Sunday in Vienna – Sept. 28, 2014

DSC_0390We knew it..the Austrian branch of Interpol is onto us.

We have been sending Pam Stewart into every ladies room to look for spies.  She hasn’t found one yet, but we intercepted this video of their security system now checking on Pam…see her in the center, trying to be unobtrusive?  More later.

DSC_0365Group photo…missing some members.

We have Al Stewart taking the photo and we somehow missed our new best friends, Lee and Marianne Strohmeyer, too.

DSC_0366Since Big Stew took the preceding photo, we told him to go to the ladies room, find Pam and bring her back for this photo.  (Sorry, Pam).

Back to Sunday and our narrative.  We had a great night in Vienna last night…went to a live performance by a 10 piece orchestra, supported by 8 dancers and singers at a performing arts center in Vienna city center.  The film is lost in the iCloud and the name of the place totally escaped us (or me anyway).  Standing ovation…I’ll show you the performers, when I find them.

Today, we toured like crazy and skipped mass.  Morning was a city tour with Gertrude and this afternoon was the Schonbrunn Palace tour with her, too.  She was fabulous.

DSC_0377We started off “going by” lots of stuff.  This is the City Hall for Vienna…with a circus in front (rather than inside, she said).

DSC_0375The bunny was leftover from some festival, but many of them have stayed in places around the city for years.  Odd, but interesting….you know, like the cows in Chicago?

The big deal church (there’s one in every place we visit) is St. Stephens.  Highest steeple in the city and a great tile roof.

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Nearby the church was a guy paining another domed building.  Here he is and there’s the dome.

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DSC_0342Gertrude, the guide also found a billboard which captured most of the family members of her morning’s major subject – Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled for 60 years.  She also had 16 children and was pretty happy with herself….see everyone – including her – is pointing at her in the painting.  Her littlest kid (#16) is Marie Antoinette of French Revolution fame.

The real morning highlight was the chance-sighting of the famed Lippizaner Stallions coming back from their training workout.

The trainers brought them right through our crowd of 28 people and took them into their special quarters in a private courtyard. You can see how close we got when you see the photo of our favorite – Number 65 (see the number on his shoulder?)

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After they fill your heads up with all of these facts from the 18th Century, they do give you some free time.  We spent our at the Sacher Hotel, where they invented the Sacher Torte.  Ja, as they say…very good idea.

DSC_0367  DSC_0372  Cindy…we thought of you…it was delicious.

Then, some more drive-by-in-the-bus-on-the-way-back stuff.

DSC_0385The city encourages graffiti are at certain places along the subway and the Wien River or Danube Canal.  it’s not everywhere, mind you…they just jailed a guy for 3 years for straying off the approved wall.

DSC_0315And the daily sighting of an American Icon.  There’s a Lippizaner trainer in there in his white suit.

After lunch, the Schobrunn Palace shows what serious Emperor Excess is all about.  Maria Theresa and her clan got humid in the city so they built this place in the ‘burbs in 1860.  They had 1,500 servants to go with them and it took a month to move.

DSC_0401Rear view from the 416 acre garden out back.

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Here’s the gang walking back toward the fountains in the back yard.

We are glad to have the Miller, Stewart and Strohmeyer families joining the blog.  Joe is helping by trying to get me to put a video into the blog, since he had a good one of the organ and choir inside St. Stephens this morning.  It would have made us all appear more holy, but the wordpress people wouldn’t accept the upload.

Dinner is coming up.  Happy evening all.

chiproach

Lifelong Philadelphia area Realtor. Now a 13-year citizen of Sanibel, Florida. Married to Nancy for 53 years. Three children (2 in Devon; 1 in Steamboat Springs, CO) and 5 grandkids (2 in college). Helping with charities involving poverty, kids and education.

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