Showing posts with label Austria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Austria. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Austria: Historic Centre of Vienna & Schönbrunn Palace

Having taken up piano lessons as a kid, I was introduced quite young to classical music. Learning Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Strauss and Brahms, all Viennese composers, and listening to the beautiful waltz An der schönen, blauen Donau (Blue Danube), I've been fascinated with the contribution of Vienna, Austria to classical music. No doubt, it deserves its title, the City of Music.

So I did not pass up on the chance to visit Vienna as we drove around Europe last year. Aside from music, Vienna is also rich in architectural heritage. The Historic Centre of Vienna and the Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn which is also in Vienna, are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Vienna was just an hour away from Bratislava, Slovakia. After our dinner in Bratislava, we drove to Vienna where we decided to spend the night. The next day was unfortunately foggy, windy and cold. But it didn't stop us from walking around Vienna's historic streets.

We spent the morning walking around and exploring the Innere Stadt or Old Town of Vienna around the area of Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) and Stephansplatz. The streets were actually being decorated for Christmas and I could imagine how charming it would look when the lights are switched on.

We walked through Michaelerplatz which is dominated by Michaelertor, the impressive neo-Baroque gate to the Hofburg Palace, the Hapsburg seat of power and currently the residence of the president of Austria. There was actually a tourism promotional campaign from Azerbaijan happening at Michaelerplatz. And we got to enjoy Azerbaijani food, drinks and cultural performances.

From Hofburg, we walked towards Maria-Theresienplatz, Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) and Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Natural History of Vienna) where stalls had been set up for the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market), a street market that is held during the four weeks of advent.

One highlight of Christmas Markets are the food stalls which feature local snacks and dishes.

I enjoyed the local breads, sausages and potato dishes, plus the schinkennockerl! Really good!

Later in the afternoon, we took Vienna's underground to Schönbrunn Palace. Unfortunately, since it was autumn, the gardens were not at their best. We got to marvel at the interior of the palace. Too bad though we couldn't take photos.

It got really cold and windy that we decided to call it a day quite early and start our drive to Prague, Czech Republic where we were going to spend the night. See more Vienna, Austria photos.

How to get to Schönbrunn Palace
You can take underground line U4, tram number 10 or 58, or bus number 10A to Schönbrunn Station. The palace is walking distance from the stations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Europe: France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Vatican City, San Marino, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Andorra & Monaco 2011

Before I forget, I'm posting the summary of photo albums from my Europe trip last November 2011. We drove through Europe visiting France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Vatican City, San Marino, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. And I later took a train to Andorra and Monaco. Here are the photos from Eurpoe that have been uploaded to the Ivan About Town FB page.

November 8 - St. Gallen, Switzerland / Vaduz, Liechtenstein / Zürich, Switzerland
November 9 - Bern, Switzerland
November 10-11 - Florence, Italy
November 11 - Pisa, Italy
November 12 - Rome, Italy and Vatican City
November 13 - San Marino / Venice, Italy
November 14 - Ljubljana, Slovenia / Graz, Austria
November 15 - Budapest, Hungary / Bratislava, Slovakia
November 16 - Vienna, Austria
November 17 - Prague, Czech Republic
November 22 - Lourdes, France
November 23 - L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre, France
November 24 - Andorra la Vella, Andorra / Toulouse, France
November 25 - Monte Carlo, Monaco / Nice, France
November 27-December 2 - Paris, France
December 1 - Versailles, France
December 2 - Chantilly, France

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Austria: Overnight in Graz (November 14, 2011)

Since most of Europe follows the same time zone (+1 GMT), as you go further east, the sun sets earlier. Our plan was to explore Graz, Austria in the afternoon and spend the night there. But we left Ljubljana a bit late and thus managed to arrive in Graz a few minutes after sunset which was at about 4 p.m.

The City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We didn't have time to make it up to Eggenberg Castle. But at least we got to see the city center. For dinner, we had Krainer with Kren (horseradish), Ketchup & Senf (mustard) at the Hauptplatz. Here are more photos of Graz, Austria from the Ivan About Town Facebook page.
Related Posts with Thumbnails