Random Musings

Day 4: Vienna City Tour

August 30, 2009

We had a very heavy breakfast at our hotel in Vienna – I was thrilled to see all sorts of pork in their breakfast buffet spread. Coming to Dubai – it was a delight to see. :p

After breakfast, we were picked up by a guide from our hotel to start our Vienna City Tour which we have booked for ourselves. It’s definitely a must to book a tour if you’re going to explore this city as having a guide tell you the history of the buildings, fountains, roads and renowned Viennese personalities is much better than relying on guide books. It was a very informative and interesting tour, I was glad we took it.

The tour included a visit to the Schonbrunn Palace which ultimately became the highlight of my visit to Vienna. It was the imperial summer residence of the royalties back in the 15th century. The residences and state rooms were magnificent with the numerous paintings and sculptures adorning each room. Very interesting for me was the Hall of Mirrors where the six-year-old child prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus had a concert.

The Schobrunn Palace grounds was less grand than that of Chatteau de Versailles in France but the interior of the palace was definitely more majestic. Our tour guide was very informative and knowledgeable; she was able to bring the walls of the palace to life. I would highly recommend a visit to this palace with a proper tour guide for you to be able to relive its glory. Interesting fact from our tour guide, Maria Theresa who is more famously known as Empress Sisi had 16 children which is common occurrence (maybe even required) in the royal family. Ruling a vast kingdom, the royal family must make sure that someone from within the first-degree family will be able to take over it. So if one child should die, the next child will rule the kingdom.

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The tour ended with a visit to the Opera house. It was still to early to go back to our hotel so we stayed in one of the coffee houses behind the Opera house to have a coffee and some cake – a true Viennese tradition. It’s a lovely place just to sit and watch people around you.

Afterwards, we headed back to our hotel to get our bags and headed to the airport. Our next stop was Amsterdam however, when we arrived at the airport we were informed by the staff that our flight is now leaving from Bratislava instead of Vienna. Thankfully, there was a free transfer offered.

Our 1945hrs flight from Vienna to Amsterdam became 2210hrs – that’s 2 hours of waiting in a very small airport without a wifi access and where the books sold are of different language. We could’ve spent more hours in Vienna or probably, a bit of walking around in Bratislava if we had known how delayed the flight was going to be.

We arrived at Schiphol airport (the biggest airport I’ve ever been into) at around 12 midnight. We were met by my Aunt’s friend – Tita Sonya who’s gracious enough to offer us her house to stay in for this leg of our trip. The house was a good 2hr drive from Amsterdam though. Haha.

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