Vienna - Austria
Day XIV: Explore Vienna
If I had to choose a country/city that disappointed me on this trip then Vienna would be that city. Mainly because It didn't offer us anything that we didn't experience so far on this trip be it a cathedral, palaces or architecture.Because we had visited 6 countries with a packed schedule before this one, we were a bit exhausted. Hence, we decided to relax in Vienna. On a positive note, we got an early check-in in Vienna which was a big relief.
We took a rest for a while and then went to St. Stephen’s Cathedral which was just 10 minutes walk from our Airbnb. It was another cathedral built with gothic Architecture! I felt like the entire city was built around this cathedral. Even if the surrounding buildings were renovated with modern architecture, they could able to preserve the soul of the ancient architectural soul. These buildings contained all the restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. At some of these roadside cafes live music was being played by talented musicians. overall the place provided us with a nice touristy vibe.
We went inside the cathedral and realised the cathedral looked equally beautiful from the inside too! Like all other cathedrals, this one too was free for everyone. Though some parts of it required entry tickets. while roaming in the periphery of the cathedral we found a few horse carts. one could choose to explore Vienna via them.
We went for Giant Ferry rides in the evening. If you know the London Eye, It was its baby version! At the time of booking, I felt it would be a good experience and probably It would have been a unique experience for first-timers. But as we have done a much much better version of it in Singapore, It didn't amaze us. Also, because it was inside an amusement park which was a bit outside of the main city, we didn't find any interesting views from it. The city also had to offer Hop On Hop Off buses and River cruises. But As we were budget travellers, we could only choose a few activities from the pool of activities a city had to offer!
It was 6:00 PM. So, we took a metro to our Airbnb. In the evening, we explored shopping streets around the main city area for about an hour. And went to a crowded roadside Cafe for dinner! We chose the crowded one because we were firm believers of the word of mouth publicities & reviews 😜
It started raining so after finishing our dinner we headed straight to our Airbnb.
Day XV : Schonbrunn Palace
We reserved the entire day for the Schonbrunn Palace. We got up, had breakfast and headed towards Schonbrunn Palace. Even though it was very far from the main city, It was well connected via metros. Which was why we reached there without any difficulties. we had booked an 11:00 AM slot and we knew the authority of the palace was quite strict about the timings. Hence we reached 30 minutes before our slot. Unlike yesterday, It was a pleasant sunny day. And we made full use of it by taking many pictures with the Palace as well as consuming ample amounts of vitamin D 😉
One could not carry any begs inside the palace and we had multiple small begs with us. Hence we dropped them at the clock room and entered the palace. It was audio guided tour hence upon entering, we collected our audio guides and went to Hall #1. If we won't consider the Gravenstean tour then this was our first audio guide tour. As Banery said in the How I met your mother show: "New is Better!" I too, was excited about this new experience. It was a well-organised and informative tour! Every Room of the palace was numbered from 1 to 31. Upon reaching those halls, we had to type the hall number on our remote and the audio description of that hall would be played. Wasn't it cool? The advantage of this tour was, you could explore at your own pace. And without any embarrassment, you could play the same message again and again until you understood them. Unlike in a guided tour, where you would be embarrassed whenever you would ask any questions 😜
The guided tour took around 90 minutes. During this, we visited all the rooms of Schonbrunn Palace. Schonbrunn Palace was the most visited tourist destination in Austria. Many kings including King Francis I & her empress Maria Theresa. Even after the death of her husband, she continued living there. The current version of the palace was built in the times of Maria Theresa which was very recent. King Franz Joseph lived in the palace the most among all the other emperors. He lived there for 86 years and ruled Austria for 68 years. Despite that, he was considered one of the most unlucky kings. Mainly because his only son committed suicide, his only brother got killed during the Mexican Revolution and his queen Maria Theresa whom he loved so dearly never loved him back. Also, most of the time, she stayed away from him and the Palace. which was why most of the Austrians hated her.
Some of the lessons I learnt during the visit which I had shared with my wife too.
1. Maria Theresa was a proudy lady because she was pretty 😜
2. King Francis I's mother used to spy on Maria Theresa. Also, she never liked her. Hence proved even in those times in such Royal families Mother-In-law & Daughter-in-law couldn’t able to gel up well 😜
3. Even if Francis was the king of Austria and everybody had to obey him, behind the closed door he had to obey his wife 😜
following our visit to the Palace, we went to a huge Garden right behind the palace. It had multiple restaurants, fountains, Zoo & a play zone for the kids. It was a huge garden with a small hill towards its end from where the forest started. In ancient times, it was the hunting zone of the King. We must have walked more than a few kilometres and climbed a small hill to reach the end of the garden. All our tiredness was rewarded with the mesmerizing view of Vienna city. Wouldn't you walk a few miles for a view like this? We grabbed an empty bench and sat there until we caught our breath back as well as got over this amazing view.
Behind us, we saw 2 story building that was where we went next. The view from the top was even better than from the benches where we were sitting earlier.
~ Magnificant Watch Tower & View from Its Top ~
After such a walk, anybody would be starving so we went to a restaurant located beneath the terrace. We ordered sandwiches, Pasta and Beers. More than the food, I loved the ambience of the place. Imagine having lunch with your BEA in hundreds of years old palace. Wouldn't it be cool? Also, they were serving chilled and tasty Beers 😜!
We had seen many fountains inside the garden but the one beneath the hills was the best! “अब इतना beautiful fountain मिलेगा तो फोटो क्लिक तो होंगे ही ना!
We left the palace at 4:30 PM and headed towards the last destination of the Vienna excursion, the Danube Tower. If Schonbrunn Palace was one end of Vienna then the Danube Tower was the other end. We had to change metro lines to reach the nearby station. We had to walk 1.5. kilometres from the station to reach Danube Tower. As they said, "Keep best for the last". We too, kept the best Danube Tower towards the end of the Vienna excursion. Finally, found an experience that was unique for me and would remind me of Vienna. A rotating restaurant at 180 Meters above the Ground.
We got a table and ordered Coffee. After a few minutes, Aayushi started feeling a little dizzy. She felt as if everything around her was moving. Just then I realized, the globe inside which we were sitting was rotating and hence she felt everything was moving not because of some sickness. One round took 30 minutes to complete. Finally, found a place that offered a magnificent 360° view of Vienna City. This was the place from where we got our first glimpse of the Alps! It was a truly memorable experience and having delicious cheesecake with this mesmerising view was the cherry on the cake!
~ Our First Glimpse of The Mighty Alps ~
While walking back to the station, we wanted to have a photo of us with the Danube Tower. I was looking for help, Just then we met a cute teenage couple who agreed to take our pictures. Capturing us with the entire Danube wasn't an easy task. The girl noticed the struggle of her BF and started making fun of him. That reminded me of how I never miss a single chance to take a dig at Aayushi's every struggle 😜. That's another definition of Love, Isn't It 😉?
The Boy did good Job, Isn't It?
We reached nearby our place in the evening and went to a different Cafe for Dinner and ordered burgers, pasta & Beer which were delicious!
We could able to spend an evening in Munich. Despite such a short stay, I could still able to create memories of a lifetime! To know what we did in an evening in Munich, Click on 👉 Memorable Munich