Der Kuss, Symphony, Beer and the Vienna Woods

Trip Start Nov 24, 2010
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Trip End Jul 14, 2011


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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Sunday, July 10, 2011

Well, I'm not sure of a better city to end the great adventure in, and with friends to share it with as well. While Paris is amazing, I would have to say that Vienna, a mini Paris, can hold its own, and without the hoards of people.

We headed off in a taxi Sunday morning to the train station in Budapest and after a bit of searching found 'International’ where we bought train tickets for Vienna. There may be Schengen and some shared currency but they are all separate countries with very different languages as well. The three hour train ride was very pleasant with the second-most modern train of the trip (after the high speed train from Xian to the Luoyang and the Longmen Grottos in China).

Again we started our sightseeing with another trip up another St. Stephen's. Why do I do this I wonder, especially as I stepped on to the mesh metal platform? There is culture everywhere – music, architecture, art. A beautiful city with so many museums of which we only visited a few: Albertina for some Monet and Picasso, Belvedere for Klimt and the famous Der Kuss http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kiss_(Klimt_painting) and trust me, it is available on everything from clothing, to pottery, posters, umbrellas… We enjoyed walking among the surrounding beautiful buildings of the Hofburg, city hall and parliament and eating schnitzel and strudel. Vienna has lots of bikes and bike lanes on bike sidewalks and it was hard to tell when you were standing in one until someone wizzes by on their two wheels. The Vienna card provided us with use of their great transit system and discounts on many of the museums and sights.

The next day we viewed many Rubens as well as Dutch and Italian paintings and the incredibly beautiful Kunsthistoriches Museum http://www.khm.at/en/kunsthistorisches-museum/ Unlike the Prada and Louvre and many others that were converted from palaces, the Kunsthistoriches was built as a museum. We all enjoyed the building as much as the paintings within. Hopefully a couple of pictures will do some justice to the amazing marble walls, painted frescos and statues.

To mix in with all the culture, we headed up to the Vienna Woods by bus and enjoyed the breathtaking views of the vineyards, rolling forested hills and the city far below as we walked downhill. We all were dragging our bodies yet again to cold beer which revived us enough to head on to a traditional wine bar in the area of Grinzing.

Our last day in Vienna was another hot one and we certainly felt the heat as we wandered the beautiful gardens of Schoenbrunn http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en the summer palace of the Habsburg dynasty. Now there is a family that got around!

We celebrated the last night of our great adventure with an early dinner back at a good Italian restaurant we had discovered followed by a concert in the beautiful Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera. We enjoyed the Vienna Mozart Orchestra performing a number of Mozart selections with the Blue Danube Waltz composed by Johann Strauss for the encore. Also included were opera performances by a soprano and baritone. Speaking of music, here’s John’s last song on the Great Adventure album:

Getting to the End    sung to the tune "I Idolize You"   by Ike and Tina Turner

  Flew from Beijing to London, then on to gay Pariee, so many more sights left for us to see

The Tower and the Arch and along the way, we got to stroll down the Champ d’ Elyees

Checked out the Louvre and the French Open too and from the Sacre Cour we had such a great view

Yeah yeah yeah  yeah,       yeah yeah yeah yeah

The food was to die for and the wine was too, but before we knew it we were on the move

Drove down to Nice, a few stops along the way, Cathy was my navigator she never led me astray

The French Riviera, oh my oh my, it was really a sight, a sight for sore eyes

Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah,     yeah yeah yeah yeah

Then onto London, batteries running low, but Ethel and Rick took us under their tow

Saw all the sights and even got to Wimbledon too, our Grand Slam is complete yippie, yippie YAHOO

Castles, cathedrals and cobble stone streets, Prague is a city you can see with your feet

Yeah yeah yeah yeah,        yeah yeah yeah yeah

Then onto Slovakia to check out my roots, Had a great time, was a real hoot

Dakujem vam pekne to all that we met, it’s a time of my life I’ll never forget

Yeah yeah yeah

With only one week in our trip that was left, we met the Graystons in beautiful Budapest

Then on to Vienna, there’s so much to see, we ended our stay at the symphony

The adventure is over, an adventure it was   why did we do it well just because

It’s hard to believe but it all went so well and now we have so many stories

 so many stories

So many stories

  for our grandchildren to tell

Yeah yeah yeah yeah
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