>Days 67/68 (Tues/Wed). Vienna.

>Tuesday, May 10th, off to Vienna on the hydrofoil up the Danube River. So my last views of Budapest from the river…The chain bridge…


…and the parliament…


The brochure said something about the Danube’s shores being lined with castles….well, it was more like trees and more trees πŸ™‚


…with an occasional bridge…


The most exciting part of the trip was going through two locks, where we would pull in and then wait for the water to rise about 30 feet within the lock before proceeding…exciting, huh?…


And then about 60 kilometers outside of Vienna, we did pass Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, and woooeeeee, a castle or two…


I did hear that Bratislava is a nice little town and worth a visit.

Then the approach to Vienna was, well, boring as well…


So, as you would guess, I recommend the train ride, which I hear is good πŸ™‚

They had also assured me there would be taxis when we docked…NOT!! Several of us walked around aimlessly looking for these supposed taxis. I called my hotel and they had no idea where I was. But they told me if I could find the metro, they were located right at the stephensplatz metro stop. The others were still trying to hail down the non-existent taxis when I hopped into a metro station a couple of blocks away, and 10 minutes later was at my hotel. I do wonder if the others ever got a taxi…some of them had way too much luggage to maneuver the metro πŸ™‚ Phew, so only a minor little adventure. (oh, I did go the wrong way…because the hotel told me to go towards leopoldus…I should have looked at the metro map myself before getting on… but only went for two stops before I figured it out and turned around).

So I wheeled my luggage into my hotel right on Stephansplatz…the Times Square of Vienna!!

Just in time to grab dinner at a restaurant nearby and get to bed.

On Wednesday, I took a walk around town, checking out the sights (most of what I saw will be covered on my walking tour, so will save my photos for that day). I did try out the tram system around the ring road which surrounds the old city of Vienna, but I got on the wrong one, and when I realized we were heading out to the burbs, I got off and it was a 30 minute walk back to the city’s edge!

I ended up going to see Don Giovanni at the opera house in the evening. I had tried to get tickets ahead of time but no luck, but I walked by a music store that said they had tickets, so was able to get a last minute ticket. I wanted to compare it to the production that Cynthia and I had seen at the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg. and it was head and shoulders above. Cynthia, they had sets (which were interesting panels they lowered with different appropriate scenes, plus it really looked like he went into an inferno at the end), the sets had more doors so that people weren’t running from one side to the other to leave the stage, and the Don Juan was hot! :-). I of course had a poor seat in a box where I had to stand on the rung of my chair throughout the performance, but it was worth it. And they had the little translation screens with English as one of the options. (not that I looked at it that much, as I am starting to get this story, but it did clarify a few parts that had not made sense before). I go to the opera house again on Sunday, so I’ll give you the scoop on the building then!

Walking tour tomorrow!

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Location:Stephansplatz,Vienna,Austria

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