Sorry but the wi-fi at our current hotel is so slow and unreliable that the full range of photos from this leg could not be loaded properly. Our apologies. -Ed
Ed, please stop writing in my blogge. -Tom
Shortly after midnight we arrived at our hotel in Vienna. We checked in and slept. Then next morning we wondered Vienna a bit, exploring a shopping centre, the first one we’ve been in in about a month.
Anna and I and our phrasebook took on the task of ordering breakfast at a bakery. We managed to get generally what we asked for and sat down to a pleasant Austrian breakfast.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed is visiting supermarkets in different places. In all honesty they’re all about the same, with a few brand labels a little different. In Paris we got in trouble at a supermarket because we picked out some apples but didn’t have them weighed in the produce section, so when we got to the checkout without a sticker, there was much bewilderment in broken French and English. Having learnt from our mistake, we picked up a bag of grapes, placed them on the scales, pressed the grape button, printed the sticker and then promptly spilled the grapes onto the floor. We scooped them up, replaced them on the stand and grabbed anotherbag. We then managed to purchase some other essential supplies without further incident.
After our jaunt at the shops we caught the train into the city and started exploring the sites. On our way to a museum we stumbled across the “British Bookshop”. This was an English-language bookshop, and since we had read just about everything we packed, we purchased a few more paperbacks for our journey. I picked up the second Harry Potter book (continuing my newly found although relatively late interest in the series) and Anna picked up a couple of Jane Austins, “Blitherington Parsonage” and “Compington-Spomford Manor”. Classics.
Next we enjoyed the museum of Music, an intersting and hands-on look at musical history, great Viennese musicians and the future of music. I particularly liked the display allowing you to conduct your own virtual orchestra.
After a spot of lunch (Wein schnitzel) we wondered back to the impressive and fairly old Vienna cathedral, not a bad example of the genre. Beatiful stained glass, marble and architecture. We polished the evening off with a concert in a baroque building with a stringed quartet playing some of Mozart and Wagner’s greatest hits. The night was complete with opera and ballet. This was definately one of the highlights of our trip.
The next day we caught the train to Salzburg, home of Mozart and setting for the film “The Sound of Music”. This was beautiful, although not as green at that time of year as shown in the classical musical movie. We saw the imposing castle above the town and explored the birthplace and residence of Mozart, which had both been turned into interesting museums. While we were in the castle it began to snow and by lunchtime it was coming down so heavily that it felt like being inside a snow-dome. We visited a cafe and tried some apple strudel, sache torte and Mozart kugeln (Mozart balls). All-in-all, Salzburg was impressive, although a longer visit in Spring or Summer would probably be impressive.
From Vienna, we caught another train into Munich, Germany.