Vienna, Austria - Day 17
Vienna Travel Blog› entry 11 of 30 › view all entries
Vienna is a beautiful city. We actually considered skipping it, which would have been a mistake.
This day started out rainy, but with periodic breaks of sunshine and blue sky. But every time we thought the rain was finished, another mass of clouds would roll through and more rain would fall. Eventually, we planned on taking a guided walking tour of the city, thinking it was clearing up. But just before the scheduled time, it started pouring harder than ever. Aborting the plan, we huddled under a covered sidewalk with a crowd of people.
At the time we were right next to St. Stephen's Dom, which is one of Vienna's famous cathedrals. During a lightening of the rain we scampered across the plaza into the church. Enjoying the beautiful interior, we also decided to pay to take a tour of the catacombs underneath the church (and actually extended to underneath the plaza around the church). Interesting to see these crypts where old bishops and other church officials have been buried, but the real fun was seeing these massive chambers that were chalk full of bones. During the time when the Plague was running rampant through Vienna, one of the solutions for body disposal was to drop them through a hole in the street next to the cathedral and into these huge rooms, filling them to the brim. Creepy but fascinationg.
Afterwards, we walked to Albertinaplatz, an area near to many of Vienna's most impressive buildings and surrounding areas. The weather seemed to finally be cooperating, so we walked around many palaces and parliamentary structures. These were truly amazing buildings, so elegant and ornate and beautiful. To call them 'grand' would not be sufficient. All around also were various manicured shrubs and hedges, and incredible copper statues everywhere.
Even the "ordinary" buildings throughout Vienna were of an elegant and beautiful style; lots of carved stone, gilded window sashes, etc. Down every narrow street and over every tree line, wonderful buildings everywhere. A really wonderful city to see.
Another fun sight was variuos street performers. One guy in particular was painted silver and wore all silver clothes and moved like a robot. I know that sounds kind of standard, but he was very talented in how he moved and interacted with the giant crowd of people around him. We couldn't stop laughing as he and some kid around 6 years old would try to imitate each other.
That night we felt like some good old-fashioned pizza (I know, not particularly Austrian), so we ducked into a little hole-in-the-wall place that simply said 'Pizzeria' over the door. This turned out to be some of the best pizza we've ever had! It was fantastic, and remaining true to our nostalgic dinner we had a banana split afterwards.
Earlier in the day we had spotted an asian Karaoke bar. Seeing as it was saturday, we thought it might be fun to check out (and for Jenni to sing at) before we went to the hotel like old fuddy-duddies. Unfortunately, it wasn't open! Disappointed, we reverted back to our old crotchety habits and went to bed.