We woke up and had breakfast in the lobby- the food was plentiful and good. We had planned this trip to stay at hotels we are familiar with such as Courtyard, that way we are assured of a minimum quality and a possibility that someone may speak English. So far, even with non-English speaking people, we have been able to communicate pretty well. Sheldon had spent some time having the Mercedes technician come to the hotel and look at the car while we were out, getting hold of the service people in Austria was a bit frustrating. The weather was grey and overcast with a bit of rain. We decided to tour Schornbrunn Castle http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en.html
which was about a block from our hotel, and then take the on/off tour bus around the city.
We weren’t able to take pictures inside the castle, but we have some of the outside. It was a cold damp day, clouds threatening.
This is a photo of the wooden floor tiles in the foyer of the castle:
There is such an abundance of wood in Austria that there are lots of things made of wood that you wouldn't expect.
More pictures of the castle:
After touring the castle we got on the tour bus. We got off the bus at the Vienna Opera house and then took a different tour bus on the circle tour of the Vienna area including crossing the Danube river. The bus was equipped with headphones (in several languages) so we could learn about the history of the places we were driving by. It was quite interesting, and a good way to stay dry and warm while learning about this beautiful city.
The outside of the Vienna Opera house:
Outside of the Opera House were men dressed in Renaissance-era type clothes, trying to seel seats (cheap!) to the opera. We declined the opera...and the symphony...and the other offers. We weren't sure what we would feel like doing later.
Building details from the bus:
The famous Vienna ferris wheel:
Close up of one of the cars- each car holds about 30 people:
St. James' Cathedral outside of Vienna:
After arriving back at the Opera house, we walked around the downtown shopping area, and stopped for lunch at a little restaurant down a side street. I bought a lovely scarf for myself and a couple of items as gifts. After we had lunch, we went to a little coffee shop for coffee and pastries.
It was great to people watch and get a feel for the downtown area. There was quite a mix of old and new. The St. Steven's cathedral was in the downtown area and is surrounded by new buildings. The building was surrounded by scaffolding and there was canvas covering the face of the cathedral. On the canvas was painted the picture of the wall underneath so from a distance it was difficult to tell that the wall was not showing. I'm glad they did that because it would have been a dissapointment not to have at least a sense of what the lovely carved stone looked like.
We then went back to the opera house and took some more pictures of the Opera House:
Then we caught the bus back to the castle, by then it was raining quite hard and we opted to have a quiet evening at the hotel. Dinner in the lobby restaurant was good and it was nice to relax a little bit. We called the Austrian Mercedes service person again, and she told Sheldon that the car had been repaired. Then it was early to bed to leave for Venice the next morning.