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Our last trip for 2011 was to Vienna with John and Linda Schofield and Keith and Evelynn Branson. It was a long weekend to celebrate Evelynn’s birthday which has a zero as the second digit!


Once again Priscilla stayed at home and we took an easyJet flight from Gatwick.

It was cold in Vienna, especially after enjoying a warm autumn in UK.  Our first visit was to the Lipizzaner  Horses where we watched the morning exercise session.  The girls were fascinated—the boys were patient!

The city was decorated for Christmas and the shops were full of lovely things!

Keith and Evelynn managed to find their own ‘lovely things’ outside one of the arcade shops! 

We were not sure, but we thought we saw Desnée’s Mum sitting in one of the shops!

We took a tour around the Hofburg Palace in the centre of Vienna. The It is the former imperial residence. From 1438 to 1583 and from 1612 to 1806, it was the seat of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, thereafter the seat of the Emperor of Austria until 1918. Today it is the official seat of the Austrian Federal President.  You can find a full history and guide on Wikipeadia:


The palace tour was quite long and whilst interesting you could not help but find the opulence a little distasteful. It was quite apparent that money was no problem and the wealth that was spent on self indulgence could probably be better spent elsewhere—but that is just my opinion!


We were not permitted to take photographs inside and so those below are taken from the Hofburg website. The left photo is of the entrance to the palace museum. Centre is the amazing table centre piece which can extend to 30metres. All the tableware was just as lavish.  Right photo is of dummy Austrian empire people in the waiting room prior to an audience with the Emperor, Franz Joseph. Apparently, anyone could have an audience providing they were appropriately attired. The Emperor would greet them in his apartments and listen to their pleas or complaints.   If you are interested in the Hapsburgs there is a very informative website:



The following day the girls hit the shops whilst the boys took the S-Bahn to visit the Museum of Technology at Schőnbrunn. 

Right —> is a photo of a levitating street performer spotted by the girls.

The Technology museum is quite amazing and we spent the whole day exploring the four floors. There is everything connected with technology and excellent hands-on exhibits for curious children from primary school age to pensioners!   All the exhibits had explanations in English and we recommend a visit if you are in Vienna.


The technology museum is not far away from the Schőbrunn palace which looked so impressive that we thought we would return the following day.


After a city bus tour which took us around the Prater (a beautiful and very large public park on the banks of the Danube) we just had to make a visit to the famous Hotel Sacher where they serve the original Sachertorte; a very delicious chocolate cake (below).


The only place to enjoy it is at the Sacher Café (below left)


Our second bus tour took us out to the Schőnbrunn palace. This is the summer palace for the Hapsburgs and is located outside the city centre and was originally in countryside.  It is vast and spectacular.   We did not have time available to go around the inside but made a note to do so on our next visit.  The grounds covered many acres (left). We walked down to the Gloriette (centre) and back before finding some scrumptious hot food at the Christmas market (right) that was within the grounds of the palace.  Photos from Internet.

Feeling fairly cold by now (late afternoon) and we were pleased to get back on to a warm bus to continue our tour.



The bus took us to several other places around the city and we noted that at least two of these looked interesting enough for a future visit. The first was the Vienna Arsenal (below left) which is a huge museum of Military history with some significant hardware scattered around.  The second was another palace in the city, Belvedere Palace. It was smaller than the previous two, but still looked impressive and had beautiful gardens from what we could see.  

Photos below are from Internet.



Despite it being November the visit to Vienna was a very enjoyable weekend break.  Would we go again? - Yes.  Would we stay at the same place? - Yes.  Pension Suzanne was very reasonable, provided a sumptuous breakfast and is located right in the city centre.  Highly recommended.


Thanks to Keith and Evelynn,  John and Linda for a great weekend.  Back home now and get ready for Christmas and plan next year’s adventures.



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