Grand European Tour: May/June 2022 – Part 2
After traveling through the night, we arrived in Vienna, Austria, the following afternoon. We had an early dinner and headed out to enjoy a special presentation of the Vienna Residence Orchestra at the Palais Auersperg, which was built in 1706. This was a fun outing and an enjoyable classical music concert, even though we are not typically big classical music fans. The hourlong concert by a small group of 8 musicians, two singers, and two dancers was beautifully performed. Featuring music by Mozart, Strauss, and Vivaldi, the group performed Waltz’s, snippets of operas, and even Polka. It was a great start to our stay in Vienna, the City of Music and arts. Driving through Vienna at night allowed us to enjoy the city lights and impressive historical buildings.
Vienna is a beautiful city with grandiose buildings, built mainly during the 17th century by members of the Hapsburg family. Their dynasty lasted for over 400 years, during which they ruled most of Europe and maintained the title of Holy Roman Emperor throughout much of their reign. The dynasty was vast, and they spent much of their rule in Vienna, where they built their massive palace with hundreds of rooms, royal stables, over 20 courtyards, and a church, among many other amenities. The palace and the hundreds of other wonderfully mastered Vienna buildings make Vienna an awe-inspiring city. Unfortunately, we had only a day and a half to take it all in. Just enough time again to want to plan a return trip and spend several more days exploring the many fabulous sites and museums in the city.
We did get a chance to squeeze in a trip to one of Vienna’s famed coffee houses or Cafes to taste their excellent coffee and chocolate cake called Sachertorte, which is like a fabulous flourless chocolate cake. On our meandering walk through the city, we stumbled upon a local wine festival in one of the many courtyards and enjoyed a Cuban pork sandwich and a glass of locally grown wine. Our five-plus mile walk took us past St. Stephens church and through the city’s heart before we finally arrived back at our ship to meet our friends.
One of the highlights of the city is its many gardens and courtyards. We spent about 45 minutes relaxing in a beautiful rose garden by the Hapsburg palace. So many rose plants were dedicated to family members who had died. What a wonderful memorial to your loved ones.
The Palaces, churches, Museums, and neighborhoods of Vienna are stunning. We could have easily spent several more days taking it all in. ST. Stephens Church, in particular, was beautiful.
Excursions in Vienna:
We went on a complimentary tour of Vienna, giving us a great overview of the city’s highlights. Then, we explored the city more before returning to the ship. Vienna is also home to some of the most famous musicians and composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Strauss, as well as actors, scientists, and the Vienna Boys Choir.
The optional excursions included:
- Schonbrunn Palace
- Historic Farmers Market
- Behind the Scenes at the Lipizzans
- Heurigen Dinner – highly recommended
The ship left at midnight, so we headed out to the Heurigan Dinner, which was outstanding and so much fun. The Heuriger Wine Tavern has been providing excellent Austrian food and young wine since 1784. About 20 of us from the ship enjoyed the wonderful hospitality, food, laughs, wine, and, of course, a few beers. The Heuriger Wine Tavern is an experience we highly recommend if you are in the area.
Click on the images below to view them in a gallery.