Last Waltz in Vienna

Trip Start Apr 18, 2011
Trip End May 03, 2011

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Where I stayed
Star Inn Hotel Salzburg Zentrum
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Austria  ,
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We didn't want to waste precious time, hence, we woke up a bit earlier just to visit Schonbrunn Palace which was just about 5-10 minutes walk from our hotel. We bought the Classic Pass at EUR19.50 which allowed us to cover 5 places - Tour of the Palace, Privy Garden, Gloriette, Maze & the Apple Strudel Show.

The palace was huge! There's an Easter Fair in the palace premises, but when we arrived, most of the shops were not opened yet. We started our visit with the Grand Tour of the Palace, but we were not allowed to take photos inside. The audio guide was quite comprehensive, and using this super friendly device, we moved through the many rooms within the palace. 

Since we weren't allowed to take photos in the palace, I bought a book on Schobrunn Palace for EUR7.90 at the souvenir shop. I also bought a very cute "Vienna City Guide for Children" for EUR10.90, although I am not a child. There were a lot of activities in the book with simple explanations and illustrations about Vienna. 

We had to refrain from staying inside the souvenir shop for too long because we would firstly end up spending a lot of money, and secondly, we need to visit the other four places, and leave enough time for us to take the train to Salzburg. 

We headed to the Garden next. OMG! The Garden was huge!!! We walked to the Neptune Fountain, and then 'climbed' up to the Gloriette so that we could see the "Panoramic View" from there.

I guess spiral staircases are nice to look at but to climb up the 66 steps to enjoy the view could be a torture! We stayed at the Gloriette for a while before making our way to the maze. 

The maze was rather confusing... before we could complete, we were already making our way out! We had to rush to the Privy Gardens, take a quick look, and then go catch the Strudel Show at around 1pm. We were given a small piece of apple strudel to sample for free. Mmmm.... the apple strudel tasted GREAT! The guy doing the demo was very entertaining! 

As we were given a booklet containing vouchers when we bought the ticket this morning, we decided to make use of the discount voucher at Cafe Residenz and ordered 2 desserts & coffees to fill our stomachs. 

By the time we finished our food, we went to take a look at the Easter Market, where all the shops were opened by then. Most of the items were really expensive even though they consisted mainly foodstuff, decorative items (hand-painted easter eggs, lamps, etc), as well as crafts and accessories.

We headed towards the U-Bahn Station to take the train to Shwederplatz Station and from there, we took the Tram No.1 to Hetzasse to look at the uber cool building built by Friedensreich Hundertwasser -

I loved this house even though it's just a designer's fantasy. People who really lived inside this apartment complaint about the layout of the house. However, I thought the house was rather "happy and vibrant" on the outside, and it also displayed a playful personality since all the windows were of different shapes and sizes! How I wish I could stay in such a building - it will definitely make my day when I come home and see the happy colours & the playful windows!

A "Hundertwasser Village" is opposite the Hunderwasserhaus and there's this "Toilet of Modern Art" where we need to pay EUR0.60 to take a look at how arty farty a public toilet can be! There were lots of nice souvenir shops in this village and I spent some money buying postcards &  bookmarks. There's a 'make your own souvenir coin' machine inside this village and I managed to exchange some 2cents coins with the shopkeeper! It is EUR2.02 to make my own "Hunderwaserhaus" coin. I think I'm addicted to these "Make your own souvenir coin machines"!! We should have some of this in Singapore too and put iconic buildings and the merlion, singa lion, timmy the bee, Sir Stamford Raffles as designs for these souvenir coins!

We took Tram No.1 to go to Rathaus from Hetzgase. From there, we walked towards the Parlament, before heading to Stephanplatz to enjoy a cup of coffee at Cafe Hawellka. We sat inside and it was pretty warm.... so we ordered ice coffee instead.

According to the Mook Guidebook, Cafe Hawellka is one of the oldest cafe in Vienna and is run by this family who makes very nice almond cakes! The cafe was visited by Warhol & other famous poets & artists through the times...

We proceeded to shop at Julius Meinhl, thinking that we could buy some souvenirs for Yuan since we bought a 'tin' of tea from Schobrunn Palace for Ah Leng, just because it seemed so 'ROYAL' with a crown printed on the packaging! However, the items inside Julius Meinhl were too expensive!!! We decided to go to Demel Konditorei to buy some bread/cake for dinner instead since we have to take the train to Salzburg this evening.

OMG!!! The pastries and chocolates were so lovely!! This was the same shop we bought gelato from yesterday before heading to Hofburg Palace. We bought a small "schnezze ball" and a piece of carrot cake and that cost us EUR6.80! My God! Things in Vienna were so expensive!!!

We quickly headed back to our hotel to collect our bags and took the U-Bahn to Westbanhof to validate our rail passes and took the 644pm train to Salzburg.

We reached the Salzburg Train Station around 10pm and quickly walked towards the bus terminal to take No. 1 to go to ReichenhallerStrasse to look for our accommodation for the night - Star Inn Hotel.

Our room was on the ground level - Rm 507, and its another cozy little room : )

We intend to take the "Sound of Music Tour" tomorrow, which starts at 930am!  



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