Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All Castled out … and on our way

We arrived back in Vienna on Monday afternoon. There was something comforting about being back in a city we had already spent time in. We knew the currency, knew how to use the transit ticket machines and knew our way to our hotel! We let ourselves into the Pension Sacher with the key Claudia had given us when we left Vienna nearly three weeks ago.

Interesting fact about the Pension Sacher; the Sacher Torte, which is a chocolate concoction found in all bakeries, here in Vienna, was actually created by the first generation Sacher that opened the original Sacher hotel! We feel just a little bit famous, now, knowing that we are hob knobbing with a relative of the creator of this Viennese dessert!

Once situated, we lost no time and headed to the Kunsthistorich Museum, which houses a collection of Renaissances art that can compete with the Louvre. We had only two hours, so we really did not do it justice, but having at least a taste, was worth the price of admission. There were several artists with their easels and palettes, copying the great masters just like you see at the Louvre.

Without Doug and Devora to guide us to the perfect restaurant, we were a bit lost, but muddled our way through (much less systematically I might add) and managed to find a popular Greek restaurant, which did the trick. We wandered a bit out of the tourist district and like to think we found a local restaurant with local people. We can pretend anyway!

Our last day was spent at the Schonbrunn Palace, which is a few subway stops from our hotel. When we arrived, there was a line around the block leading to the ticket counter! To add to our chagrin, there was a menu of options for tickets that took a rocket scientist to figure out. We decided to just go for the full meal deal, hoping it would be worth it. The residences were very impressive, but we soon realized that the rest was fairly accessible without a ticket … oh well. Our last day and our last castle. I for one, can safely say, I am castled out!

We hit the sack early (I am purposely skipping our dinner choice as D & D would have been appalled, and frankly they would have been right!), since our wake up call was for 3:45 am. We managed to sleep fairly well, and catch our 4:30 bus to the airport from SwedenPlatz (had to get at least one platz in this post!), just a few blocks from our hotel.

A somewhat disturbing experience at the very end of our stay in Vienna, was a brawl that took place at a gas station just in front of the bus stop as we boarded the bus to the airport. A group of young men, congregated there and started, what looked initially to be, a play fight of sorts. Within a couple of minutes there were more than a couple of guys and the fight took a more serious turn. Our bus driver called the police as well as apparently a few other bystandars, and as our bus left the station, three police cars arrived to break up the fight. So Vienna is not a prim and proper as it may seem from the centre of the tourist district!

We are now safely on our flight, with only 14 hours to endure in these outrageously cramped accommodations, before arriving home to our topsy-turvy apartment.

More on that in the coming days!

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