“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Budapest” (Day 7)

April 24

~ Vienna

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[Well, how else would begin your first morning in Vienna?]

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[Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true. When will you realize… Vienna waits for you.  ~  Billy Joel]

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[We’re on the bus heading for our walking tour of Austria’s famous capital city . . . ]

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[It was a Sunday morning, the streets seemed deserted . . . ]

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[John’s head to first focus priority as I tried to get . . . ]

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[This, Wiener Riesenrad, a/k/a, the Ferris wheel.  Pam and Tom make it a “must do” to ride a Ferris wheel and carousel in every new city they visit.  So, that evening after dinner they ventured out from the boat, walked a few blocks to the closest metro stop, caught a train immediately, and were there by the 2nd stop.  They said they got a great night time view of the city from the top.  Then I think they stopped for an ice cream or gelato on the way back to the boat.  The rest of us opted not to join them – now I wish we had.]

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[Vienna has a population of around 2 million.  It seems that’s the designated population of every East European capital?]

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[Our tribute to Prince from afar.  While we today recognize Mozart as the true rock star of his time, Strauss. Jr. was actually considered such in his day. Here we passed his home where he penned “The Blue Danube Waltz.”]

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[We’re heading to the city’s historic center for our walking tour.]

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[This, and the following, is the Vienna State Opera.]

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[Parliament, this and the following . . .]

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[City Hall . . . ]

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[Double spires of Votive church . . . ]

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[A horse drawn buggy . . . may also be seen as such places as New York City’s Central Park or Alexandria’s Carlos Creek Winery . . . ]

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[OK, we’re on the ground now.  The bus has dropped us at the Museum Quarter.  In other words, we’re at the place where history abounds.]

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[Now heading into . . . ]

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[Hofburg Palace and its grounds.  The former imperial palace in the city center and now residence and office of the President of Austria.]

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[Touring the palace grounds with our tour leader, 10A!]

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[“Winter in Vienna!” 39 degrees this morning . . . and continuing with the strong winds we had every day so far. But as hardy Minnesotans, we all agreed it’s better than 85!]

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cold outside

[St. Stephen’s Cathedral – we’ll visit there soon.]

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[Archduke Charles]

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[Gold coat of arms two-headed eagle with royal crown in between angels in Heldenplatz (the public space in front of the palace).]

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[Emperor Francis II]

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[It’s just delightfully chilly!]

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[This way to the crown jewels?]

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[I believe above the palace library.]

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[Franz Joseph I ruled Austria for 68 years, subsequently leading to presidential term limits in the United States.]

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[Emperor Joseph II in Josefsplatz, Hofburg Palace]

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[Spanish Riding School, home of the famous Lipizzan stallions – we thought we saw movement in the stalls?]

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[Apparently just known as a fountain at Hofburg Palace.  Sheesh, you’d think someone could name her “Eileen,” or something?]

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[Heading away from the palace to the city shopping center, a/k/a, Stephansplatz.  And everyplace you dig in the Old World, you strike antiquity.]

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[It must be time to shop!]

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[St. Peter’s Church]

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[Golden Pestsaule statue, Stephansplatz]

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[St. Stephen’s Cathedral . . .]

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[And entry into  – we were on our own now to fend for ourselves in the city for the rest of the afternoon.]

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[The six of us decided we needed a time and place to meet up as we would surely get separated in these crowds.]

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[Back outside, it must be lunchtime!  Let’s see what we can find . . .]

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[It’s too bad the weather was restricting us to indoor dining.  I just remember our server here seemed to be handling the whole place all by herself – and quite well, I may add.]

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[Back outside and wandering around town . . . ]

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[Another “Astoria” – I never knew our old condo had such a popular name in the Old World.]

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[Along the way John and Helen considered Don Giovanni at the Opera House but decided it would be a close call making it back to the boat.]

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[(And tickets were readily available . . . )]

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[So, the Super and Helen belted out an outdoor aria!]

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[I keep hoping “they” will build something like this in Big Ole Park . . . ]

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[Or maybe something like this?  I decided to go along a side street of the State Opera House, when my eyes caught sight of something totally unexpected . . .  I got close up and friendly with Supersized Pink Bunny. I found him sitting on top of a slab type structure behind the Operhouse, on the Ring side . . . I tracked down the actual original use for these humungous Leporidae.  The featured artwork used on all the billboards and poster stands throughout Vienna was [Abrecht] Dürer’s famous watercolour of the “Young Hare.” (From:  http://www.blogher.com/best-keep-secrets-austria-secret-giant-leporidae]

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[John, livin’ the dream! All he wanted to do was spend some time at a couple of Vienna coffee shops!]

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[We entered People’s Park, just down the street from our coffee shop.]

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[Guess who?  No peeking!]

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[Were you right?]

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[Ready to leave People’s Park and find our way back to the boat . . . ]

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[The Mozart Cafe . . . ]

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[We might have considered a visit but crossing the street to get there seemed death- defying.]

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[Yet we somehow managed to cross . . . ]

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[To the tourist information bureau where the Super and Helen queried as to whether we could “get there from here?”  As I recall, we decided to take a taxi.]

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[And now, back on the boat, a little something for all you gourmands out there.  And you know who you are!]

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[And finally, Happy 69th Birthday, Dr. Kiehne!  It was also the birthday of the Library of Congress. Coincidence? We think not!]

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Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.  ~ Ernest Hemingway

Up Next: Father’s Day weekend?

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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2 Responses to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Budapest” (Day 7)

  1. Helen and John says:

    How delightful! It’s all so well organized and fun’

  2. tomobert63 says:

    Aaaah, you guys are off the charts on the sweetness scale!

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