Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day Five In Austria

At this point, our Jet Lag had completely caught up with us, and we were POOPED.  The following pictures were taken in a couple hour span that we did some neat things.  The other hours of the day, we were in our hotel room zonked out.
We had been on the go so much, we just needed a down day.
So we took it.  And thoroughly enjoyed it!!

We started the day with breakfast at the Demel, acclaimed as the most famous pastry shop in all of Austria.

cafe demel

Rob and Jamie were with us-  they were quite the troopers and had stayed up all night watching the gamecocks compete for the national championship.  The game STARTED at 1:00 am, austria time.

rob and jamie at cafe demel

You do not like them. So you say.
Try them! Try them!And you may.

try it try it

It was interesting to me that they served is water in glass bottles and gave us glasses to pour it in.... it was this way everywhere we went.  And "water" as the drink of choice, was NOT free.

breakfast at demel

After breakfast, we walked down the road to the Spanish Riding School to watch the Lipizzaner stallions  in their morning exercise routine.
I snapped this picture before realizing that photography is strictly prohibited.  Whoops.

lipazzon stallions

These people love their dogs.  At first glance, it might appear this man is pulling a child behind his bike.... nope.  It was his dog in there.
Also, please do note the sign on the bike rack.
"Gute Fahrt" means, "have a good trip!"
Much like WeinerWald, we had fun with this one.

gute fahrt

You can also, Parkeinfhart, if you wish.
Actually, that means, DON'T park there.
Confusing, I know.  But funny.  :)


Dogs in the bookstore?
Sure.  Why not?

dog in the bookstore

Dogs going into a ritzy restaurant?
Absolutely!  Let me get that door for you!

dog in the restaurant

Inside McDonalds.
Don't judge us for going to McDonalds in Austria.
It was the only place that had FOUNTAIN coke.  WITH ICE.
(although, you did have to ASK for the ice!)

inside mcdonalds

Benjamin and his giant fish.
Ok, not really.
It's a calzone.  But I think it looks like fish.  Ew.
It was really very good though.


We ate at Danieli either two or three times while we were there.  
This was another Jamie Find for which I will be eternally grateful.  

pizza at danielli

Inside St. Peters Cathedral

inside st peters cathedral

And below:  the back of St. Peters (this pic was from day one, they were doing renovations on the front, hence the unconventional angle)

B and Lula in front of the cathedral

And this one's actually from day six.
This incredibly talented artist was in the the town square sketching famous places and then painting them with watercolor.  I ended up buying two prints.  The Vienna town hall (where we date on day three  and the Hoffburg Palace where we were privileged to visit and dine on day six.
Souvenir Cool Factor: just slightly below my little cup and saucer.

watercolor on the streets

vienna town hall in watercolor

watercolor paints

And tomorrow, last but certainly not least, day six in Austria.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Austria Day Four { Sound of Music Tour }

On Day four in Austria, we actually left Vienna and took a three hour train ride through the countryside to Salzburg, where the Sound of Music was filmed.

If you've never seen Sound of Music, then you probably won't appreciate the following blog post, and if that's the case, then you shouldn't even READ the following blog post.
You should stop what you're doing.
You should NOT pass go,
you should NOT collect $200,
you should go DIRECTLY to the movie store and rent it and not proceed onward with your life until you've watched it.
It's a classic.
And your life will be richer once you've heard Julie Andrews sing
"Dough, a de-ah a Fee-may-el De-ah..."
and it's likely to cause you to skip around all day and wish that you could make play clothes out of curtains.
And speak with a English Accent.

This was my first experience on a train.
It was basically like a bunch of tour buses hooked together on a track.

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Here we are in the Mirabell Gardens where parts of the Sound of Music were filmed.

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It's difficult to tell where the statues end and Lula Begins.

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One of the main streets in Salzburg...
There's an ordinance that states all signs on this street must be made of iron...
Look for the McDonald's :)


Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss,  Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever.

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This is the market where Maria juggled oranges... 

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Vendors selling pastries....

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St. Peter's Cemetery, according to our tour guide, is the "Most Romantic cemetery in the world"

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'Til Death Do Us Part, My Love!

in the most romantic cemetery in the world

This is the fountain Maria danced around and sang, "I Have Confidence..."

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The beautiful cityscape...

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Bikes.  EVERYbody rode bikes.

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50 cent Euro (about $0.65) to use public restrooms...
living in Austria could get very expensive for someone like me...

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The back of the Von Trappe Family Mansion where they fell out of the canoe...

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Mrs. Lula just needs a few more grandkids and she could BE Maria!

