Inside the Cathedral
PulpitAt the square, we took the Fiaker i.e. horse drawn carriage. The tour pretty much helped us cover most of the significant landmarks in under an hours’ time; although, on hind sight I would prefer to walk through the streets of Vienna and soak it in slowly…taking my own sweet time to absorb the history of this culturally rich city. But the time crunch didn't let that happen. Here are a few sights of St Stephan Square and around. Some pics may be a little out of focus because of the motion of the carriage. I tried to click as much as I could! (I think it is pretty evident from my Istanbul travelogue and now this one, that I was quite "trigger happy"!)
Entrance to Hofburg Palace
Ornate ceiling at the entrance of Hofburg Palace
Entrance Courtyard & Schönbrunn Palace in the background
Fountain at the Entrance Courtyard
Neptune Fountain at the Inner Courtyard
A slightly uphill walk will take you to the Gloriette (that lies behind the Neptune Fountain)
Panorama of the Schönbrunn Palace, Schönbrunn Gardens & the Vienna CityWe visited the Belvedere Palace under the impression that it was the winter home (which it is not) of the Hapsburg family. It was built as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Today it has pleasing gardens and the Belvedere Palace serves as a a museum and has two baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere). It has masterpieces from the Middle ages besides works of Austrian artists. 'The Kiss' by Gustav Klimt became my favorite. Also, I was fascinated by the 'Character Heads' by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. (photography isn't allowed inside)
view at the backside of the Belvedere Palace
Belvedere Palace (Back side view)Now on to some gastronomic delights of Vienna. To enjoy the famous Viennese Sachertorte [and I was told also the Apple Strudel, though in my view their apple strudel was average] do not miss visiting the famous Demel Chocolatiers (since 1786) or Sacher Hotel (we didn't get time to visit this). Demel (near Hofburg Palace) is hardly 5 minutes walk from St Stephen Square. (Do not forget to check about the dispute between the Sacher Hotel and Demel over Sachertorte)I recommend you also try their Annatorte but my favorite turned out to be the Gerollte Mandeltorte...it was super yum!
- On the way to Demel is a supermarket named Julius Meinl where you can pick up some good stuff at reasonable price. For instance, still water that was priced 2.50 euro elsewhere was available under 1 euro here. Beer to happened to be cheaper.
- And it just occured to me that I need to mention Freshii restaurant (located at Herrengasse 5, near Hofburg Palace) which serves not just non veg food but has many options for vegetarians and there is something for vegans too. They offer a decent range of salads, wraps, bowls, burritos (I especially liked their Smokehouse burrito) and there are breakfast options too. Do check out.
- If possible, try visit the Naschmarket. It was a matter of chance that we happened to visit the market on Saturday, the day of the weekly flea market. There is something for everyone at that market. And in case you do not wish to shop there, go just for the fun of walking through the market, checking out the wares and goods being sold.
- In case you are interested in seeing the city while cruising the Danube, do check out the timings ahead and plan your itinerary accordingly. We wanted to wrap up our two days visit to Vienna by cruising on the Danube but missed out on it coz the timing was clashing with out travel schedule to Prague...our next and last destination.
Personally, I feel that I have not done justice to Vienna. The city has so much to offer and I haven't grabbed all that I should have. But with just two days in my hands that we dedicated to the city, that is all we could do. Vienna is still beckoning me and I will be back for sure, for more.
Thanks for visiting and see you soon again!IT IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING TO HEAR FROM FRIENDS AND READERS. I CAN ALSO BE REACHED AT: firstname.lastname@example.org