Saturday, September 28, 2013

Last Waltz in Vienna

The day dawned drear and cold.  No, that’s not a typo, it really was rainy and dreary, but, even a rainy day on vacation is better than a sunny one at work.  Rob had the last of the conference to attend, and the three of us were signed up for a walking tour of Old Town Vienna.  

"Bambi's" birthplace
Our group consisted of about 20 or so people, and our guide was determined to give us as much information as she possibly could.  In fact, when she learned that none of us had an afternoon schedule, she actually went an hour over.  We saw the site of the old Roman fortifications, and the site of the village that supported the fort.  We saw the Hapsburgs and more Hapsburgs.  A rose garden, where the locals can rent a bush for two years and have the privilege of cutting roses from it whenever they want.  (Cool idea!)  We walked through (not in) the Hofburg Palace, and we even saw where “Bambi” was written.  We had a fascinating, albeit soggy, morning and when we were finished, we returned to the hotel and met Rob for lunch. 

After lunch, Lori and Joel headed for the airport and Maui, while we went back to the
Tack Room at the Spanish Riding School
Spanish Riding School for the guided tour.  Rob didn’t get to see morning exercises with us, so he wanted to at least do the tour.  I am really glad we did.  We got to see the horses in their stables, and as one incredibly self-centered woman found out, you don’t touch them.  This twit had insisted on touching the tack in the tack room and had been upbraided for it, and then even argued with the stable master when she was caught petting one of the horses.  I am ashamed to admit that she is American.  
Ring, Spanish Riding School

Anyway, we very much enjoyed the tour and seeing the horses relaxing.  Several of them seem to enjoy rolling around in the sawdust on the floors of their stalls, as they were covered in sawdust.  One seemed to prefer hay and his stall was at least a third filled with it.  We even got to see Justin Horsie!  Still “tudey,” he let out a snicker as the group passed.  We said goodbye to the horses and set off trinketing.  

That evening, we had dinner in a local Austrian restaurant recommended by the hotel concierge.  The food was delightful and the atmosphere of the restaurant was wonderful.  

Vienna is a wonderful city, very proud of its’ heritage and culture.  The Viennese people we encountered were very helpful and quite accommodating to our utter lack of German.  
Detail of Memorial to Plague Victims

Next:  Off to Hungary!

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