Thursday, April 24, 2014

Europe 2012 day 14: Vienna, Austria

It's been 1.5 years in the making - but the finale of our Europe trip! Our last day (Sept. 16, 2012) was all about Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), and the famous Vienna Opera House.

Schönbrunn Palace
We got up to make it to the Schönbrunn Palace as Rick Steves said the lines can get really long - andddd I was the first one in line.  Nick got this great picture of me waiting along with my Rick Steves book and the janitor.

First in line at the Schönbrunn Palace
We got our tickets and our audioguide tour (no pictures allowed) was pretty good - Schonbrunn is similar to Versailles and was the "summer home" of the Habsburgs. The interior tour took us through 40 of the 1,441 (!) rooms, including the audience waiting rooms, the main office, bedrooms, etc.
Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Panorama Schönbrunn Palace and gardens

After the tour, we headed outside to tour the AMAZING gardens.  Much like Versailles, the gardens are full of sights and long pathways and go on and on. We climbed the hill to the Gloriette behind the palace for a nice view, and made sure to see Neptune's fountain, the Obelisk, the Roman Ruins (built in the 1700s as something to look at), the japanese garden and the Palm house (big greenhouse with palm trees inside). It was such a perfect day, we loved just walking around and enjoying the lovely gardens.  I went a little picture happy, needless to say...

Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens

Afterwards, we caught the subway back to the city center. Grabbing lunch at Graben, we headed in to St. Stephens to do the audio tour there. We skipped climbing the towers and the catacombs, but we paid the nominal fee to be able to walk into the central area of the nave and up to the front, a really lovely cathedral.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral

Next up was a bit of café time. Vienna is known for its cafes and we didn't want to miss hitting one up. We chose Café Bräunerhof, near the Dorotheum (auction house). We ordered iced coffees and enjoyed the afternoon sun.



After the café, we wandered around the city a bit more, eating (as always) and then made our way back to the Opera to try for tickets one more time. We bought standing room tickets for Romeo and Juliet (a ballet, not an opera, but oh well) for only 3 euros (about $5).

We found our way up to our third floor balcony, and despite the host of reserved standing slots, we had no problem finding a decent spot. Our view of the stage was slightly obstructed, but that's what you get for 3 euro, and we had a nice view of the orchestra pit that we wouldn't have had if we had paid full price and dressed up for floor seats.

Vienna Opera House
Vienna Opera House
Vienna Opera House

We only stayed until intermission - it was a great show, but we just went to experience it, not necessarily to watch three hours of a ballet, but I do love the ballet.  We both really enjoyed this and agreed it was a highlight of the trip, and was a great way to wrap things up.

Vienna Opera House

We headed back to our hotel, packed out suitcases and woke up bright and early the next morning for our trip back home to Seattle!  It was such a wonderful and beautiful trip, and I'm always so happy to travel the world with my favorite travel buddy!

Another great trip and lots of memories made

12 comments:

Andrea said...

Your photos are stunning! I love the photo of you in line with the janitor. I would totally have done the same thing--avoiding long lines is always a priority for me! I am also craving that delish iced coffee!

brittany said...

how beautiful!! i bet this was all purely stunning to behold in person! what an amaaazing trip!

A and B said...

What I wouldn't give to be in Paris right now!!

Allison said...

You crack me up with the picture of only you on that line - I'm jealous though because EVERYTHING in Paris was 2.5+ hour waits since we went to everything way too late (so we didn't see the inside of a lot of museums/attractions).
You both look incredible in every picture, the gorgeous pictures of that stained glass is breathtaking, and the gardens are making me long for summer and more flowers.
I'm so glad you (finally) posted these up, girl!

Laynah said...

SO beautiful! Some of these pictures could be paintings!

Kristen said...

oh my goodness. this is amazing. i am so jealous!

Mandy Southgate said...

Wow, what a busy day. It's a pity you weren't allowed photos in the inside of Schönbrunn but the gardens are really exquisite! I think St Stephen's would have been a highlight for me. It is really beautiful.

Sarah Alway said...

Oh wow, those gardens are spectacular!! And congratulations on recapping your whole trip, I'm so impressed and it was so much fun to read about. I need to do the exact same thing at some point from our European tour in 2010! Did you have a hard time remembering all the details, or did it come back easily?

Jenna Griffin said...

Gorgeous photos! I would love to go to Vienna one day. My husband went there almost 10 years ago and loved it!

B said...

These photos are AMAZING. Everything looks so bright and cheerful!

B said...

These photos are AMAZING. Everything looks so bright and cheerful!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Your photos have made me want to go!

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