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Prater Park

May 28, 2013

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Every hotel the breakfasts seem to get better and better, if that is possible. There is everything at these bountiful buffets and I am enjoying eating salad and pickled herring and eggs and cheeses and cold meats and juices and cakes and pastries and so much more!! A food lover’s paradise! Good thing Trevor and I do lots of walking most days. The weather is much cooler here in Vienna with a gusty wind and also the day started off with rain, which was disappointing. However, we had the day to do our own thing and made a plan to get around the city on a 24 hour bus ticket that allowed us to use buses, trams, metro, if needed, and headed out with our umbrellas. We had a great day!  We visited Schonbrunn Castle, built in the late 1600’s by an emperor for his son with only 1441 rooms! Free entry to the massive gardens where we climbed up a big hill with a great view of the palace grounds and the city of Vienna. We also visited Belvedere Palace, headed back to the Ringstrasse, which is a popular route in the city centre, with many monumental and  historical sites, including the stunning State Opera House. We had read online that each day of a performance you can line up to get a ticket for just 3 Euro and stand to watch the opera, but as luck would have it, no opera tonight or we would have done that for sure. Apparently they give out about 600 and you have to line up in good time to get one, as they go fast. We visited The Hotel Sacher Wien, opened in 1876, which is an Austrian Institution. The name Sacher stands for Viennese lifestyle, culture, tradition and luxury. We went there to eat the most famous torte in the world..the Sacher torte  and loved it,  the recipe for which is a “state secret”.  We then headed for the metro again to whiz out to Prater Park, an area that was declared to be free for public enjoyment in 1766 as a retreat area. Soon taverns, coffee houses, swings, carousels etc were established and in 1895 the Giant Ferris Wheel was erected and the park became an amusement park. It has grown considerably since then with lots of rides and entertainment. It is open 24 hours,  7 days a week and is still free to enter, but you need to pay for most of the entertainment. Grounds were immaculate and it was lovely to see, especially the ferris wheel, which actually has box cars to ride in. By now it was almost 5:30 pm and we needed to get back to the hotel. Trevor did an excellent job of being tour guide and getting us on the right metro lines etc. all day. However, we had one incident reminiscent of a time Tracy, Heather, Gary Bryan and I went to Toronto many years ago, when Tracy was thinking of going to college there and we went to check it out.  Trevor and I were on the metro and when we went to get off, as Trevor realized at the last minute we should be getting off at the current stop. I got off and with 3 fingers sticking out between the metro doors, he remained on the train and was gone! This same thing happened with me and the kids in Toronto. Scary at the moment but in each case everyone was reconciled. Trevor got off at the next station; crossed to the opposite platform and returned and it was not his fingers in the door but someone else’s, who tried to help him!!! As we were late getting back, we decided to pick up a few things at the local grocery store to eat in our room. We made sure to pick up a bottle of Almdudler, a soft drink which is considered Austria’s national drink but Trevor and I weren’t so in love with it when we tried it. When we returned to the hotel, we decided to head for the Spa, then eat and relax in our room, as we have a 6:30 am wake up call for the next leg of our fascinating swing though Central Europe.

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One Comment
  1. Denise permalink

    I googled images of the places you visited today. Neat history. Now you have glimpsed, literally, most of the history in the world….Austrailia may be your next month ong holiday adventure. You and your children could probably piece together movements in history with development by volcanoes in Italy, hot guisers in Iceland, castles in Scotland, and the list goes on. Denise 🙂

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