Austria Day 6 – Vienna

Periodically I enjoy staying at American hotel. Okay, usually it’s just when in very expensive European cities and I’m cashing in Marriott points. Such is the case here in Vienna. The downside is all the Americans! Listening to my fellow travelers insist on “American” coffee and lament the Europeans just makes me shake my head sadly. And if course gives us something to mock.

After this morning comedy we were off to the Hoffburg Palace. Unfortunately we learned the Opera is closed for tours today and only offering afternoon tours tomorrow. Since we’ve already booked Schonbrunn Palace tomorrow so we’ll have to skip the Opera.

At Hoffburg we toured the imperial porcelain and silver collection. Impressive and overwhelming! Amazing that so many plate and serving items can exist in one collection. Also much of the plate had been melted down over time which makes it even more astounding. Gorgeous porcelain, ceramics, elaborate table decorations and some of the most amazing folded napkins. Ever seen a life-size swan folded from a napkin?

After being awed by porcelain the royal apartments were next with the Empress “Sisi” museum. Interesting figure in Austrian history and only became an icon after her assassination by an Italian rebel. I couldn’t help but walk away with an impression of her as a self-absorbed narcissist.

The final stop was the treasury. One of the best I’ve seen. Here are just a few impressive items.

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Care for a 17th century 2600+ carat emerald?

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How about new clothes? It’s cooler here now and this looks nice and warm.

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One crown not enough? Need one more elaborate? Personally, I enjoy Linda photo bombing here.

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The palace took more time than expected and was tiring. I find it’s easier to hike, climb and walk than the slow museum shuffle. We continued to poke about the tourist streets, admiring the shops and people of Vienna.

Our wandering took us back to St Stephen’s to tour the exterior. A bit of scaffolding covered part of the southern tower but this building simply wows.

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The sheer size makes it difficult to take it all in.

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Dinner found us enjoying Gasthaus Poschl, a small, very popular neighborhood place we had walked by several times. Turns out it was listed in a New York Times 36-hour guide to Vienna. Not sure how you could see this place in 36 hours!

Tomorrow we’ll tackle the interior of St Stephens and head out the Schonbrunn. And perhaps wrap up our last day with some shopping. What a great trip so far!

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