Monday, June 30, 2014
Since we planned two nights in each city, it affords us the opportunity to rest for an extra period, if need be. We slept late on day 2 as the weather promised to be cold and rainy for the duration. We had planned a walking trip so were not motivated to be wet all day.
We loved sleeping in and enjoying a more expansive Euro breakfast – we lingered over coffee, meandered to our rooms, and readied ourselves for Vienna via the underground. Our orientation from yesterday stood us in good stead. We were seasoned with maps and directions.
We went directly to the Tourist Info office behind the Opera House to consider our plan of attack. We decided on another Mozart concert (this time the paying variety). We parted with E 118 for our balcony seats and left on our foot tour through Old Town Vienna, one more time. Intermittent rain didn’t dampen our spirits. We walked through parks, side streets, checked out shops and wondered what we would have for lunch. St. Stephen’s Church is an edifice in the centre of Old Town – by the church we found a sidewalk café that served lunch – so we took in the experience. By the way – July and August can be very crowded and hot in Vienna. Today, being the last day of June, it was neither peak season or hot – and it was very busy.
After lunch, we were feeling rather smug about our use of transit. (in Vienna it’s amazing – they used the post war millions from the United States very wisely as they built their transportation infrastructure – sorry Toronto – you missed the boat). We decided to go back to the grocery store, buy some snacks, freshen up and then go back to Old Vienna for 8 PM concert.
We made our selections at the local SPAR and retired to our room to read and rest. (We had scrumptious ‘all you can eat ice cream for E 2.00) Vienna is very walkable and we pounded the cobblestones and saw a lot in a day and a half. Such a pretty city -filled with history, the arts and life. As a side note we did small laundry with a universal drain stopper we brought with us from the dollar store. Very useful. Hoteliers are probably very nervous that people running low on ‘undies’ will let them drip dry on all their ‘old stuff’.
Our luggage is perfectly packed – we’ve been travelling for a week now and can still figure out different combinations so we don’t look the same in every picture. 🙂
We left our hotel at 7:15 PM for the 8:00 concert (plenty of time for the urban commuters to get to the correct location. We strolled around the plaza and caught the end of the France/Nigeria World Cup game shown on big screens. Soccer has brought us all together. We cheer, groan, sigh at the same points while watching the beautiful game on outdoor screens.
When it was time, we climbed the highest of highs to our balcony seating. The concert hall was one of the finest. The musicians dressed in period costumes, but that was the extent of the ‘cheesy’ – the next two hours floated by in a ‘greatest hits’ format with a tenor, soprano and about 30 musicians playing string, woodwind and percussion instruments. Great date night. E 118.00 for two people in the balcony.
Because we relied on public transportation even more than we thought we would while in Vienna, we purchased another 24 hour pass – so today’s spend excluding the tickets, was E 14.00 basically for lunch in Stephensplatz, ‘THE’ place to shop and people watch, E 27 for some snacks and ‘take back to Canada stuff’ at the grocery, and our evening snacks (E 14).
Vienna is so walkable, welcoming and warm – on our way back to the underground, we walked through a park where they were showing an old black and white German film – think about the scene from the Wedding Planner – the park on a beautiful night – free movie – S…I…G…H I have to leave in the morning. Austria is a gorgeous country with friendly people – put it on your list.
The land of Mozart and Strauss (the Trapp family too) – we will miss you – its been an incredible few days.