Saturday, August 20, 2011


Staggered out early for a walking tour of the old town featuring St. Stephan's Cathedral with incredible stone lacework pulpit and over-the-top decorations.   Wandered by the Spanish Riding School where the Lipizzaner stallions were on a summer break.  The guide pointed out that it was only the stallions that were trained.  The mares weren't interested in being trained.  The men in our group wisely said nothing.

Ruled by the Hapsburg dynasty for centuries, Vienna is a sparkling city full of baroque architecture, 100 museums and 25 opera houses and theatres.  It's also the home of the Austro-Hungarian Emperors.  They had a palace in the city of course, where they spent the winter and when it got too hot and smelly in the summer, the entire court repaired to the summer palace, Schoenbron, a few miles away but outside the city at that time.  Maria Teresa, empress and mother of 16, even had to schlepp along the plates and cutlery, since they only had one set at first.  Apparently the plates were made with the likeness of their users fired into the porcelain.  The summer palace has 1440 rooms and miles of gardens including a maze which they don't let tourists into for safety reasons: they get lost.  Even the souvenir shop has 6 rooms.  We visited only a dozen rooms in the Royal Apartments, no photos allowed.

Then we were treated to a demonstration of apple-strudel making in the Imperial Bakery.  Reg was called upon to assist the Master Chef and earned her certificate as a Strudel Chef!

After that it was back to the hotel for supper.  We couldn't face the after-dinner concert at a nearby concert hall, much less the tour of the illuminated city by night. Sorry Mozart/Beethovan fans.

Lipizzaner stables

Elaborately carved stone lacework pulpit in St. Stephan's Cathedral

Shoenbron Summer Palace

Reggie building a strudel in the Imperial Bakery

1 comment:

  1. Vienna sounds incredible. Lee has been there umpteen times and always seems to enjoy the sights, sounds and the food, of course...

    Congrats to Reggie re strudel chef designation. Besides the fancy pastries have you discovered any new dishes? How about the local wines/beer?

    Cool and rainy in Montreal today. A nice break from the heat, actually...

    Cheers and Love from the mighty South Shore!