Friday, September 19th, 1997 Vienna, Austria
Breakfast began the day at about 7:30 AM in the dining room of the Wolfinger Hotel overlooking the plaza outside. We watched as the vendors began bringing in their trailers for the Friday morning farmer’s market in the plaza. We packed but left our bags in the room as we walked over to Woolsworth to see what we could buy. Jim found a shirt, I purchased some socks and panties and Shari purchased some more Milka candy with purple cows on the cover!
Walked to the local palace, but it was closed for repairs so we returned to the hotel to put our bags in the car and start for Vienna. (What we thought was a castle on the hill last night was really a church; so we decided not to try to find it after all.) It was only a couple of hours until we arrived in Vienna. Our first stop was at the Schonbrunn Palace outside of the city; the summer residence of the royal family many long years ago.
A wonderful tour of forty rooms of the palace. There are over a thousand rooms in this palace which stretches over a very large area…estimated the distance was at least a mile or more in each direction. The grounds are huge. We attempted to walk to several areas and found them very far apart. The most amazing job has been done in trimming the trees…they are literally sheared on one side to make a mall towards different areas. Hard to believe that it is probably done by hand. Dave loves to trim his hedges and was absolutely thrilled by the sights. We ate our lunch in the palace gardens just before going on our tour.
Leaving the palace we headed into the city of Vienna. Our hotel, the Pension Pertschy (a former palace per the book) had sent very explicit directions. However, we were in a left turn only lane when we saw the Opera House and realized that we needed to go straight. So instead of going around the block to that area again; Jim decided that we should go right again and attempt to find our hotel on our own from the North part of the city.
Round and round we went for nearly an hour it seemed. Finally we were suddenly back at the Opera House and were able to follow the original directions. Rapidly we were in the area of the hotel but parking was another question! We squeezed into a space and the boys went to find the hotel and check on parking. They found the hotel just around the corner and also the information that we had to pay for parking in a garage as we would not be able to park on the street overnight. We then drove in front of the hotel; unloaded the bags and the boys went to find the parking garage while Shari & I registered and talked to the clerk about the local sights. The hotel was a former palace (a long, long time ago). There is a grand staircase (now just very wide concrete stairs) and an elevator. Jim & I are in Apartment #3 and on the fourth floor. Dave & Shari have Apartment #4 and are located on the first floor. Don’t understand their reasoning for numbering the units! But we’re very happy to have a small lift (elevator)! We have crystal chandeliers in the rooms. The bathrooms have been added and are very modern. Everything has double doors and windows for back when there was no central heating. We’re very happy to have the heat on to dry the wet underwear that we brought with us from last night (no heat in Linz, so nothing dried).
As soon as we got into the room the rain started. By the time we left the hotel it was absolutely pouring. Made it to the auto teller and each got some shillings from the ATM Machine. Then began the search for a place to eat. Ended up in a wonderful local pub that we probably would not have found except for the rain. It was down a side street and located down about two levels underground.
Wonderful dinner surrounded by locals at a very reasonable price. Back outside it was only a light drizzle and we spent about half an hour walking about before returning to the hotel. We are very centrally located near St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) and within walking distance to all the major attractions. We should have a great day tomorrow when the weather clears. Back in the room we used some of the sugar cubes (from the breakfast table) to soak in scotch for a special treat before bedtime. Made two calls home; office and Wendy. Trying to sort out problems on the work being done on the house. It’s early, but time for bed…had lots of fireworks going off earlier tonight; but so overcast we couldn’t see them. Leaving the windows open for fresh air and we can hear the people walking in the street below.