could not bring anything home and I did not want to also.

Then it was time to go out.  By now any drizzling had stopped. I walked around the palace to the gardens. I took one wrong turn and because of that I saw the ENTIRE garden! And the entire garden was really a lot of greenery with some beautiful statues and fountains.  It was tough with my poor sandals but I did it. And I enjoyed it! By the time I did a full circle, then only I realized where I had taken a wrong turn (a good one though). And what I saw just took my breath away. It the biggest most beautiful fountain in the world!! it was facing the backside of the palace. There was another viewing area a little bit over the hill. 
Slowly and surely I saw the whole fountain. There were gardens in front of it, immaculately kept, but there were not many flowers except for tulips. I met a girl from Kyrgyzstan. Interesting. She was on Europe tour on her way back and she was traveling alone. We walked around the fountain then trekked up to the other viewing area. Could see all of Vienna from there. Gorgeous! After that I was on my own again. Walked the other side of the gardens. The walking area was all gravel but I did it all. I saw a few more fountains.  The gardens were really manicured and designed beautifully. I made 100% use of my ticket. I think my timing was a little off for the flowers. July would have been better to see all the gardens.

It took about 6 hours for me to see it all and enjoy it all. I took the U4 train to Karlplatz. But could not figure out how to get to the Museum Quarter from there.  The street signs and all were not the best for me. So I went back to the metro station and took the U2 directly to the museums. I finally had to get money from Karlplatz. I wanted to have a cup of coffee and the coffee place would not take cards. Got E-300. Hopefully that will be enough for the whole trip.

The coffee place, Struck, was a common coffee place on all metros. I had a coffee and ciabatta pizza. It was good to eat something other than puris.

Museum Quarter was just two stations down from Karlplatz. The museum quarter really was just that, all museums. I just looked outside. I did not have enough time to go to all the museums. I walked to Theisen plaza (I had walked up to here yesterday). I walked around, sat a while and enjoyed the gardens.

Walked around the Ring road towards the Parliament. Nice building. From then it was to Rathaus Plaza. Crossed the street to Burg theater and there to Volks garden. It was really pretty but would have been better during July with more flowers. 

Walked towards the Heldenplatz (I was here yesterday also) and to Burggarten. It was a beautiful small garden with a statue of Mozart in it. It brought me to the Sttats Opera – which is the Vienna Opera House. Looks great from outside.  All over the city, I had seen young men dressed as Mozart selling opera tickets. It was kind of amusing…looked like they were selling something illegal – but obviously not!

I was thinking that the concert I had was going to be here in Vienna Opera House, but not really. Anwar, the reception guy forgot to tell me exactly where the concert was. I had the ticket with me, so I had ask around. But that is fine. I had a lot of time so I walked on Karntnerstrasse street. It was an interesting street. Full of shopping eating and enjoying.  Really good to walk. So much shopping!! It was only a pedestrian street so just enjoy walking. I stopped at the Swarovski shop. I did not think I would buy anything – but I did! It was a beautiful shop with things I could not even imagine.  They seemed like good people so I checked with the lady there about my concert place and she told me it was in St. Peter’s church, which was not that far from where I was.

Swarvoski crystals
I looked through some of the gift shops…did end up buying chocolate at the Heindel shop. The chocolate was great! Just what I needed. Had plenty of time, so stopped in H&M – should have bought a jacket there, but did not. I found my way back to Graben street and to the church. Made sure that the concert was there. The church itself was gorgeous. I am glad I bought the concert was here otherwise I would have never come in here. Then I went to have coffee at Starbucks only because I was sure they would have a restroom! The coffee was good too. I relaxed until 7:45 pm and then walked back to the church.

I had gone to the Kansas City orchestra before, but this was a different experience. It was a church, so a smaller location, hten just the feeling of listening to classical music in a church was very spiritual. I was having such wonderful imaginations during the compositions. The concert was about an hour long.

Took the U2 from Stephenplatz to my hotel. Was back by 9:30 – I was wonderfully tired. It was such a great day! I have to leave tomorrow afternoon, so I can do something different tomorrow morning. 

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