On Monday, May 26th, we hopped unto our tour bus in Prague, and made the five-hour trip to Vienna, Austria. We didn’t get checked into our hotel until around 2pm, leaving us about five hours for independent touring.
Vienna is a large city, around 1.7 million people. It’s not as pretty as Prague, but it has a lot of things to see. Julia joined us for an afternoon of whirlwind touring. Our hotel was located just inside the main city “Ring Strasse.” We started out with the main group and walked to the Stephandom (St. Stephan Church). After taking a group picture, Julia, Kathy, and I made our way to the Hofburg Palace complex. This was the home of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg empire at the turn of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the Imperial Apartments and other museums were closed on Monday, so we settled for a walk through the immense grounds. We eventually ended up at the famous Opera House on the south side of the Inner city ring, bought tram tickets, and rode the streetcar around the Ring Strasse.
When we circled back to the Opera House, we found Cafe Sacher and had a Viennasese treat, the Sacher Torte, a rich chocolate cake with whipped cream. Then we worked our way back to the Stephandom and the Hotel Pension Arenburg. By then, we were thoroughly exhausted, and got some rest. Most of us went out for a very nice supper at one of the oldest restaurants near the hotel. Kathy missed this outing because her feet were too sore from the intense walking we did earlier (due to slave-driving tour guide husband Arnie).
The next morning, we got up, had a really nice breakfast at the hotel, and hopped onto our bus for a ride to Bled, Slovania.