Today we did the "Vienna City Tour" which started at 9:00am. Mind you we woke up at 7:30am, showered, got ready and Ken booted up his laptop and said "my iPad says it's 8:52am" (which we thought was 7:52am). Oh Crap. We were one hour behind in time zones. We thought we'd have a leisurely breakfast. NOT. We rushed out of the room, forgetting our 'vox box' listening devices, skipped breakfast and coffee (no big deal for me...not so much for Ken) and hopped on the tour bus. (they let me run back to the room for our listening device, the vox box). So, no coffee or breakfast for either of us. On the positive side we got a good nights sleep.
Howerver we enjoyed a nice 45 minute bus ride around the Ring Street followed by a walking tour around Vienna (Wein) until 12:15pm. (minus the time Ken and I ditched the tour - an organ concert - in order to get an Apple Strudel and a chocolate torte and coffee and a Cafe Bailey....) And yes, later the tour guide covered her microphone and told me that, and I quote, 'you made the right choice' ;-)
The treasury - the crown is over 1000 years old
This was a crib - gold bees decorated the outside
This one blew me away - this was hand stiched. The faces, hands, etc that are skin are all stitches....truly. Each section was stitched by a nun. I challenge you to see the individual stitches that make up faces. They didn't have electric light. How did they do that???!!!
Robin - this is for you. It is all cake...... (well, I don't think the stones that are hanging are edible, but I could be mistaken. I do know the bride and groom, and everything else are edible)...this is 'the most famous bakery/cafe in Vienna....
And thsis is what we ditched the organ concert for....Ken had the apple struddle and I had a chocolate torte - oh, and a house cafe and a cafe Bailey (with sprinkles)....we were at Demel in Vienna
A lovely couple from LA was sitting across from us and saw me take the picture of our food/coffee and offered to take our picture....proof we ditched our tour! :-)
Our tour guide spotted us later and let us in a side door....we literally heard 10 notes (I'm not kidding) before the organ concert ended.... Seemed ideal to us!
One side of St Stephan's Cathedral. Amazing architecture
Ken and I were commenting on how people could actually make this. Breathtaking.
I may not need to buy a watch - there are clocks everywhere....once I learn to look for them.
Our ship - the River Princess - inside berth
Looking up river at all the other boats docked with the River Princess
Part of the bus portion of the tour
Schonbrunn Palace.....can't even begin to describe how big it is - 1400+ rooms, not counting the gardens
The 'backyard' - looking up to the arches in the distance.....I'd seen these on blogs and other things during my trip research. I knew there was a fountain somewhere out there and that archway was calling me..
Ken and I left everyone else heading for Apple Strudel in the cafe (since we'd already had some this morning it wasn't calling us as loudly)
We had about 45 minutes to kill after the tour of the Schonbrunn Palace and before we had to get on the bus. I really wanted to see the gardens. So we set off....
I'm so glad we did.
Here's a map of the grounds. The palace is at the bottom, the red dot is "here you are" and that was at the fountain. We continued to walk up to the archway, passed the zig zag walkways.
Have you ever seen horses with fins?
Looking through the fountain at the palace (their annual concert is this Saturday so the grounds were not quire as picturesque as normal...
We climbed to the top - had to get proof
Overlooking the palace and the city of Vienna - the palace looks small compared to the earlier photos doesn't it?!?
After we got back to the bottom
The temp outside (per the bus)
Back on the ship for our first sail away.. Just missing Yolanda
The bridge crew showing the clearance under a bridge
Being run over by a train...low clearance isn't it....and nothing compared to Nuremberg from what I was told...
Under a bridge....