Day 58: Vienna

When we headed into town on the number 43 tram this morning we had absolutely no idea of what lay ahead of us. Admittedly we expected to see some nice buildings, but we were totally unprepared for a full day exploring what is possibly the most beautiful city on earth. There is little point in me trying to describe in words what we experienced today: it was quite simply sublime. We have seen the magnificence of Rome and we are quite familiar with Haussman’s iconic boulevards in Paris, indeed I spent a whole year living less than a kilometre from the crowning glory that is the palace of Versailles. But we may indeed have a new favourite, a place so pleasing to the eye that there is no need to go inside any of the myriad of architectural masterpieces with which this amazing city is strewn.

Yet we Scots have our part to play here. The hub of the S-Bahn system to the north is none other than the “Schottentor” where we got off to start our exploration on foot this morning. Yet the splendour was increased by a welcome in the sky to all hailing from Caledonia.

Hail St. Andrew!

We had decided that we were not to skimp while in Vienna, so coffee (actually it was Glühwein) was taken at a Very Posh Place, the Hofburg Café, in the very heart of the opulent centre of Vienna and as you can see below, we looked like we just might be enjoying ourselves.

Cool or what?

She’s not bored, honestly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will not bore you with the many places we visited as you may not have our tastes in what is fun to do, but we stumbled on the stables of the famous Lipizzaner horses and I took a photo just for Eve.

Non vuolo una testa di cavallo nel letto!

At about 3 o’clock we called for time-out and scampered back to the pension for an hour’s sleep, the reason being that we wanted to be fresh and awake for our evening’s entertainment. You see, as this was Vienna, it felt right to go to a concert. Not just any old concert, but the Mozart/ Strauss concert of the Wiener Residenzorchester. And not just in any old theatre, but in the Auersperg Palace, the location for Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier” and a shooting location for “The Third Man”.

Chamber music, a soloist playing a Stradivarius (although I thought it looked like a violin), a soprano and male tenor joining in, two ballet dancers and the best of Mozart and Johan Strauss all combined to transport both of us to the long-gone age of the Enlightenment. By the time they struck up the opening bars to the “Blue Danube” we were beside ourselves with delight and in rapture.

I shall add nothing frivolous to this post as I feel it would merely cheapen the experience we had today, a day which goes down as the best we have had in a long, long time.

Goodnight, Vienna.

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