A Fun Weekend in Vienna

This may not sound very normal to some, but we love travelling with our parents.  On a recent trip to Vienna, we decided to take them along.  This time, since all of us are already familiar with the historical sights, we decided to make it a fun trip involving food and taking the kids to an amusement park.

After having a hearty lunch at Mikulov, we drove to Vienna to get some coffee and a taste of the classic pork knee.

Vienna is famous for its cafes, so it was no wonder that they were all packed when we got there.  Luckily, we found the Gutenberg, a quaint restaurant tucked along a small street in Vienna’s shopping district.  The coffee was good, and so was the sacher torte that I had with it.  And it was too late before I realized that I should have taken a picture.

But anyhow, I think the picture I took from this place was more precious than the food – my children, in such a tender moment.

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We then proceeded to Prater Amusement park, where my son enjoyed the bumper cars with his father.

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And because he was too young to drive his own bump car, he begged to go on more rides where it was totally ok for him to take the wheel.

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Still, that wasn’t enough.  He is crazy about fire trucks, so here he is driving his own.

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The day will never be complete if we don’t get to taste the Viennese pork knee.  So we proceeded to the Schweizerhaus (Swiss house) and beer garden  to grab a mouthful and down it all off with a good glass(es) of beer.

The roasted pork knee is probably one of the unhealthiest food in this planet, but it tastes so good!  It reminded me of a typical Filipino dish, crispy pata.

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Yes, that was my portion.    So now you know why I am still fat.

 

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Weekend in Vienna – part 2

We reserved the second part of our trip for the Schonbrunn Palace and gardens, the summer  residence of the Habsburg Monarchs.   The place was located a little bit farther from the city center, so we decided to already check out of our hotel, spend a couple of hours over there, then head for home.

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We entered the palace from the side entrance since it was where we found a good parking spot.  I also figured it was a great way to cut the walking distance.

But I was wrong.  In order to fully appreciate its beauty, one has to enter it from the main front entrance.

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The place was so huge and grand.

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We walked through the whole perimeter to view the gardens.  This next picture was taken from the right wing.

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It has amazing French-style gardens that are simply breathtaking.

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The rear side of the castle did not fail to impress either.

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The gardens at the back were just as beautiful as the ones on the side.

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There was also a huge fountain with the statue of Neptune at the far end.

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With its huge expanse, it was quite a walk.

IMG_4206But the view from the fountain facing the palace was also awe-inspiring.

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Furthermore, the area seems to be a runner’s haven.

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With all its mazes, varied terrain and beautiful scenery, it makes up for a very good run.

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After walking and admiring the beautiful sites of the Schonbrunn Palace, we headed for home.

If there is one person I know who likes to have everything planned, it is my husband.  But since we were on holiday, I somehow persuaded him to just follow where the GPS navigator will take us.  And so we did.  The funny thing was, it added  a twist to our already colorful day.  I chose a route that avoided toll roads and highways so we can see the countryside but it took us somewhere we didn’t expect – the ferry boat!

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I thought it was a lot of fun, but he was not so happy about it.  My friend Georgia used to say that her GPS is a Global Piece of Sh*t, because of all the wrong directions that it takes her.  At this time, my husband was thinking the same.

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Although later on, we all just laughed about it.  It’s another adventure added to our list.

Anyhow, the route did take us to the countryside.

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It was an interesting drive through small villages and farmlands.

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Until finally, we arrived at the border.   Home sweet home!

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All in all, the trip to Vienna is now part of my most memorable trips .  My son who is turning 3 next month will surely remember this — specially the ferry ride.

Weekend in Vienna – part 1

One of our weekend travel plans this year included a trip to Vienna.  This past weekend, we made it happen.  Thanks to 2 days of great weather, everything went well as planned.

Our trip started Friday night as we drove 4 hours from Kolin to Vienna.  It was a surprisingly smooth trip with minimal traffic.

The following day, we started out early.  First on our list was a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

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What was impressive in this cathedral is its prominent gothic structure.  Today, it is the seat of the Archbishop and the site for most of Vienna’s religious and social gatherings.

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In close proximity to the cathedral are historical buildings, fountains and statues.  Just like the Old Town Square in Prague, it is highly commercialized and loaded with tourists.

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After walking through this…

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..and this…

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…we found ourselves in front of the Imperial Palace.

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It was here where the great empire of the Habsburg monarchy was ruled from.  I am not a history fanatic, but after visiting a lot of castles here in Czech and knowing whom it belongs to, I became increasingly interested with the Habsburg Monarchy.  It was interesting for me to see where the Imperial seat was.

At present, this palace is now used as the residence of the President of Vienna.

Next on our itinerary was a walk to the statue of the greatest empress in Viennese history, Maria Theresa, mother of  the iconic princess Marie Antoinette of France.

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It was here where several guys wearing Mozart costumes where inviting us to a Mozart concert.  It would have been a nice concert.  Unfortunately, we haven’t planned for anything of that sort.

The statue was also in very close proximity to the Natural History Museum.

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We then walked through the Viennese Parliament building.

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Right in front of it was a Botanical rose garden where we took a quick rest and admired the beauty of the flowers.

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It was very relaxing that I almost fell asleep in one of the benches under the trees.  My son had to drag me up so we can continue on our journey.

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After another long walk passing through embassies and other historical buildings….

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…we finally arrived at the last place on this day’s itinerary – the Prater amusement park.

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One of its greatest attractions is the giant ferris wheel.

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By this time I was already very tired from all the walking.  Of course we had the option of taking public transport,  but we didn’t want to miss anything,  so travelling on foot to these sights proved to be the best option.

IMG_4136My boys had a lot of fun absorbing the sights and that was all I ever needed to make me happy.  After going through Prater, we called it a day and went back to our hotel eager for the next day’s trip.