Saturday, 12 February 2011

My 2nd Day in Vienna

Listening the “Blue Danube” my memory travels back to the second day spent in Vienna, when I had the chance to go to a classical music concert in the Auersperg Palais. The sound was excellent and the orchestra passionately played melodies of Mozart and Johann Strauss. There were opera singers and ballet dancers in historical costumes, who impressed me with their talent and performance. That was the day when I started listening to classic music and that is how the second day of my trip ended. But let’s start from the beginning …

The day started with a sightseeing tour in the famous Schonbrunn Palace, where Emperor Franz Joseph, Empress Sissy, Empress Maria Theresia and others rulers stayed during summer months. I visited that place in January and the landscape was snowy, but in spring and summer the endless garden of the Palace is planted with flowers. Also, there is a labyrinth, which is kept closed in winter, and a zoo with 3.500 animal species. I saw a lot of sculptures in the garden of the Palace, but what impressed me the most was Poseidon’s statue “emerging” from a lake, under the Gloriette. Nikos, our tour guide, told us that the Palace was planned to be built on the hill, where the Gloriette is, but this didn’t happen for financial and technical reasons.  The tour continued inside the palace, where we saw some of the 340 rooms of it. To be honest, the inside tour wasn’t very good and I got a little bit bored of seeing furniture all the time.

Schonbrunn Palace
Poseidon’s Statue

Garden of Schonbrunn Palace
That day I visited so many sights that are a little bit difficult to remember them.  One of them was the magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral in the centre of Vienna, which is built in Gothic style, has a gigantic roof and beautiful works of art. Another sight was the Parliament, which is identical to the Greek one. But the sight that impressed me the most was the Danube Tower. It is ~350m high and it turns around itself in approximate 20 minutes. If you go there, I suggest you using the elevator.  The closest underground station is the  Alte Donau station and the Tower is a 10 minute walk from that station. I liked Danube Tower for its amazing view, as I had the opportunity to have a full picture of Vienna. Lefteris and I sat a couple of hours at the Tower’s cafe and enjoyed the traditional Viennese hot chocolate, while seeing the beautiful sunset. That was the most colorful moment of the second day in Vienna!

View from Danube Tower

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Vienna - A city that I will always love

Viewing Vienna from the airplane, I saw that it is a flat land, containing wide roads, a lot of parks and outspread houses. I liked that there weren’t any skyscrapers, except from the place where the ~ 2.500 offices of UNESCO are.

Gigantic Wheel
After arriving at the airport and claiming our luggage, we had a short tour of the city, while reaching the Delta hotel. During that tour we saw a lot of buildings and sights, including the gigantic wheel in Prater. I wish I had the time to have a round in that wheel and admire the view. From what Nikos, our travel guide told us­­, each round lasts 15-20 minutes and costs 8.5 euro approximately.

Close to Stephan’s Plaza
When we arrived at the hotel the sun had set and we had some free time to get some rest. Some people stayed at the hotel, but my boyfriend (Lefteris) and I wanted to explore the center of Vienna, so we took the underground and went to the Schwedenpl station. Using the underground was very easy and I had the feeling that I had been there before and knew exactly where I wanted to go. So, we started walking towards the Stephan’s Plaza. The weather was quite cold, but we were in excellent mood - so, we made a stop at a patisserie called ZANONI & ZANONI. We ordered a profiterole and an apple strudel. They were the most tasteful sweets I had ever eaten in my life. It is true what it is said about Vienna’s sweets, they are delicious, without having much sugar. Regarding their price, if we were ordering these sweets in Greece we would easily pay ~15 euro, but in Vienna they only cost 6 euro.

The day before we arrived to Vienna, was New Year’s Day and we expected its center to be ornate festive. That was exactly how it was. There were happy faces everywhere, tourists wandered in the streets, the lights brightened the night and Lefteris and I were walking in this beautiful city, holding each others hand. A picture I will always remember!

Time past and we returned to the hotel. Speaking of that, Delta hotel is a clean and very good hotel. The view we had, wasn’t anything special, but we had everything we needed. After getting ready for the dinner, we met the others from the group. The dinner was at a beer house and we tasted the traditional Vienna’s schnitzel. Also, the water I had was tap water, coming straight from the Alps and was very refreshing. Our first night in Vienna ended smoothly, with a nice nap.