Vienna – home of shoes and handbags…

Vienna – Too short and too many shoes to choose from…
A magnificent city with millions of shoe shops which would have been fantastic if I was still a normal working girl or had a spare suitcase to bring them home.  Not particularly cheap but very nice. Even the streeties wear decent shoes…


We only really had a day and a bit in Vienna which was a little too short.  Then it rained on the only full day so made it a little hard to get excited about sight seeing in the rain.  We did the Red Bus which is very good for getting all the guff on the city without having to figure it out yourself and getting wet and cold in the meantime.





Mind you the Germans in Vienna are more German than Germany they say.  They are very strict on your tickets for the bus, have you paid, where is it? And all that Jazz. No where else is as strict – if they see you have their earphones they let you on. No biggie…
Alby and I prowled around the main city area on the first day.  Lots of little laneways full of interesting shops and buildings.  Didn’t find too many treasures but nice city.  Back to the Opera Carlton Hotel in the 4th Quarter which was a short 10 min walk to the city.  The hotel name sounds better than it was.  Nice big rooms, but a little dated but it had a washing machine.  Alby and Ella both give me heaps about sneaking in a load of washing when I can, but hey, what is the first word they say when the undies or socks supply are running low – MUM……
Had dinner just across the road from the hotel at Orange-one which was very funky and very local little restaurant.  A nice little waiter fella organised some extra falafel balls, hummus and stuff which was very nice.  All washed down with a nice reisling.  Austrian reisling is quite nice – not at all like an ‘aboriginals armpit’. 
We visited the Spanische Hofeitschule, where the Spanish horses have been for hundreds of years.  We watched them train as their shows are only on every Saturday.  They were amazing to watch.  Very good condition and so well looked after – no cold old paddock for these precious ones I would think – look like they are accustomed to their own suites.  

One was practising standing on his hind legs and then jumping along.  A cranky little man came out with a switchy stick and while the horse was almost running on the spot, he was tickling behind their back legs.  It looked like the horse wanted to say ‘bugga off asshole or I’ll kick you’ but of course they are too well mannered for that.  Took only one photo before big announcements came over in husky German that photos are FORBIDDEN. See – Germans again….


ABC – Another b…. church…

Can’t remember which church this was, but was very impressive.  St Stephens I think.  It is the heart of Vienna and from here there are lots of statues and interesting stuff to see and visit. 

These were five cute little pooches that came out for a romp in the sun. They were very cute.  This is on Hero’s Square where the Parliament is now.  Used to be a big castle with over 2000 rooms. Nice open space.  Apparently, when the building that the Spanish Horses are in caught fire a hundred years ago, the police asked people walking by to take the horses to Hero’s Square.  That is why the Viennese people are very fond of the horses apparently, as they saved them. 



Everywhere you go in Vienna you get hassled by these doods.  Some are quite good looking, so not all bad.  They normally have wigs on and look like Mozart.  They are selling tickets to the concerts.  They only leave you alone if you say you already have tickets.  You can also reserve your seats if you hassle them enough. If not you have to be there early to get a good spot.  

We went to a Konzert – I was calling it an opera.  It was opera singers and a 30 piece orchestra.  It was brilliant.  There were a couple of Japanese singers and they were the best.  Then one snitchy looking chick and another European chick who was also excellent and more friendly. 



In amongst the serious Mozart and Strauss one little fella was playing a squeaky kind of bird sound every so often and getting in trouble by the conductor. Then he came out with a timber stump with big metal plates of top and in between the conductor doing his ‘wild thing’ he would tink the metal with hammers.  Very funny.  Then at the end he fired a shot gun a couple of times.  So not your usual boring kind of performance at all.  Ella enjoyed it even though she originally went under sufferance.  Wanted to see more of the horses, but alas it was not Saturday.


PHOTOS OF THE OPERA CONCERT FROM ELLA CAMERA BUT TOO TRICKY JUST NOW…


This is a funky little cafe just around the corner from the Hotel. It was obviously a cyclist owner as there were nice bikes all hung from the ceiling.  Quite funky and the best breakfast of muesli, yoghurt and maple syrup and good coffee. Everyone wired to their notebooks and ipads, so must be good wifi as well. 


We also hopped off the Red bus to get icecream from Vienna’s best ice cream shop. Been there for years apparently.  Was nice I must say.  We then went in search of the Jewish Church and found it but was locked and no one in sight.  A nice old building, tucked back from the street and covered in ivory at the back. The red and white flags outside a house means that someone famous was born and lived there. 


Another of Deed’s recommendation was to have waffles at a cafe next to the Astoria hotel.  Sorry Deeds, but it is no longer.  There is a cheap snitzel cafe there now and no waffles to be seen for miles.  So we asked around and ended up at another cafe for lunch which was very special.  Alby and I shared a vanilla slice – yum.  They know how to do pastries here that is for sure.  




That was about the highlights of Vienna.  A nice city but quite a formal kind of feel to it. Obviously a lot of rich people here, nice cars and not many street people or beggas. Not even many buskers but if there is, they are playing the violin or something nice. 


Then up early and off to the station to catch the train to Prague.  Alby is in charge of railway tickets and all things logistical. So of course we were at the wrong train station.  So a mad dash in a cab for 15 mins, up a huge flight of stairs, then a sprint down the platform and jumped on the train with about 2 minutes to spare.  Running and jumping on a train with a heavy suitcase and backpack with all the electronic gear – is no mean feat for me.  I think I am the resident packhorse – just ask my shoulder muscles that were screaming.

Anyway, five hours later we have arrived in Prague. The countryside has been spectacular.  Lots of wooded areas and wide open fields of green.  Looking forward to sniff around Prague this afternoon. 

Hope all is good with you all in the land of oz. 
Bye for now.

Kendall, Alby, Ella – ekatravels. 


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