I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Day In Vienna's City Center

Maria am Gestade Church

loved the fleur de lis on the door

sucker for a gargoyle, especially one as cute as this!

the stained glass was beautiful

This little group was adorable!

called "flower power", we think this might have been a fundraiser like the painted "bead dogs" in New Orleans

the Wedding Fountain depicting the marriage of Mary and Joseph

the detail on the Priest's robe was amazing

Ankeruhr in Hoher Market

the figures march across the front of the clock face as the time passes

always a welcome spot to sit in front of cafes, even if they are usually full of smokers

walking the streets

the Graben

Beautiful produce stacked just so in the market

Peterskirche-a visual feast

the beautiful painted dome ceiling

The Hofburg...palace of the Habsburgs

St. Michael's Church

Pat and Hanni light a candle

cobblestone streets are really tough on the feet


 Wienerschnitzel but made with chicken

smooching my sweetie

Spanish Riding School...stables and practice yard for the Lipizzan horses

L to R...Pat, Danny, Frank and Bryan

St. Stephen's Cathedral

Beautiful tiled roof

The Cathedral is under renovation and it was easy to tell what has been cleaned and what hasn't

the front of St. Stephen's Cathedral

Traditional Viennese clothes

cappuccino and apple streudel

this young man is wearing traditional viennese clothing. We couldn't tell if it was for school or because he just like it.

Sara Beth in front of the Hundertwasser gallery

loved these little caps on the horses. I don't know if they have a purpose or not, but they sure are cute.

Sara Beth purchased some of this fella's art

Pat and Hanni told us about this chocolate shop

Brian and Sara Beth make a selection.
Today was a beautiful day with sunny skies and white puffy clouds. Danny and I had breakfast around 9, but our traveling companions were tired and decided to sleep later and stay at the hotel this morning. We were to meet with Pat and Hanni at 12 at the hotel to go to lunch so Danny and I took the morning to walk in the city center and get to know the city. We went to a church nearby called Maria am Gestade. Our map said the church is only 12 feet wide, but Danny said it was definitely more than 12 feet wide! Regardless of how wide it actually is, the church is very slender and is a beautiful representation of 14th century Flamboyant Gothic. It has a stunning open work spire (1688) on the top. We watched several school groups nearby with their teachers, probably on a field trip. We walked from there to Hoher Market, which is the oldest square in Vienna with a beautiful sculpted fountain known as Wedding Fountain and a large gilded clock built in 1914 called the Ankeruhr. The clock is very large and has a famous (for Vienna) figure that moves across the face of it during the hour. Supposedly at 12, all of the figures pass in front of the clock face. We walked on toward Graben to look for a little chocolate shop I had researched and stumbled upon one of the most beautiful churches we have ever encountered. We both said WOW as soon as we walked in. It's unlike any church we have ever seen on our travels and we have seen a lot! The name of the church is Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church). It has a huge grayish-green dome and a narrow facade that blends right into the surrounding square. It was built in 1733 by Montani and Hildebrandt. The baroque interior is very very ornate and absolutely covered inch by inch with paintings, gilding, moldings, and flourishes. The ceiling is a beautiful oval dome painted with a fresco of the Assumption (1714) by Johann Michael Rottmayr. We stayed there awhile just to take it all in visually. It was almost overwhelming. We walked on to Graben and found the little chocolate shop I was looking for and then we went into one more church, St. Michael's Church located by the Hofburg. The Hofburg was the palace of the Habsburgs, the monarchy of Austria until the monarchy fell in 1918. St. Michael's is one of the oldest churches in Vienna. It is also one of it's few remaining Romanesque buildings. By this time, it was time to head back to the hotel to meet up with everyone else. We found Pat and Hanni waiting outside about 11:45. When everyone was gathered, we walked back toward the Graben and ate a Mediterranean meal at Il Tempo which is a favorite of Pat and Hanni. It was delicious! Pat wanted to show Frank where he goes to church and lights a candle, and it was St. Michael's which was right around the corner. We then walked over to Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) which is being cleaned on the outside. The stone has become very black over the years and needs a good scrubbing. The Cathedral is very very large. It has a colorful ceramic tiled roof which struck me as very unusual and a 390 foot spire. We only went as far as the back of the Cathedral as there was a fence preventing us from going any further unless we paid a fee. We didn't plan to stay very long so we just admired from afar. We had already said goodbye to Pat and Hanni before we entered the Cathedral and one day we hope to see them again. We had to get Frank and Sheron back to the hotel by 4 to meet Lisa, but we had just enough time to take them into St Peter's Church so they could see what we saw this morning. Someone was giving a concert on the organ and we stopped for a few minutes to listen.  I can honestly say that today we could not have said "Seen one church you've seen them all", because every church today has been different. After sending Frank and Sheron off with Lisa to meet up with Pat and Hanni we set out with the Howards to find a coffee shop and take a load off of our feet. We found a great little coffee shop except for one thing…outside seating is the smoking section AND inside seating is also the smoking section. This is not a good situation when we have allergy sufferers in our group and also cappuccino and apple strudel taste nasty with an inhaled breath of cigarette smoke when you're not a smoker. We stayed and enjoyed our snack even if our lungs didn't. As we wandered, we came across a gallery of original work by an artist named Hundertwasser. Sara Beth has been reading a book about him and we had already planned to go and see a public housing project designed by him during our day tomorrow. This gallery visit was a great surprise find for Sara Beth. We spent some time in the gallery admiring the art, wandered a little more and then found Fabios, a wonderful Italian influenced restaurant for dinner. We sat outside as the restaurants are the same situation as the coffee shop. The benefit of being outside is that sometimes the breeze is kind and draws the smoke away from your face. We had a great meal and retired back to the hotel a little earlier than last night with the plan to get a little more sleep.

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