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Sunday, October 16, 2016


We left Bratislava in Slovakia with a smile ,it was one of the good trips we have had .
The luxury bus to Vienna was very comfortable with free WIFI ,entertainment console ,and mineral water .the seat was soft push back and roomy ,the windows were wide and the scenes were awesome ,with all this the one and half hour ride was over before we realized and we got down the Vienna bus stand .
Like in most developed cities the Bus station was part of a huge complex with metro at one level so we descended down to the Metro and managed to make an online call to our hotel in a place called PilgrimGasse .
The hotel reception gave us very clear instructions ,we were advised to get on to the red line
 ( Vienna Metro has five lines marked in different colors ,106 stations and covered around 75 kms .)
We needed to get down at Karlsplatz  station and change to green line and then travel a couple of stations to reach PilgimGasse  and the hotel was just right across the station .

in metro

We bought a ticket from the vending machine ,later we realized we could have bought the one day ticket and saved money which we did after some time ,
the one day or two days tickets are very convenient one can travel in bus or metro or tram unlimited with that .it cost 7.60 Euro per ticket approximately 600 INR .

In   a short time we reached PilgrimGasse  a very quaint station with a canal of the Danube flowing near it
 there was a Mc Donald outlet nearby and some shops,
we checked in to Austria Trendz Ananas hotel ,
After freshening up we took the metro again this time with a one day ticket and went to karlzplatz changed trains to Musuems quartier  station by now we got the hang of it ,the metro map was very clear ,one had to be careful to look into the end stations in order not to travel in opposite directions and choose the correct colored line but it was very user friendly and needed no help from anyone .




The  museums Quartier  had  many art gallery's and museums mostly of them of the contemporary  kind ,we went into the Leopold Museum it was very avantgarde with lot of fashionable people walking in the lobby .
We found the admission charges were exorbitant and as both us us were not particular fans of modern art and preferred more realistic ones we gave it a wide berth ,
most of the other museums and galleries there were of the similar kind but the square was big and one could get rest by sitting and people watching ,there was an interactive place for children and a pop music group was setting up for an evening of fun ,
we moved out of the place and then got into a road full of huge buildings palaces and statues the traffic was busy ,
we saw a huge complex with picturesque fountains and a huge square where only walking was allowed .
we came to know this was the famous Hofsburg  Palace This was the traditional winter residence of the aristocracy who ruled Austria while the Schonbrunn palace was the summer residency 
it faced the Helden platz .
The sprawling Hofsburg square had many statues,manicured gardens and sitting places 

it had several parts to it

The imperial apartments ,The Sisi museum ,the imperial silver collection ,The ancient music institute ,the Spanish riding school ,the Museum of fine arts ,collection of arms and Armour ,the national library in the Grand hall ,the imperial chapel ,the treasury ,the papyrus museum ,butterfly museum .
We took a ticket to enter the place 
it had two parts one the SISI museum where no photography was allowed and secondly the Imperial collections where photography was allowed 
SISI or queen Elisabeth required a separate museum for her tale was long and poignant 

SISI is so famous that books have been written and movies taken 

The Hobsburg dynasty ruled Austria for around two hundred years and during this time Austria became famous as a center of artistic living , fashion ,architecture ,music  and science too .
It was the hub of culture music and art in Europe in those bohemian days .
Vienna had the likes of Sigmund Freud , Mozart ,Beethoven and later Lenin ,Stalin ,Tito Trotsky and Hitler rubbing shoulders literally ,
they may have been  in its coffee bars probably espousing their beliefs .
it was a fountain head of culture itself .
This can be seen in the medieval buildings in the historical area of the city .
Huge crowds of tourists throng the roads of this area ,and the towering Gothic cathedrals ,fairy tale castles with tall spires ,up market branded shops vying for space in the midst of sculpted art and fountains .

We went into the SISI museum ,we were given ear plugs which gave recorded audio information by designated numbers of exhibits .

We learnt that Elisabeth a young playful adventurous girl related to the royal family living with her family n Bavaria who later  become the Empress of Austria itself by marrying the king Franz Joseph who was smitten by her charms .
SISI s tastes were exquisite and her passion for horse riding ,acrobatics ,and sports made her make lot of changes to the palace ,her dresses were the talk of the town and considered as the height of fashion ,she was a social butterfly and at the center of things with her charisma but she also felt she was in  a gilded cage in the palace as she longed for her more carefree childhood .

She bore children ,grew into middle age ,her husband the king was mostly busy , though he loved his wife .

She would go to other places dressed as a countess , to hide her identity and it was once during one  such a trip an anarchist who was anti royal murdered her .He stabbed her with a thin knife ,Sisi never knew it happeneing and was confused but after some time fell down bleeding thoguh she was taken to a nearby hosue she died .
Sisi was written on much and more than three films have been taken on her life .
Then we moved in to the imperial palace and saw  its kitchen vessels ,decorated table and sanitary ware ,weapons jewelry furniture all these were grand and splendid 
after coming out of the Hobsburg palace  

The well known Godess Athena 

Vienna is still called as the city of music ,city of dreams after Freauds famous psychoanalytic theories ,there was a Sigmund Freud museum which we missed it needed a good week to touch all places .

After long hours of plodding through the museum when we were trans positioned to the era of Vienna's monarchy and glory ,the days of Mozart and elegant ballets of horse riding princesses and men in top hats we came out to a cloudy dusk in streets of Vienna ,we quickly took the metro back to our hotel refreshed ourselves and later took the bus to a shopping area which was a couple of broad streets full of upmarket branded shops huge clothing small eateries and a sepulchered church ,the sidewalks were full of people walking shopping watching the fun over cups of coffee there was a Chinese lady blowing huge bubbles using a ladle and the atmosphere was almost fairy tail like  ,we had some Thai noodles from a small bunk before we returned by bus to a well deserved rest in the hotel .

