{vienna}

The last few days of our trip, we stopped in Vienna on the trip back to Budapest. It was a quick, 1 1/2 day visit, but we managed to include quite a lot of sightseeing aka…walking. I think I need to stress the word A LOT.  Time can numb the pain, so maybe I’ve subconsciously put this off until I can think back on this portion of our trip and not wince. So without further ado, this is the last of our great European adventure…

THE SIGHTS

St. Stephen’s Cathedral – We started off the morning afternoon (see note about hotel below) taking in the beautiful architecture. The sun was pretty hot so we decided to take a look inside. I still can’t get over the intricate details that used to be the norm. While I definitely appreciate modern design, there just isn’t the same craftsmanship involved. And this girl loves her details.

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St. Stephen’s South Tower – This deserves it’s own category as it was 343 steps to the top of the tower. And by steps I mean a tiny concrete spiral staircase with no railings or windows. I’m not claustrophobic, but was close to changing my mind by the time I made it to the top. It wouldn’t be quite so bad except when passing people you just have to pray you don’t fall. I would never have considered stair climbing a feat. St. Stephens changed my mind.

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Yes, I’m proud. Don’t judge. You would be too if you had my coordination. Below is an outside view of the climb and view from the top. Impressed? Please be. I will be taking the shorter tower with the elevator next time.

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Hofburg Palace – As we continued to wander the cobbled streets, we happened upon Hofburg Palace. We didn’t go into the palace, but there was enough architecture to keep me happily occupied outside.

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Austrian National Library – My book loving husband had his eyes set on this library that I personally think is straight out of a scene from Beauty and the Beast. This library rivaled our great find in Budapest at the public library there. I’d say the two would be our “his and her” dream libraries. His is in Vienna and mine is in Budapest. Both are far beyond anything we’ve seen before.

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Schönbrunn Palace – We spent half a day at this palace and it was one of my absolute favorite tours we took. I am fascinated by daily life of ages past. Downton Abbey, anyone?? I wouldn’t consider myself a huge history buff in general, but when they talk about how they ate, slept, and probably all the things that would bore a true history connoisseur, I am fascinated. The audio tour of the palace was filled with all those interesting details about the life of Habsburgs. The grounds were beautiful and very extensive. We got lost just trying to find the shrub maze. I also think the Gloriette reminds me of something out of  a scene from Pride and Prejudice. Love. We really could have spent even more time there, but had to hurry back to catch the train home.

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SOME EYE CANDY

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ACCOMMODATIONS

Le Meridian – This was probably one of my favorite parts. We scored a great price on a 5 star hotel in Vienna. I’ve never stayed in a 5 star hotel and it was worth every star…down to the beautifully designed coasters. No lie. Their coasters were super cute. So was their giant hot pink claw tub. It also happened to be directly across from the State Opera and was walking distance from pretty much everything we wanted to see. The picture below was taken from the center median in front of our hotel. Somehow I missed getting a picture of the front.

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FOOD

Hotel Sacher – We started our day out with a trip to Hotel Sacher. I ended up with the most amazing apple tart, Seth a cake. So our “breakfast” ended up being a little more like dessert, but hey, what are vacations for if not to indulge yourself. Did I mention we did a lot of walking?

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Hidden Miracle – I’ve named this restaurant affectionately, not accurately. I’m not sure exactly what it’s called. We made a 5 mile hike to a restaurant that we thought was only 5 minutes away only to find it closed. Unfamiliar with the area, we were desperate to ease our aching feet and rumbling stomachs. Lo and behold, this cute spot was nestled towards the back of a side street and the patio was perfect for enjoying the now amazing weather. I had to try wiener schnitzel while we were in Austria. Now if only I could say it. For some reason, I get tongue tied by the time I get to the schnitzel.  DSC_0620

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Overall, it was an incredible trip. One I never could have even dreamed up myself! It’s a little sad to end all this trip reminiscing, but I guess that just means we will have to travel somewhere else soon.

Good thing we are headed to Florida next week!

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