A Travellerspoint blog

Schonbrunn and Schnitzel

It was a perfect day to visit the Schonbrunn, the Hapsburg's summer palace, with clear skies and a warm sun. First, we walked around the palace gardens, climbing the small hill up to the pavillion to get a good view of the palace, the gardens, and the city of Vienna itself. On the way we met Harvey, an exceptionally friendly, and very cute squirrel who was not at all camera shy. In fact, the park was teeming with big squirrels going about their daily business. Strolling back to the Palace, we stopped for lunch at a nearby cafe before beginning the Grand Tour - a complete tour of the various rooms in the Schonbrunn. The palace was an interesting mix of decor in the Rococo style, with rosewood panelling, white alcquer and paint a-plenty. Surprisingly, despite the obvious wealth, the rooms weren't as opulent as they could have been. Emperor Franz's quarters, for instance, were quite humble and discreet, befitting his reputation as a committed public servant and hard worker. The Hapsburg's fascination with Chinese art was also intersting, with a number of rooms decorated wood panel carvings. Having had enough of the Hapsburgs, we left the palace and returned to the city centre.

We decided to attend a classical concert at the Palais Auersperg, with music composed by Mozart and Strauss. In the rush to buy Kirstie appropriate shoes for the event and find a bathroom to get changed at, we left Kirstie's beloved black hat on the seat in McDonalds, the first casualty of travel. We made it to the theatre just in time. The orchestra was phenomenal, the lead violinist in particular was unbelievably talented, and the occasional bits of ballet and waltzing were fun to watch. After the show we made a beeline straight to Figmullers, Vienna's most famous schnitzel house and highly recommended by our Hungarian food guides Balazs and Sylvia. There was a 40 minute wait on the cold street before we cold get a table, but it was worth it! The schnitzels were bigger than the full size dinner plates they were served on!

They were delicious.


Needless to say, Tom ate all of his and half of Kirstie's, washed it down with a litre of beer, and ate most of the side dish of potato wedges. It was a great way to end our stay in Vienna.

Posted by Oleus 12:21 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Boxing Day


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.


Posted by Oleus 11:38 Comments (0)

Christmas in Vienna

A Menu


Warm Croissants with Strawberry Jam
Fruit Loops and Milk
Pineapple, Grapefruit, Strawberry and Kiwi Fruit Salad
Orange Juice


Roast Beef in Pepper Marinade and Homemade Garlic Butter
Baked Potato
Beans in Homemade Garlic Sauce
Oven Baked Carrott and Steamed Brocolli
Homemade Garlic Bread
Cloudberry Laponia and Peach Schnapps Cocktails with Fresh Kiwi, Lime and Grapefruit


Apple Strudel with Chocolate Icecream and Waldbeere Tea
Fruit Salad with Vanilla Yoghurt
Dark Chocolate with Berries
Honeybread and Black Tea
Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Raspberry Cheesecake


Posted by Oleus 11:31 Comments (0)

Twas the night before Christmas...

Vienna Day 2

Shopping! Sadly only of the supermarket variety at this stage, in preparation for our homemade Christmas feast! Fortunately, a Billa supermarket was practically next door to our apartment and it was equipped with everything we would need to construct a mighty Christmas feast. Having filled our apartments meagre pantry we returned to the city centre and continued exploring by foot. First up was the underwhelming St Stephen's cathedral. For some reason it lacked the ambience of a true Cathedral and was crawlling with tourists, which didn't help. It did, however, provide a good counter-point to St Peter's, the next church we found by accident less than 5 minutes walk from Stephensplatz. A lone baritone accompanied by the churches baroque organ sang as we entered and admired the beautiful gold and marble interior of the church. The main dome was covered in a highly detailed fresco. Walking through the Hofburg's gates and through the Volksgarten we waived to the horsies as we returned to the Christmas markets to gather tasty treats for Christmas day. Back in our apartment, we rounded off Christmas eve by setting up our 1m tall fibre optic Christmas tree we brought from Australia, and decorating the apartment with tinsel, reindeer placemats and Santa stockings.

Posted by Oleus 11:29 Comments (0)


The Adventure Continues

The bus trip from Budapest to Vienna was uneventful, and finding our new apartment was easy even if we were left waiting in the cold for the man with the key to let us in. We arrived in the centre of Vienna in the late afternoon, and walked until we stumbled across the main opera house, whereupon Kirstie got her bearings. With the clocktower of the Rathaus Town Hall in the distance guiding our way, we passed the Hofburg Palace, Parliament and the Burgtheater before reaching the main Christams markets in the Rathausplatz - the square in front of the town hall. Here we met Raymond and Jane and their kids who happened to be in Vienna as well, hoping to experience a white Christmas. Unlike Budapest's Christmas markets, Vienna's seemed to cater more toward tourists and were far less gastronomical. That being said, there were Austrian pastries a-plenty. Jam doughnuts, apple strudel, chocolate brownies and chocolate covered strawberrries were all consumed on our first visit to the markets. The Rathaus looked magestic lit up and surrounded as it was by the bustling markets.

Posted by Oleus 11:27 Comments (0)

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