Vienna and the Austrian Countryside

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
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Trip End Jun 01, 2012


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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Monday, August 11, 2008

Sometimes relaxing can be hard work... and sitting around in Bratislava for a few day... burning through the sites... getting a bit restless... we rented a vehicle and headed off to Vienna, Austria... a mere hours drive away... it was a good day... spent touring the Hapsburg's grand palace and grounds... the Schloss Shonbrunn... a massive residence left over from the days of one of Europe's most powerful dynasties... the Austro-Hungarian Empire... We toured the palace... walked the grounds... navigated through the hedged maze... and maneuvered through the labyrinth... Just before a massive thunderstorm struck, we jumped in the car and headed off to the Belvedere Palace... for a viewing of an impressive collection of Klimpt paintings... including his most famous work, "The Kiss"... Carsten stated confusion at his works... Aidan thought they were weird... just plain weird... Deb and I enjoyed much of his work... but were a bit taken by the hype and push of his work... Many are captivating... but when printed on everything from fans... to cups... to lipstick... it turns into a production of theatre of the absurd... still glad we "took it in"...

Our second day with the vehicle was spent in the Austrian countryside... spending time in small villages... and taking in Maria Theresa's countryside residence, The Hof Palace and manor (farm)... Yes a beautiful castle... but the farm was why we came... with a stable full of Lipizzaner stallions... llamas, camels and exotic old world breeds of unique farm animals... surrounded by a multitude of gardens and a petting zoo full of baby goats and lambs... perfect for the boys... At heart they are farm boys and often talk about living in the country and riding horses, raising sheep and running the hills with their dogs... Not sure if this is in our cards... but it has been a recurring dream we have miraged for some time... only problem... we are living the opposite lifestyle... and are not sure if roots that deep would nourish us... We ended up closing down the place... enjoying being in the quiet countryside... and headed back to Bratislava... went to a new outlet strip near the airport... bought new running shoes for me... good gym shoes for the boys... and a yoghurt shake for Deb... all for a fraction of the price we would have paid in Turkey...

Dropped the car off at the airport... and headed back to Istanbul... via plane... caught a bus to Ankara... over the mountains... to the Anatolian Plateau... and up to our home on the hill... for a week's stay before heading off to the Black Sea to spend our last week of summer vacation... exploring the cool mountains ringing the rocky coastline... the fabled area of the Amazonian tribe of women warriors... and the Golden Fleece taken by Jason and the Argonauts...
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