26.12.2011 - 26.12.2011
Boxing Day, and despite Kirstie's enthusiasm for some shopping in the post-Christmas sales, all the stores were closed. So too was the Church of St Ruprecht, an original 13th century church in the centre of Vienna that was the first item on our sightseeing list for the day. We walked aimlessly, our carefully formulated plans coming rapidly unwound as we realised that Vienna was almost entirely closed until the 27th. We did however stumble across a number of interesting places, starting with the Wedding Fountain, followed by a museum dedicated to the Roman ruins of ancient Vindobona, the legionnaire outpost that marked the old border of the Roman Empire at its peak. Ruins of parts of the old encampment could be seen under the museum, a good 3 or 4 metres below current street scape of Vienna (the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages could be heard over head). From there we found the Jesuit Church, decorated similarly to St Peters and with an equally lovely ambienece. For lunch we met with Raymond and Jane, and met Jane's sister (an ex-pat living in London). With the shops closed and only the museums open (or so we were told), we took a gamble and trekked out to the Austria Museum of Military History. With some directional good fortune (or map didnt cover that part of the city) we arrived to find the museum was in fact open, and housed an impressive collection of Austria military artefacts from the 1500's onward. The highlight (particularly for Kirstie, who enjoys all things macabre) was the clothes Franz Ferdinand was wearing when he was assasinated in 1914, complete with bullet holes and blood stains. HIs bullet riddled car was also on show, along with the lounge from a nearby house on which he took his final breath. Needless to say, Tom was in his element, enthralled by the various pikes, maces, swords, pistols and muskets, as well as the splendid paintings of famous Austrian batlles.