Vienna is a grand and magical city. It is extremely elegant and over the top everywhere you look. Each time you turn your head, tilt it to the side or simply look up there is something to be seen. In fact if you blink you miss something. Every corner of the city is picture perfect.
We arrived in Vienna after what seemed like a very long trip from Prague. Time was limited and valued on this world wind trip of Europe, taking any unnecessary time away was not what I wanted to do, but sometimes you need to listen to your body and rest. Once I awoke from a quick nap schnitzel and sightseeing where on the agenda. The schnitzel was amazing! We were back in home of schnitzel, classical music and elegance, I loved it! The second taste of Vienna we got was attending a Mozart classical music tribute concert. While it was not set in the most acoustically pleasing room, it did take place within then Schonbrunn Palace. The show itself was interesting, unique and enjoyable. The music was absolutely phenomenal and the talent these musicians had where unbeatable. Authentic Viennese dancing, opera and acting accompanied the orchestra during some of the pieces. The dancing, singing and music all told a story, a story that described love, drama, tragedy, action and comedy – what more could you ask for? The third taste that night was acting like a local. We took a walk to the Prater Amusement Park, while it is not Canada’s Wonderland it is quite the sight to see and be a part of. It is a park that by day can by quiet and relaxing, while at night plays electronic dance music to transform itself in to something fun and exciting. Toning down the excitement on our end, we road the Giant Ferris Wheel to enjoy the city light up in beauty at night. A calming way to end a day in Vienna.
The next day I woke up with excitement in my eye because I knew today would be the day I got to see all the palaces in Vienna. We planned to do all three major palaces in 1 day. You heard me right, Schonbrunn, Belvedere and Hofburg. All I wanted was to see the palace and take pictures from the outside. What we ended up having time for is going inside 2 out of 3!
The picture does not do palace justice as it is an absolutely stunning structure with expansive gardens and grounds. This was the summer palace for royalty and a way to escape the stress of high society life. The inside was decadent and grand, with everything in the palace made of gold, silver or bronze your place within society could clearly be identified. It really was magnificent from head to toe, complete with horse drawn carriages waiting to sweep you off your feet and bring you to next royal destination.
With time slipping away we only had the chance to see the outside of this palace. I think this one was one of my favourites. It’s size was only half of many of the palaces we had seen on our trip, but its simplicity and elegant design was par none. It has a Baroque element that is unmistakable, set within beautiful grounds and well kept gardens. Peace and tranquility was felt instantly as you walked through the gate to escape the busy streets.
Last but not least, Hofburg Palace, the grandest palace yet. It was the formal imperial palace, used as the winter estate. It was and still is the center of Vienna. Walking through the grounds and within the palace makes you feel small and insignificant. It was fun to pretend what royal life must have been like. However, walking around the Sisi Museum was an eye opener about the hard life women was like during that time. Regardless of location, financial status or family, women through the earlier centuries had a rough and complicated life. Despite the grandeur of the palace a reality check was always around the corner.
Vienna was a favourite of mine. I did not spend nearly enough time as I would have liked and intend to go back whilst visiting the country of Austria as a whole. Winter next year? Snowboarding in the alps, visiting Austria’s small towns and re-kindling a lost relationship with Vienna is on the list.