We had decided to do the main bit of the city on our last day on foot and so hit the tube to Stefansplatz and the Cathedral. We had to fight our way though the crowds of school trips and guys flogging Mozart stuff. The cathedral was tall, dark and amazing. There were a lot of people, and I didn’t have my old trusty camera with me, so couldn’t do justice to it. I took enough photos as it was! I think early or late in the day would be the best time to visit.
We then just took off down the streets and found the Rat house, Parliament, the Museums quarter, the Hoffburg, and back to a major precinct. We really got the feeling for the city, its tall neo-classical buildings, all white and covered in so many sculptures and Roman stuccoes. The place must have been a real boon town in the 18th and 19th century – only the Rat house was a bit gothic.
I enjoyed seeing the Fiakers and their horses, all immaculately turned out but we gave the Lippizaners a miss as I don’t like horses being used as circuses…….. After lunch we walked along the canal to the Prater- the main park and fairground. The canal footpath walls were painted with graffitti, some really good, with occasional cafes. It was green and so was the Danube. I wouldn’t like to walk there after dark though.
The Prater is iconic for Vienna but is just a fairground with some very old rides, but you wouldn’t get me on the ride that goes up in the air! Tired out, we then took the tube to the Danubetower (Donauturm). The directions were bad for this, the book saying was near the first stop, but if fact you need to get off at Alte Donau, not the International centre and walk through the park. Lovely park, near the Danube swimming pool. We hurtled up the tower and then sat as we slowly revolved around the whole of Vienna. absolutely a must do if you are in Vienna on a day with good visibility. Sit and enjoy, but tis quite expensive in the cafe!
We trotted back into the centre and wandered around looking for a reasonably priced schnitzel, which we found in a Greek restaurant in a back street. We also found the Greek Orthodox church, which was incredible and will get a blog of its own!
So we were Vienne’d out. We did all the major bits in three days and got the feel of the city. Yes, there were beggars and lowlife. Yet we came to the conclusion that its like many cities in middle Europe. I’m not bothered about a re-visit, I’ve done my culture bit. The next day we were on the train home.
One last tip. If you are on a budget, buy your sandwiches and cakes in the railway station, Stöckl shops have the most amazing, cheap, but tasty stuff to keep you going!
My lasting memory of our trip? The scent of Lime trees in all the parks, we hit them just at the point when they were flowering and the delicious scent was everywhere.