Next day morning saw us tucking into an European breakfast 
with many varieties of cheese different types of breads and croissants fresh fruits sausages which were very tasty unlike any we have had earlier varieties of jams pastries and came out smug with happiness .

We got into the metro changed trains at karlsplatz and reached the Vienna opera house where our tour was to begin ,the Vienna State opera house itself was a sight to be seen 


St Stephens Cathedral

the Stephens church stood tall in its Gothic brilliance

built in 1863 it was formally opened by emperor Franz Joseph and empress Sisi Elisabeth and it opened with Don Giovanni of Mozart 
During the second world war at almost the end American forces caused a fire in the opera house and a big part was destroyed and rebuilt only in 1969 almost like the original but with modern acoustics and without much pillars 
Though our tour started there ,it was more of a landmark to start we did not go inside as it was closed in the morning ,there were lot of agents dressed in mediaveal costumes trying to sell tickets to the tourists for the days programme .
We then joined the walking tour of the Ringstrasse or ring road center for historical edifices and shopping paradise and a world heritage site ,
it is around 5.3 km long ,most built in the eighteenth and nineteenth century and it had magnificent ornate houses of many nobles and rich men ,the Parliament house ,the Museum of fine arts and museum of applied arts ,Vienna stock exchange ,city hall .university ,museum of natural history and Gothic votive church Gardens like Volksgarten  Stadstpark burgarten which were once private gardens of emperor Franz Josef ,Sigmund Freud park and Bruno kreisky parks 

The architects were famous and infused historic-ism which meant they infused styles of Baroque ,Gothic and Renaissance .
We walked around the crowded street gazing at the eminent buildings Gothic churches upmarket boutiques ,works of art ,
there were a couple of horse carriages to take tourists around too .

One of the striking heritage buildings is the Votive church built in Gothic fashion it was built in commemoration of a failed attempt on the life of emperor Franz Josef we went inside the hallowed church 
inside the magnificent church

leisurely coffee drinkers in pavement cafes 
After coming back in a circle we reached the starting point of the State opera ,
the walking tour was over and was worth it as we learnt a lot from the guide one of the first places she took was a monument in a square for the thousands of Jews buried below during the second world war ,,we then got into a hop on hop off bus 

Most tourist spots hop on hop off buses are worth using as they give you the freedom to alight and reboard at your will and we can see most important places hearing a running commentary and stop at places we want .Big bus is well known and operating in many cities like Dubai ,in Hong kong ,most cities of Europe ,Australia etc .
but the buses interval comes down by evening this is something we noticed 

Red Bus     hop on hop off

we got down at he massive UNO city ,


UNO city in Veinna 
one needed special permission to go inside which we did not have so we bought a spicy hot dog 
and munched our way into the tallest building in Vienna 
the Danube tower which opened in 1964 it was 827 feet in height it contained radio and cellular towers it had high speed elevators to take people to the viewing chamber at 450 feet with a revolving restaurant on three sides of Danube tower were green woods and gardens and one could see from top the UNO city ,Vienna city itself and the gardens round tower the Danube river and its UFO bridge 
After viewing to our satisfaction we climbed up to the revolving restaurant and had a hot soup and a cold milk shake to revive us ,

AT restaurant on top of Danube towers

We also found out that one need not buy mineral water in Vienna as the tap water was potable and anyone could trust its purity ,
we were exhausted while we returned 

By evening we dressed in our best to go to Schonbrunn palace to listen to a symphony orchestra 
musicians get ready

The Opera hall in Schonbrunn palace
The palace itself was huge though the time for entry was over ,those who had come for the concert went through a side door to give their tickets to liveried assistants standing in regal style 
we reached a hall full of souvenirs ,a wine shop and an anticipating audience who were shepherded inside , the hall itself was not very ornamental but with the lights we came to know of a full orchestra and slowly the lights dimmed and we lost ourselves to the strain of symphony music from the very land that produced greats like Mozart .
The music conductor had wavy long hair and dynamic energy as he went thorough his motions there were a couple of ballets ,a male and female opera singers whose voices had great strength   We came to know it was not easy to be part of such an orchestra 
later the conductor turned towards the audience and told us to clap as he directs as the music unfolded ,he gestured for the audience to start to pick up tempo all with his dance like movements later he would turn to the musicians so that audience earned a rest this was quite interactive and interesting  .
It was cold when we came out ,we hurried to the metro station opposite and alighted the metro and quickly reached our hotel .
Vienna was quite safe and metros and trams went on till midnight .
Next day we again came to schonbrunn palace as
Schonbrunn palace
 We had not seen its exterior fully leave alone the interior for which we had no time as we were to catch the afternoon train to Prague .
The palace was just awesome with vast flat land ,undulating lawns with architectural buildings and arches on both ends looming majestically ,one one side was the well known Maze which we did not attempt ,there were fountains ,waterfalls and horse drawn carriages outside the palace .

We took several photographs and returned  back to our hotel .
We took a bus to the railway station as we had done a rehearsal the previous day it was very comfortable and user friendly we got down at Vienna station and went inside to reach the platform of our train 
The station itself had a roomy food court ,and plenty of shops etc we reached our platform and quickly boarded our train to Prague waving good bye to Vienna .

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