Thursday, October 13, 2016

Danube Reflection - Vienna, Austria

HELLO EUROPE!  Megan and I went took a river cruise that started in Vienna, Austria recently.  So, you'll see a few blogs coming up about all the places we saw.  Enjoy.

Megan loves duty free shopping at Toronto Pearson International Airport 

 Look at this enormous Airbus A380.  It's so big as a double-decker plane that it needs two sky ramps.  Makes me want to fly Emirates Airlines just to see what it's like to ride in one.

This is our home for the next few days at the Grand Hotel Wien 

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom).  Construction started in 1137 and completed in 1160.  This tower itself took 65 years to build.

This tower was suppose to look like the other tower.  But, it was very expensive and Gothic architecture was falling out of favor.  So, they just capped it off instead.

Capistran Chancel


Capistran Chancel

230,000+ tiles were used on the roof.  This portion of the roof was rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire after bombing in World War II.

A view of Stephansplatz city square and the Graben pedestrian only shopping district

 St Peter's Church (Peterskirche) was erected to thank god for letting a few people live through the plague.  I guess that happens when a third of the population dies (about 76,000 people).

 A sunny afternoon of wonderful architecture.

Hofburg Palace at the end of the Kohlmarkt.  This is the street you visit to see all the material objects you cannot afford.

Hofburg Palace was home to the Habsburg monarchs, who used it as their winter residence.  Today, a portion is used as the residence and executive offices of the Austrian president. 

The four sculptures at the base are Hurcules facing his great challenges, which Emperor Franz Josef seemed to have some empathy. 

Roman ruins in the center of Michaelerplatz

More Roman ruins

Panorama of Michaelerplatz.

Rotunda of Hofburg Palace

In der Burg of Hofburg Palace.

Sculpture of Habsburg Emperor Franz II

Gateway over former moat to the Swiss Court (Schweizerhof).

The New Palace (Neue Burg) was another residence for the Habsburgs.  There was suppose to be a matching structure, but it wasn't build because Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated.  This started World War I and ended the Habsburg Dynasty.

Today, this palace is a museum full of a wide range of items.

The Volksgarten in the center of Vienna.  This is the rose garden that features over 13,000 varieties of roses. 

A random church we came across. 

Interior of random church 


Bitzinger Wurstelstand.  There is always a line a block long to get sausage and beer here.  And the rabbit on top is to celebrate Albrecht Dürer's Young Hare watercolor at the Albertina Museum.

The world famous Vienna State Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper).  Since 1869, if you played classical music or sang opera here, you knew you made it.

The Albertina Museum with the contemporary "diving board" additions.  According to our guide "We Viennese hate it.  But, we hate everything new.  In 3-400 years, we may start to tolerate it." 


Enjoying the Kärntner Straße.  Crusaders marched to war starting from this street on their way to the Holy Land.  

FYI, Burger King is at Annagasse 3... 

J and L Lobmeyr is full of elegant and impressive glass work.

Neuer Markt (New Market) - All these buildings were destroyed during World War II and carefully rebuilt. 

Four Rivers Fountain in Neuer Markt.  Apparently, Empress Maria Theresa thought the lady on this sculpture was too sexy.  Oh la la... 

The view from Neuer Markt down Plankengasse toward Reformierte Stadtkirche Wien -Evangelishe Kirche 

Holy Trinity Plague Column (Pestsäule) - This was created to thank god for not killing them during the great plague of 1679.  

Maria Theresa Monument

Dinner at Palais Pallavicini of great food, better wine, and wonderful music, singing, and dancing. 

Dick and Marianne driving the bus back to the hotel.  So, Megan and I decided to walk back. 

You must eat sausages when in Vienna.  

The original and good version Budweiser 

People watching 

Oh selfie... 

Monument in Silhouette

A very ornate skyway 

Medieval shopping mall

Megan and I at Café Bräunerhof 

Me: "Who's that a photo of?"
Megan: "Thomas Bernhard"
Me: "How do you know that?"
Megan: "Look again," his name in small letters at the bottom
Me: "Who's that?"
Megan: "I don't know."

Thomas Bernhard is an author (

We didn't know this at the time, but these were the smallest beers we'd have on the trip... 

Habsburgs imperial summer residence 

How's that for a front door. 

Marianne critiquing the Franz Joseph (?) sculpture 

Wandering the gardens 

Quite an estate, eh?

Imagine this is in the backyard of your summer home... 

Had to get a new camera.  And failed taking a decently selfie quickly with a mob of tourists around... 

Much better selfie with the palace in the background 

How sweet

Modern city center of Vienna. 

All aboard Tauck's MS Savor for the Danube Reflection river cruise.  Tonight's entertainment: The Funny Fellows

More vacation posts at:

Wachau Valley (Dürnstein, Krems, Weissenkirchen) -

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic/Linz, Austria - 

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