Wednesday September 3
It could be better but it could be worse. The weather. A whole lot. Yesterday it rained the whole day. I got sprayed twice by cars driving by. Had to change socks midday because they (and the sneakers) were wet. Today we could leave the hotel's umbrellas in the lobby.
Again a nice breakfast in the hotel. We had decided to see Schloß Schönbrunn first. James had figured out what U-Bahn we had to take. We bought 24-hour tickets for that which made it so easy.
The royal family summer palace. Long lines to buy the entry tickets. It's not clear to us how this works and where we have to go next. But here we go,
Yes, long lines to just get in and get the audio guide.
I love self guided tours. Being able to do it at my own pace and study what I like is great. Of course, no photo taking allowed but I was a bad girl and sneaked two. I had to show you something!
Can you imagine real candles on this chandelier? (before it was electrified)
We went around to have a look at the garden.
Where in the world is ... James?
We decided to go as far as the fountain. Then James found a bench. No need to go uphill to that tea house or whatever that is. But I wanted to take a picture from behind the fountain.
It was quite interesting. The horses (?) had duck feet in the front and fishtails in the back. Would have loved to study this together with William. What else would he have pointed out to me?
James needed to put something into his stomach so he could take ibuprofen. Nothing to worry though. He is doing very well. The Apfelstrudel was the choice and he shared with me.
Walked back to the same underground station we had come from. One change and then we actually didn't get off where we normally would but went further and got out at Donau-Insel. I wanted to see "die schöne blaue Donau" as the song says but it was not blue at all.
May be this wasn't the right spot but nothing like the Thames in Windsor or the James in Richmond.
O.k.: check mark!
Back at the Stephansplatz. I had seen Sachertorte in a cafe day before so we had decided to skip lunch and try that.
We would have liked to try Linzertorte too but there was none. Esterhazytorte instead. Here is the verdict from somebody who prefers savory: it's o.k.
After that I felt that I really didn't need a full dinner and James agreed. We had been once to a Billa (like the German Rewe) very close and decided to find a picnic there.
The supermarket is on two levels. There is a special way to take the shopping card to the lower floor or up again.
Life in the alleys has changed since it doesn't rain anymore. Out of our window we can look left to the "Graben".
Suddenly tables and chairs appeared.
Time to go to the concert in the "Golden Hall" in the "Musikverein". This is where we get every year the Wiener Neujahrkonzert (New Year concert) from.
It is in walking distance from the hotel and we pass the famous Riding school.
We also pass the Hotel Sacher.
And here is the "Musikverein".
There is a street with a door in the front and in the back going through the building for the horse drawn carriages to bring the nobility into the dry.
James had bought the tickets a long time ago via internet. He couldn't have done any better. Our seats were in row 11, the first row of the second section with the wide walkway in front of us. We were in plenty of time and had a chance to wander around and look.
We were told we could take pictures before and after including the musicians in costums but not during. I was a good girl. No video.
It was an amazing experience. So happy we got to go. I will watch the New Years Concert (PBS) with different eyes this time.
We leasurely made our way back to the hotel ... with a spring in our gait (as much as our bones and James' ankle allow).
Another brilliant day.
Packing up tomorrow morning.