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I was sixteen, going on seventeen, when I fell for this guy...

sittin in a field alps in the BG

The cathedral, Basilika Mondsee, where Maria and Captain Von Trapp were married...
and us reenacting it :)

b and jess as cap't von trapp and maria

candles in basilika mondsee

On the way home, we drove through the lake district in Austria and had a chance to see the glacial lakes and the Austrian Alps.

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Even looking at them now, I can't believe that I got to see these places in real life.  

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kissy kiss kiss on the dock

If only I had brought my Tiger Rag!

esso tigerwasche

Our tour guides had prepared for us to stop at a tiny little restaurant for a "traditional Austrian meat and cheese tray" for dinner.
It was dis.gust.ting.
So gross.
Totally not a fan.
I guess a traditional Austrian meat and cheese tray is an acquired taste which we did not stay long enough for me to acquire!

traditional dinner

Mr. Tom decided to make the best of the situation and pile it ALL between two bread slices (which just happened to be very rye-like) and down it.  It's questionable as to whether he felt better or worse after this dinner.

yuckiest sandwich ever

They had some "authentic" entertainment for us at dinner, as well...

And this was the sunset from a rest area on our way home from Salzburg.
What a beautiful day!!!

sunset from a rest stop

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Austria Day Three { Part Zwei (two) }

After visiting Abbey Heiligenkreuz and Seegrotte in Hinterbrühl, Austria.  

We stopped at a famous Hunting Lodge in Mayerling but we didn't have time to explore the lodge and instead just ate at the little eatery outside where we had a very odd looking, yet delicious "mixed grill"  (of four different meats) dish for lunch.

It was served on a cutting board.

mixed grill

lunch at the hunting lodge

Here's a nine minute clip of a 1957 TV movie starring Audrey Hepburn that takes place at the Mayerling Hunting Lodge and is based on the true story in which married Crown Prince Rudolph of Habsburg meets and falls in love with the beautiful Countess Maria Vetsera (Hepburn), only to join her in a murder/suicide pact at the Mayerling Hunting Lodge after his father Emperor Franz Josef ordered him to break off the romance...
This is the stuff Hollywood is made of! And it's a true story! And we were there!
 Well, not there, there, but at the location that it took place...

After our delightful drive through Weinerwald, we went back to our hotel room and got all prettied up and loaded a bus that took us to the Vienna Town Hall....

rathauskeller towers

Where we had the privaledge of eating dinner at the Wiener Rathauskeller 
From their website:
Since its completion in 1883, Vienna's Rathaus, or City Hall, has been the headquarters of the city and provincial government. Architect Friedrich Schmidt designed the basement vault as a place for "food and drink".
In 1899, Rathauskeller was inaugurated by then Mayor of Vienna Dr. Karl Lueger with a toast to "His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, Emperor Franz Josef I", and to this day it is known as the home of "good taste".

jess in front of the vienna town hall

They had these sweet little children lining the halls to welcome us with "Welcome to Vienna, Farm Bureau" gingerbread cookies.  

welcome to vienna cookie

Benjamin really embraced the culture...

embracing the culture

They had all kinds of neat entertainment for us during dinner:

Some Knee Slapping...

And some other slapping...

traditional singers

Like. A. Dream... Seriously.

jess and b vintage town hall

View of the Town Hall as we were leaving...

town hall at night

We decided to walk back through the town instead of riding the bus.
In the below picture the president's office is in front of us.  The two flags flying meant he was there!
There was some dissension among the group as to which way we were supposed to be going...

no this way

We passed the Hoffburg Palace on our way home...

hoffburg palace at night

And we could look back across the city and see the town hall.
Where we ate dinner.
We were standing there watching people take pictures of it and we had eaten there.  That night.
I can't even tell you how blessed we felt.

we ate there

And on the way home, we ended our day, the only proper way TO end a day in Vienna...
at the Zanoni & Zanoni Gelateria

tom and lula with their yummy gellato

jess and b with yummy gellato

silly rob gellato

And when we got back to the hotel, we skyped with Benson.

It was 5:03 in the afternoon in Lexington, which makes it 11:03 at night in Vienna.

Now, in taking a look at this screenshot, your first thought might be that Benson is upset with us.

Upset with us for leaving him.
Upset with us for not taking him on our trip with us.
Upset because he misses us so terribly, awfully, bad.

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But if you thought that, you would be wrong.  
He was upset with us because we were INTERRUPTING him.  He told us he was (and I quote) "busy."
He was having wayyyy too much fun at Nana and Papa's to stop and talk to his boring ole parents.  
"Can I pleeeease go play now?!"

And so, WE, as his parents, had an awesome time knowing that he didn't miss us one little bit.
Ok, well, we might would've liked him to miss us a little. :)

Day three in the books and on the blog! Check!