Vienna is a handsome, lively city, and pleases me exceedingly. – Frederic Chopin
The first stop on our Romantic Danube river cruise after boarding our boat in Budapest was Vienna. I really should have better photos of Vienna for you. Unfortunately, Vienna is the one stop in our recent vacation where being on a river cruise was a definite disadvantage. That’s because we only had one day there, and the day in question was rainy and gloomy. Vienna has so much to offer, and we saw only saw a fraction of it. We did see some beautiful copper domes though.
And we saw the famous fiakers, or horse drawn carriages, although not many were taking a ride on such a dreary day.
As part of our morning guided tour, we walked down the pedestrian only shopping street. I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore looking in the shop windows.
I really loved the old lockers in the Chanel window.
Our guide told us that Naomi Campbell had been in Chanel just a few weeks earlier and her driver was fined for driving her down the pedestrian only street. You can read all about that here. Do you suppose she bought a pair of these these pink plaid boots?
Well, clearly I don’t shop in the same places as Naomi Campbell, so I was content to just look through the windows.
Since the weather was so questionable, we decided to spend the afternoon inside in the Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Musuem. If you don’t know the story behind Sisi, or Empress Elisabeth of Austria, hers is actually a rather fascinating story. I think she was the Princess Diana of her day. It was fascinating to learn more about her and to see some of her things, including her dresses and her rooms in the palace.
Later in the day, we visited the Christmas Market in the Rathauspark. By the way, the Rathaus is basically what we would call our City Hall (the irony is not lost on me). My day job is at the Rathaus, but trust me, my Rathaus looks nothing like the one in Vienna.
Anyway, I think my expectations were just too high. All of the brochures made it sound like a magical place full of gluhwein (a spiced, hot wine served in a mug) and handcrafted Christmas gifts. Perhaps it is more magical in the snow than it is in the rain. Perhaps I am jaded. In the end, it was just a lot of tacky, overpriced stuff mixed in with a lot of food booths and it seems I am not a fan of having my wine served hot. Plus, trust me when I say it’s nearly impossible to juggle a camera, an umbrella and a hot mug of gluhwein.
These are pretty, but did I have to go all the way to Vienna to find ornaments like these?
As we made our way around the Christmas Market, the rain just got heavier and heavier. Finally we gave in and returned to our river boat to dry off and warm up. Our next stop was in Melk, home to the famous Abbey. I’ll share that with you soon! Stay tuned.