Wien (Vienna): 15th September

We didn’t sign up for the trip to see Schönbrunn Palace, so got to have a nice sleep-in in the morning, before jumping on the bus for the sightseeing trip.

I spotted this cool bit of grafitti:

which I would quite like on a t-shirt actually.

Our local guide was called Sylvia and she had a refreshing take on the people of Vienna – she told us about the tendency of the Viennese to hate everything new. Which is why they originally hated this magnificent building:

We started in the beautiful Museums Quarter, near Hofburg Palace, which will be familiar to my IUSY friends I’m sure:

That is Empress Maria Theresia Hapsburg, who remains the only female leader in Austria’s history. Still. Good work Austria <sarcasm/>.

On the top of the Natural History Museum, there are loads of statues of famous scientists and explorers, including James Cook! (Who is apparently the dude on the far right)

We wandered across the road to the Hofburg palace

(Is it just me, or is that horse in the bottom left corner looking RIGHT down the barrel? It’s a little creepy)

See that scaffolded bit in the middle? This bit:

That is the balcony from which Hitler announced the Anschluss.

And chilling in the sun right next to the palace was this really cool dude I know.

Well, I say ‘know’..

Speaking of Mozart, our next port of call was at the café of the same name, for some truly astounding coffee.

That’s sacher torte I’m having (which I first had in 2009 and was like ‘meh,’ but which I greedily devoured in a haze of deliciousness at Café Mozart) and a ‘Schococino’ (like a mochacino but waaaay more chocolatey), while my mother had a sort of apricot strudel and a Café Maria Theresia, which is the way the Empress used to have it. It’s espresso with cointreau and orange zest, with lashings of whipped cream. OMNOMNOMNOM.

After our coffee-break we wandered down the main shopping street towards Stephansplatz, spotting what was clearly a coded message from the Doctor along the way:

Stephansdom was just as amazing as I remember, though unfortunately covered in scaffolding:

After that, we went into the Albertina Museum to see the fantastic Monet-Picasso exhibit – I didn’t take any pictures, but it was amazing.

We went for a wander past the French embassy, which is pretty swish –

We had a look around this installation, called ‘The Morning Line’ which you could walk inside, and which had a music track playing continuously:

In the background there is the last Soviet soldier in Vienna. The city was briefly occupied after the war, and a condition of the withdrawal of troops was that the monument to Soviet soldiers be left standing. Which I think is pretty cool actually.

For dinner, we had Greek food again, but unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the place in München (though it was the best Moussaka I’ve ever had).

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