We began the day at the Spanish Riding School watching the most magnificent horses perform. The Lipizzaner horses are among the most beautiful in the world and when Marissa found out we were going to be in Vienna and could watch them, she had to go. The show was magnificent. I grew up training horses and couldn’t believe the discipline and training that has gone into this Lipizzaner performance. There are several ticket choices from the very expensive, for the upfront and personal view, to standing tickets for 26 Euro, which is what we got. Also there were only three of us who went, Marissa, my son in-law and myself. I would also recommend purchasing them no later than the day before and preferably online well before the show. There are only limited shows and they sell out quick.
After the show we met up with the rest of our crew and went to the Shonbrunn Palace, which was only a few blocks from our hotel. This was the summer home to the Imperial family who ruled Europe. As mentioned in our last blog Prague had a very old Europe, medieval feel while Vienna had an imperial high class feel to it. The Imperial family built palaces throughout the region of grand elegance and this palace was no exception. It had a similar feel to the Versailles with grand rooms and incredible grounds that now house a zoo. There is a cost to get in the Palace but it includes an audio tour, which is amazing. The fee also includes the maze and entrance to the top of the building on the hill behind the palace.
After the Visit to the Palace we took the metro beck into town where we had the most incredible Apple Strudel at the Café Sperl a very old authentic café. We made it just in time for the last four pieces and devoured them before the waitress could bring us our water. They didn’t serve dinner there so after our desert we slipped into a wonderful noodle café and had Thai noodles and Pa-Thai and everyone was full and very happy.
As mentioned before, everywhere you go someone is trying to sell you a performance. Keep in mind you are in the land of Mozart and Strauss and it would almost be a crime not to see a performance while here. We negotiated what we thought was a good price for both a Mozart and Strauss concert. It was to take place in the concert hall that is part of the Hofburg Palace in the place where Mozart had his first performance with his father and sister. The concert was very nice, but it was over sold by the salesman who was telling us about the number of people in the orchestra etc. For the price is was a great night of culture in the city of culture.
Tomorrow we leave Vienna and travel back to Prague with a few stops along the way to see more of the Czech countryside.